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Top Independent News Sites to Read

September 1, 2012
By Loh Ving Sung GooglePlus

In the spirit of Merdeka we thought what better way to celebrate our independence, by catching up with news sites that give independent viewpoints, whether it’s through serious editorial or just satirical news that lighten the mood. So kick back and celebrate our country’s 55th Merdeka.

Local reads


If we were to pick keywords to describe Malaysiakini - controversial, infamous, and uncensored. This paid site is in the news as much as it reports it. It comes in four-languages - English, Malay, Chinese and Tamil and typically talks about Malaysian politics in both text and video form.

And the site’s telling-it-like-it-is news format is the reason why it remains popular among Malaysians.  It also offers viewpoints from bloggers and its readers, if you’ve yet to fill up on independent views.

Its focus on national news means there is no time for foodies or sports nuts. But if you typed in in your URL, chances are you are not looking for that anyway.

Malaysian Insider

The Malaysian Insider is a free, bilingual online news site that garnered a must read status among the socially and politically conscious. Like MalaysiaKini, the publication focuses heavily on the local political scene and offers an alternative viewpoint via its articles and opinion pieces. The publication also takes time to report on lighter local stories, so it won’t just be politics on your plate.

The site also has other news sections like international, business, sports and entertainment. But these sections are not as hard hitting as its local section.  

International take
Yahoo’s Dirty Tackle

Yahoo’s Dirty Tackle

It’s not all political news here, hidden underneath Yahoo’s respectable sports pages is an irreverent and humorous take on all things football. Its satirical tone pokes fun at a game that sometimes takes itself too seriously. Dirty Tackle ravages prima donna coaches, want-away players and reports on a side of football we don’t usually see.

And if the headline ‘Paolo Di Canio kicks his players, cuts the grass and continues winning’ does not ooze independence, we won’t know what else does.

However, if you are serious football fan slathered in war paint looking for in-depth stats and views on your favourite football club or players, its best to head on over to a football site you’ve bookmarked in your browser.

The Onion

The Onion

‘John McCain Just Blew His Brains out during RNC Speech’, is the type of straight face satire the Onion espouses. The Peabody-winning American satirical news site parodies newspaper features like opinion pieces, man on the street interviews and even the weather.

It also comments on real and fictional current issues with pun-laden and expletive headlines that usually have you chuckling at first but then nodding at what the article is really about.

The Onion is sometimes so indistinguishable from real news sites, some of its stories have been mistaken as actual news. It even got U.S. Congressman John Fleming going, when the Congressman linked Onion’s “Planned Parenthood Opens $8 Billion Abortionplex” story to his Facebook status. Fleming added to his status “More on Planned Parenthood, abortion by the wholesale.”

International readers may have trouble relating to the usually American stories, but if you are the type that smirks occasionally, the Onion is a good read.



This independent Qatari-owned broadcaster was initially launched as an Arabic news channel, since then it has spawned into multiple outlets including an English language around-the-clock news show and a website.

It first garnered attention in the Persian Gulf by willing to broadcast independent viewpoints, and is known for its willingness to skirt censorship. US Senator Hilary Clinton said back in 2011, that Al-Jazeera offered ‘real-news’ and was thus more informative compared to its American counterparts.

Its comprehensive website reports on just about anything newsworthy, so you can jump from topics ranging from the Yakuza’s grip on Japan to what’s happening in Syria.

Al-Jazeera’s focus on global news means it won’t have in-depth view in the inner workings of Malaysia, but count on it to report on Malaysian news when it matters most


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