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People in Pennsylvania will have the option of requesting and submitting an absentee ballot under a new law during an in-person visit to county elections offices. (Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images/TNS)

Many people take issue with news outlets such as MSNBC, CNN or Fox, referring to them as one-sided and biased on every topic imaginable. Understandably, this leads to an issue of trust.

The truth is these networks do have an entire staff of fact checkers whose entire job is to make sure they’re reporting factual information to the public.

There are news sources you can go to that don’t have such stigmas attached to them when it comes to American politics, however. And along those same lines, there are fantastic methods of staying informed on issues such as presidential candidates and elections.

Foreign News Outlets

If you’re unsure about trusting American news, you can always cross reference big stories with foreign sources. The most obvious is the BBC, or British Broadcasting Corporation.

However, you could realistically choose a variety of sources. Does the issue have to do with Asia? Try reading NHK—Japan Broadcasting Corporation.

By using multiple sources from multiple countries, you’ll see the source from a variety of angles, breaking the limitation of a single perspective and allowing you to see the consistencies between each source.

The biggest advantage of this is the distance the article has to the topic at hand. The BBC writing on an American topic is going to read differently from Fox or CNN. And you can be more confident that there isn’t a strong political bias in the report. 

Unbiased News Source

Maybe you don’t want to do the leg work yourself. If so, try using online sources such as Politico or Snopes.

Politico writes on American news, international news and any issue in-between. They’re a great source for unbiased news and perfect for keeping track of election information.

On the site you can, of course, see all kinds of stories or even look at battleground states for the presidential election, the Senate, etc.

For fact-checking, Snopes is an ideal source. Be it wild claims by presidential candidates or even more minor issues, Snopes will fact check. Sometimes things are mostly false, other times they are mostly true and still there are times when they are not totally true nor totally false.

On top of that, Snopes regularly posts news and hosts an archive, so you can go back and view everything the site has done in the past.

These two sources are invaluable for freeing yourself from potential echo-chambers that emerge from Twitter feeds, the political side of YouTube and even the suggested articles Google gives you. 

Keeping up with the candidates

This one can be tricky at times, but there are good ways to keep up with what candidates are up to.

If you go to a candidate’s website, there is typically a section for press releases. There you can find out where a candidate is campaigning, what they’ve been talking about recently and even what kind of issues they’ve been facing.

Another good way of keeping up with candidates, the election and policy issues during the election cycle is going to a website called ISideWith.

This website hosts polls, as well as the full range of platforms and issues, so you can read up on topics and take a quiz that will match your own political orientation to relevant candidates.

The results of the quiz are percentage based and utilize up-to-date information on the candidates’ stances and parties to let you know just how closely you align with a candidate or party.

And if you aren’t sure about an issue, the website can explain a topic to you and offer resources for further unbiased reading. 

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