This guide lists selected sources of alternative perspective on topics and events. For the purposes of this guide, "alternative" means that which does not represent society's mainstream or dominant ideology. However, some alternative media sources are widely read and could be considered mainstream. Both progressive and conservative resources are included, as both are arguably excluded from the mainstream media.
If you would like to send additions to this page, contact Sylvia Roberts, Liaison Librarian for Communication at SFU Library.
Journal article indexes and databases
For non-mainstream views, try the Alternative Press Index to find articles in a variety of alternative, radical, and leftist publications.
You will also find alternative views represented in articles found in the following databases:
You could also consider searching for alternative views of a topic by using a database from different academic disciplines. For example, if you were searching for articles on forestry, you would get varying viewpoints on this topic from databases for biology, agriculture, environmental studies, sociology/anthropology, economics, and geography.
Alternative news portals
These sites compile links to news stories from other sources:
Magazine providing a mix of news, opinion and investigative journalism; a project of the Indepdendent Media Institute.
news and arts reporting from more than 100 US and Canadian alternative newsweeklies.
Canadian breaking news and media links.
Conservative news portal.
Common Dreams News Center
(US based) "Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community" member funded.
Popular US news site maintained by controversial, self-styled reporter Matt Drudge; includes numerous links to newspapers, newswires and columnists.
Independent Media Center
"Network of collectively run media outlets for the creation of radical, accurate, and passionate tellings of the truth"; includes links to IndyMedia centers around the world.
Institute for Global Communications (IGC)
With links to PeaceNet, EcoNet, WomensNet, and Anti-racismNet, the IGC "is a gateway for people who want quick access to alternative news and political analysis, or an easy way to search for information and web sites of progressive organizations."
Interpress Service News Agency
International, non-profit organization formed of "a network of journalists in more than 100 countries....focuses its news coverage on the events and global processes affecting the economic, social and political development of peoples and nations" no national or political base and pursues the objectives of balanced geographical, ethnic and gender representation.
Labour news and information, commentary and resources from online community of unions and activists.
"Media issues supersite, featuring criticism, breaking news, and investigative reporting from hundreds of organizations worldwide"; collections of television news clips on various topics.
International network of values-based co-operative centres with news from global sources.
Canadian-based site of news, commentary, analysis built on the efforts of progressive journalists, writers, artists and activists across the country.
News source that anyone can contribute to; searchable by region, country or topic.
Directories of alternative publications and organizations
Use these directories to find alternative news sites and publications by name ( e.g. The Tyee), by type (e.g blog or news weekly), by topic (e.g. health policy or GLBT), or by location published (e.g. Canadian or US publications):
Project censored guide to independent media and activism [print].
Lists websites, organisations, national and regional publications. To find other print directories in the SFU library, search the catalogue under subject headings such as: Alternative mass media, Underground press - Directories, Small presses - Directories.
Alternative Press Centre's Alternative Press on the Web
List organised by site name or category.
BlogsCanada Directory of Blogs
Canadian blogs categorised into topics such as Politics, News and Information, Beliefs, Business & Finance, Society, etcetera.
Care2.com News Network
Resources organised by issues such as Environment, World, Business, etcetera.
"A directory of non-corporate journalism" lists Canadian print, online, radio, and TV news, "independent" weeklies, student press, a list of of Canadian directories, and opinion websites.
Categorised list of independent bookstores, independent publishers, literary periodicals, alternative periodicals, independent record labels, alternative newsweeklies and more.
Open Directory's Alternative Media
Directory of alternative media sites by topic.
Web sites for selected alternative news publications
Links are given below for publication websites, which often contain relevant content, as well as access to the publication via SFU's subscription.
- Briarpatch | website
- Canadian Dimension | website
- The Dominion
- Fraser Forum (conservative)
- This Magazine | website
- The Straight Goods (2013) | (archives 2000-2012)
- Western Standard (conservative)
US and International
- Adbusters | website
- The American Prospect | website
- Christian Science Monitor | website
- The Guardian (UK) | website
- Insight Magazine (conservative)
- In These Times | website
- Le Monde Diplomatique (English edition) | website
- Mother Jones | website
- Middle East Report | website
- The Nation | website
- New Left Review | website
- The Patriot Post (conservative)
- ProPublica: Journalism in the Public Interest.
- Utne Reader
- Z magazine | website (archive)
Media watchdog and activist sites
Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
"Independent, non-partisan research institute concerned with issues of social and economic justice".
Friends of Canadian Broadcasting
Includes Media Monitor, a database of news stories on the broadcasting system, media ownership and cultural policies.
Information on Canada's largest media congomerates; launched 17 March 2004 by Canada/CWA, one of the country's largest media unions.
The Daily Planet
Media news site hosted by the School of Media Studies and Information Technology at the Humber Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning in Toronto.
Centre for Research on Globalization
(globalresearch.ca) an independent, non-profit research and media group of writers, scholars, journalists and activists based in Quebec, featuring news feeds sorted by region and by topic.
US and international
"Articles as well as activist commentary from around the world addressing issues ranging from genetically modified foods to media concentration".
Accuracy in Media (AIM)
Non-profit, grassroots citizens watchdog of the news media that seeks to balance a perceived liberal bias in the mainstream media.
Centre for Digital Democracy
"Preserving the openness and diversity of the Internet in the broadband era, and realizing the full potential of digital communications through the development and encouragement of noncommercial, public interest programming".
FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting)
US-based "national media watch group, has been offering well-documented criticism of media bias and censorship since 1986".
(US-based) - "a national nonpartisan organization working to increase informed public participation in crucial media policy debates, and to generate policies that will produce a more competitive and public interest-oriented media system with a strong nonprofit and noncommercial sector".
"Media issues supersite, featuring criticism, breaking news, and investigative reporting from hundreds of organizations worldwide".
Media Democracy Project (annual conference Media Democracy Day)
Media Lens a UK-based media-watch project.
Media Matters for America
"Not-for-profit, progressive research and information center dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media".
"Media research group which tracks the news published in independent journals and newsletters and compiles an annual list of 25 news stories of social significance that have been overlooked, under-reported or self-censored by the country's major national news media".
Pew Research Journalism Project
"An initiative by journalists to clarify and raise the standards of American journalism"; in partnership with Columbia Journalism Review; publishes the Annual Report on the State of the News Media
Center for Media and Democracy's PR Watch
Project to investigate and expose public relations spin and propaganda. Includes the archives of the PR Watch, a quarterly investigative journal; and SourceWatch, a wiki-based directory of the people, organizations and issues shaping the public agenda (formerly Disinfopedia).
Media watchdog publications
Alternative television, video and radio
- AR: Alternative Radio
- Democracy Now! independent TV and radio news programming.
- Free Speech TV
- Paper Tiger Television "PTTV programs analyze and critique issues involving media, culture and politics."
Blogs, wikis and podcasts
These information sources are updated very frequently, often daily or hourly. They are often unreliable and ephemeral - use them with caution for finding very current news and opinions.
Alternet's video website
Links to streaming video interviews.
Between the Lines
Weekly podcast of news stories and interviews marginalised by the mainstream press.
BlogsCanada Directory of Blogs
Canadian blogs directory organized into categories. Topics include Beliefs & Causes, News & Media, Politics and Opinions, etcetera.
Bogs from the Briarpatch magazine website.
Columbia Journalism Review
"Critique of political journalism; analysis of the larger forces -- political, economic, technological, social legal -- that affect press performance day in and day out; monitoring and critiquing the journalism of the business and financial press."
Dooney's Cafe: an alternate news source
Canadian based opinion, analysis and writing; contributors include Stan Persky, Myrna Kostash, and George Bowering.
A look at media ethics, intended for students, journalists, media consumers, and other newsworkers.
Hosted by Mother Jones Magazine; news and analysis of current events.
A wiki-based investigative journalism resource from the Center for Media and Democracy.
A news source that anyone can contribute to; searchable by region, country or topic.
Bloggers include Noam Chomsky and Michael Albert.
Other useful guides
- Mount Allison University Alternative Media Guide includes some definitions of alternative media and an extensive list of links to alternative media sites
- University of Washington Opposing Views a well-organised list of resources representing the US political spectrum; includes categories such as Anarchist, Communist, Green Parties, Conservative, Libertarian, Women, Socialist etc.