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An alternative to straight news

The Smoking Gun

Some may remember a story about prewritten obituaries found on CNN’s Web site. For a few minutes in cyberspace, Ronald Regan, Bob Hope and Dick Cheney were all as good as dead. Writing obituaries prior to the deaths of famous figures is common practice in journalism, especially on news Web sites like CNN that want to be the first to break the fatal stories. But it’s a rare occasion when these morbid templates go public. The Smoking Gun was there, however, for CNN’s faux pas, as well as being there when information demands uncovering. From Martha Stewart’s recent indictment to Jennifer Lopez’s absurd demands in her concert-touring contract, The Smoking Gun is truly a watchdog to be reckoned with.

— Ryan Meehan

Fark has quickly become one of the most widely followed alternative news sites on the Web. It pools its sources from various Internet sites, some more credible than others. But more than anything, the news presented on Fark is sure to make you laugh. In many ways, Fark is a one-stop Internet hub for all the raw information you can stomach. It presents hard news from credible sources, quirky stories from obscure news agencies worldwide and it’s infamous daily Photoshop contests.

— Ryan Meehan

Democracy Now

One of the most respected alternative news radio shows is also available online. Amy Goodwin analyzes loaded questions with countless reporters calling from across the world. Her admittedly liberal points of view are always founded in fact and always stir up contemplation.

— Sebastian Meyer

Daily Rotten

For those who are sick of reading about war, includes unusual nationwide news stories. The stories are submitted from web viewers who locate these stories in newspapers. While Daily Rotten still provides interesting updates on current events, for example, “Saddam’s ‘mobile labs’ actually balloon stations,” they are known for bizarre stories, such as “Man beaten to death with girlfriend’s shoe.”

Daily Rotten adds a special sidebar entitled “Today in Rotten History,” which provides weird tidbits of daily events in past eras.

— Bridgette Martin

The Drudge Report

“Internet reporter” Matt Drudge became the focus of international attention when he broke what turned out to be, perhaps, the most compelling story of the 1990s involving the President and his intern.

The Monica Lewinsky/Bill Clinton sex saga made its first appearance on The Drudge Report with the headline: “Blockbuster report: 23-year-old former White House intern, sex relationship with president.” That was Jan. 17, 1998. Fast forward five years, and Drudge has proven he scours the Web for news better than anyone. He employs a basic black and white layout with few pictures and is the king of sensational headlines. Years from now, when traditional newspapers are a thing of the past, Drudge may be seen as the founding father of a new era of journalism.

— Ryan Meehan