Things I Like: The Telegraph

You may have noticed that I cover a lot of stuff from across the pond. 

I likely would anyway, but one of the reasons is that I am a subscriber to The Telegraph, a broadsheet newspaper that leans center-right in the UK. More center than right, to be honest. Its Twitter feed is here

I don’t subscribe to them because it is one of the vanishingly small number of center-right papers published in English, although I am honest enough to admit that this makes reading the news a lot more pleasant than wincing at every dig against Republicans in the US mainstream media. 

I subscribe because I get better coverage of US and world affairs from a British newspaper than I can in the United States. The Telegraph certainly has a slant, as everyone and everything does, but in its news pages you tend to get a lot better and more well-rounded picture of the world. 

American news outlets tend to be reliably unreliable, and though my job requires me to scour them all (and I wince regularly as I pay to subscribe to news sources that hate me), I find it irritating that journalists see their mission as creating a narrative that emphasizes some things and downplays others. 

In some outlets it is almost reflexive to characterize anything Trump says as a lie, for instance, often without providing any evidence–and certainly without providing all the evidence. You never hear the same about Biden or Adam Schiff, although both have a positive allergy to the truth. 

The Telegraph is refreshing to read because there is so much less spin inserted into the stories. I don’t take their word as gospel, but I don’t take anybody’s word as gospel. 

My wife turned me on to The Telegraph a few years ago, and I prefer it to any other single newspaper source. I also subscribe to The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and a number of other sources, when I want to find a story about a world event or even an important event in the United States, The Telegraph is my first visit. I then circle around to these other sources. 

It is remarkable how different the world looks when you ingest news from multiple sources, especially so when you read news that wasn’t marinated in the swamps of Washington D.C. and New York City, where all the journalists hang out together. For that reason alone it is worth subscribing to a foreign newspaper. 

The Telegraph is also less hampered by its writers having to be ultra-chummy with the American establishment. When you see “White House” reporter or “Chief Political Correspondent” you can be sure that they spend a lot of time sidling up to sources and ensuring that they are pleasing them. No doubt some of that goes on with The Telegraph’s reporters, but the paper as a whole is not indebted to our political class. 

American reporters have become activists–it is actually what they are taught in J-schools these days. That is why you hear about newsroom revolts over various issues–most of them have prior commitments to ideologies, and not much interest in facts and balance. 

Great Britain, of course, does have a tradition of partisan journalism, although that is less so in the broadsheets than in the tabloids. When I read The Guardian, and I do, I realize that the paper is trying to drag me left, and in many ways their openness about it is refreshing. The Times or the Post here pretend to be something they are not, and fool lots of people in the process. 

If you are looking for an alternative news source that still has the massive reportorial resources that mainstream news sources have, I highly recommend subscribing to The Telegraph. Their editorial section leans mainstream right, their reporting is top-notch, and their reporting on US news is not hampered by being deeply invested in the same squabbles that American journalists are. 

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