By Deborah L. Armstrong – Apr 13, 2022
Or anything else, for that matter.
I wanted to write a simple article about the top ten independent journalists you need to read or watch in order to have at least a basic grasp of what is going on in Ukraine.
After jotting down a list of my favorite go-to indies and crowdsourcing more lists from others, I quickly realized that just picking ten of them would not be fair to anyone. Not fair to the journalists, and not fair to their potential audience.
Since western corporate-controlled media dominates the global conversation about Ukraine, it’s easy to forget just how many other voices are out there, working hard every day to bring you the truth while being marginalized by the perfectly-groomed, plastic faces of the McMedia which have the biggest platforms and the biggest paychecks.
Patrick Lancaster reporting from Donbass
Just like junk food, though, junk news is bad for you. It consists of highly processed, establishment-approved narratives which are easy to swallow and taste good. It tastes good because it tells you that you live in The Greatest Country in the World™ and other countries are full of people who are inferior to you. It’s easy to swallow because it comes in neatly-packaged little soundbites that don’t require any thinking. All you have to do is open your mouth and let MSNBCIA spoon-feed you while you relax from the day’s work. Then, for a little evening entertainment before you hit the hay, you can hop on the internet and get a nice narcissistic buzz by showing everyone how “informed” you are.
It’s easy to ignore articles written by unfamiliar names or filled with complex analysis that you don’t want to bother with. Why spend an hour listening to some guy you never heard of who uses too many multisyllabic words when it’s so much easier to just turn on the McMedia and let them do your thinking for you?
Well, if you’re anything like me, you probably got sick of all the junk news a while ago and made a change in your diet. Maybe you finally realized that all the mainstream media is owned by just six companies, and you deduced correctly that those six companies have a vested interest in controlling the narratives. Or maybe you just got sick of the saccharine fakeness of it all. The plastic faces meticulously sculpted by consultants and focus-groups, the carefully-edited scripts, the guest “experts” from the CIA, the hysterical screaming and hyperbole and incessant banging of the war drums…
The narrative about Ukraine is very carefully controlled by major media in the US, UK, Europe and their allies. Information from Ukraine is aired without proper fact-checks and the Russian side of the conflict is steadfastly ignored. After all, it’s a bit harder to digest the point of view of someone you don’t like. Especially since the McMedia says you should hate Russia right now, and the Russian perspective is 100% propaganda, and if you listen to the Russian perspective at all then you may as well be a Russian Kremlin Agent paid by Putin himself! Shame on you! OBEY.
If you’re worried about your image or your reputation and would be horrified about being associated with anything not approved by the McMedia, then it’s better to just avoid Russian media or any media which presents a more balanced story about Ukraine. Even if you couldn’t find Ukraine on a map a month ago, you can put the Ukrainian flag on your social media profile and signal your virtue to everyone else. You can call that cousin of yours who lived in Russia “crazy” for saying there are Nazis in Ukraine, because the McMedia said there are no Nazis, or maybe there are but they are “good” Nazis so that’s OK. Anyway, it sure feels better to call your cousin crazy than to admit she knows more about Russia than you do, right?
That’s why so few people bother with the indies. You will be better-informed when you follow the indies, because they are not controlled and scripted by gigantic corporations. But you will lose friends if you stray too far from the Official Narratives®. On the other hand, you will be healthier even though at first you may experience a little cognitive dissonance as your brain flushes out all the toxins from that junk news diet you were hooked on before.
When you personally select your news from a wide range of sources, it’s like choosing the ingredients that will go into your dinner and making sure your diet is balanced. You have to force your brain to work out, to do a little critical thinking, in order to decide for yourself what is worth taking in and what isn’t. That can be difficult at first, but critical thinking, instead of just swallowing those artificially-flavored morsels from McMedia, Inc., is good for the overall health of your brain. It takes time and energy and a lot of study to figure out what media plan is best for you, just like it does to find out what diet plan is best for you.
No one else can choose what to eat for you, but we can offer a selection. To that end, here is a list of independent journalists and publications which I follow or have crowdsourced. I believe they have the best understanding about Ukraine. I will provide some background on the ones which were mentioned the most, and I will provide links to all the others. It’s up to you to try them out and decide which ones you want to follow.
My apologies to anyone that was left out, and feel free to drop your suggestions in the comments!
Alexander Mercouris of The Duran puts up daily reports on YouTube. He says that he is not a military analyst, but his geopolitical commentary is brilliant and he provides an excellent overview of the Ukraine conflict on a daily basis.
Russell “Texas” Bentley lives in Donetsk and has been serving alongside troops from the Donetsk People’s Republic. He provides excellent first-person coverage of the conflict. His YouTube channel was removed, allegedly for “too much violent content,” which is what happens in wars, but you can find him making appearances on other channels.
Chris Hedges is an award-winning journalist and war correspondent and was the host of “On Contact” on RT. He has also worked for The New York Times and The Washington Post in years past.
Scott Ritter is a former US Marine Corps intelligence officer and UN weapons inspector. He lived in Russia during the Perestroika years and helped with nuclear disarmament there. He makes frequent appearances as a guest on Regis Tremblay’s YouTube channel and others. Scott is also a member of VIPS.
Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) is a group of former intelligence professionals from agencies such as the CIA and NSA who are now calling for deep changes in those agencies and in US foreign policy. Several members of VIPS write or make appearances to discuss geopolitics. Among many others, VIPS includes:
Ray McGovern is a former 27-year veteran of the CIA who served as an analyst and prepared the President’s Daily Briefs and was a senior national security advisor to President Reagan. He co-founded VIPS in 2003 to expose how intelligence was being falsified to justify the war in Iraq. His commentary is always brilliant and often full of information that makes your jaw drop.
John Kiriakou is a former CIA officer who served undercover in Pakistan and later served two years in prison for exposing the CIA’s torture program.
All of these are worth bookmarking and following regularly for coverage of the conflict in Ukraine as well as general geopolitics.
The Vineyard of the Saker
Moon of Alabama
Black Agenda Report
Covert Action Magazine
The Greanville Post
World Socialist Web Site
New Eastern Outlook
Mint Press News
21st Century Wire
Signs of the Times (SOTT.NET)
News from Underground — Mark Crispin Miller
Clusterfuck Nation — James Howard Kunstler
Oneworld.Press — Andrew Korybko
The Corbett Report — James Corbett
Gold, Goats ‘n Guns — Tom Luongo
Geopolitical analysis from other countries
Venezuelanalysis — Venezuela
Press TV — Iran
Granma — Cuba
The Tricontinental — Brazil, Argentina, South Africa, India
UK Column — UK
Syrian-Arab News Agency (SANA) — Syria
Electronic Intifada — mostly news about Palestine
Asia Times — mostly news about China and South Asia
New Matilda — Australian independent
The Tyee — UK independent
The Expose — UK independent
The Russian perspective
Though these are not actually “indies” per se, it’s important to be aware of what is being said in Russian news. Whether or not you agree with what you hear is up to you. Most importantly, Russian news will make you aware of what you are not hearing in western news. Some of these sites are blocked in certain countries, so you might need to download a VPN to access them.
Russia Today (RT) is smeared in the west as “propaganda,” but if you actually watch RT you will realize that it provides excellent and balanced coverage. Certainly, it does have its own innate biases, as all news does, but it’s not difficult to separate the bias from the facts. RT provides excellent coverage of the conflict in Ukraine.
Sputnik Also heavily-smeared in the west, Sputnik provides excellent English-language coverage from a Russian perspective as well as a platform for many independent journalists from around the world.
TASS is a Russian news agency which has existed since Soviet times. Again, this is the Russian perspective, which is important to know.
Additional names worth following:
Christopher C. Black
Sonja van den Ende
F. William Engdahl
And, though he is certainly not least, I saved him for last:
Oliver Stone, the producer of Ukraine on Fire and The Putin Interviews as well as The Untold History of the United States, all of which should be mandatory viewing for anyone delving into geopolitics. That is, if you can find them before they are scrubbed from the internet.
UPDATE: One of the journalists mentioned above, Gonzalo Lira, has been reported missing in Kharkov. There is concern that he might have been abducted by Ukrainian forces, or even killed. A reminder that many of these journalists are risking their lives to bring you the truth.
Featured image: Photo Credit: City Weekly.
Editor2https://orinocotribune.com/author/yullma/December 6, 2018