With a certain world leader throwing the world of journalism into disrepute and the need for advertisers to get more bang from their buck, we are being lead to believe the internet is awash with fake news.
The good news is, for the majority, it's not. But do enough of us leave social media to ensure we’re getting a true story?
If you need to see a real news feed, here are 10 fantastic news apps to help you get the official story…
Style and substance combine as one of the longest standing news apps improves year on year. Flipboard curates the news you want by watching what you read and offering similar stories. The layout is based on easy to navigate panels giving each user access to their own personal news magazine. With this app, the more you play with it, the more effective it becomes. Aggregating a ton of sources, you can be selective by news type or provider. If it pulls up something you aren’t a fan of, you can ‘less like this’ and the system will learn.
2. Apple News
iPhone and iPad users will no doubt see the odd news story when they swipe right from the home screen but Apples News app is a decent offering if you take the time to curate what you want to see. You can select the sources you want to accept stories from and then they will filter through to your notification centre. You aren’t restricted to formal news, either. Choose from music news, sport, technology, finance and host of others. The app is typically slick, easy to use and because it's baked into the OS, a no-brainer for Apple fans.
3. BBC News
Without the commercial interests that could potentially cause other outlets to discriminate, the BBC is seen as a bastion of balance. This app is extremely functional, even offering a ‘My News’ section where you can select the topics that interest you most. There is a limit, so don’t get too trigger happy before you reach the bottom of a long list. With the BBC’s resources there is no limit of coverage, whether you are looking for sport, tech news, politics or just popular stories. What’s more, you can be sure that the stories live up to the true name of journalism.
If breaking news is your thing, then the Reuters app will take some beating. While Twitter can offer virtually real-time reporting from Joe Public, Reuters has thousands of journalists and an exceptional feed where you can get up-to-the-minute reporting from credible journalists. It doesn’t have the personalisation or panache of some other apps but as a go-to when news breaks, it’s an absolute must-have. You can easily access your favourite categories and the video section is also a great way to get your fix of up-to-the-minute action.
5. The Guardian
With circulation and sales figures dropping, all newspapers are having to find new ways to monetise their wares. UK-based newspaper The Guardian has invested heavily in content and relies on donations for support (rather than opting for a paywall). The upshot, is an app bursting with content. As well as the usual mix of news on every conceivable topic, there are also features and comment from experts and commentators. The result is an app that feels very much like a newspaper. Use the settings to customise the Today Widget for stories of more interest, if the standard feed isn’t to your liking.
6. RT News
If you are looking to source some alternative news with a slightly different angle on reporting, then RT is an extremely useful resource. UK-centric news has its own section and world news is easy to find. You can also access their ‘In Vision’ reports for photographic-lead reports and the ‘In Motion’ for a similar video feed. The Viral section is also a nice simple way to see what the world is taking an interest in, as well as checking out some of the more weird and wonderful news of the day. As you would expect from Russia Today, you can keep up with Russian news too.
7. News Republic
This news aggregator has a slick interface and a host of sources that can be tailored to suit your needs. The menu offers up a simple set of sections to navigate and there is a very useful offline mode you can activate before you commute, should you need to circumvent a loss of connectivity. Other highlights include a video area and the ability to follow sections or individual publishers from each topic. You can also connect with social media for the ability to share what you see.
Launched as a website in 2005 The Huffington Post is best served in app form. It has its own editorial feel and a liberal stance, particularly on US affairs. The app is slick and effective with highlights that include automatic content download for offline reading, as well as the ability to set alerts and customise ‘My Sections’ according to taste. The addition of Young Voices and Parents as section heads makes for more focused reading and easy access to some interesting content.
While this app suffers from a lack of diversity in content, its major selling point is that the news is read aloud. It means that if you want to keep up to date in the car, while exercising or just while not using your eyes, then you can. Major stories are read by humans, which sound great, as you would expect from a news reader (perhaps with more feeling in some cases). Some stories are read by an AI voice, which disappoint. Luckily, you can opt out of non-human reading, which limits contend but dramatically improves enjoyment.
10. Simply News
The aptly named Simply News offers an excellent aggregation of news, from all of the major sources. All categorised and collated with some real style. There are a couple of gestures to get the hang of, which will make navigation easier. In look and feel, the development team have clearly taken some cues from long standing news champion, Flipboard. They've added some of their own magic, of course. Customization is the key for real news hounds and Simply doesn't disappoint with a fully loaded settings section, so you can see more of things that will keep you in app.