Alexej Behnisch

Recommended news sites

As a news junkie (a bad habit) I browse through many websites. But every day I return to a handful of classics.

My main areas of interest are international, British, German, Portuguese, local Algarvian, and Arsenal news.

Here are 5 recommendations:

International and Britain: Guardian


The Guardian has pioneered online journalism and maintains a tech lead over other media, especially in live news.

The site is free to read, with voluntary payment encouraged.

Together with the Financial Times (payment required), the Guardian is the best English-speaking paper today.

Unless your work pays for the FT, their annual price of over 600 euro per year for full access is not justified. Be careful with the FT’s subscription traps for introductory offers.

Even with cookies and Javascript turned off, which I recommend, the Guardian website remains functional.

Various RSS feeds allow individual choices. You can add /rss to any URL. NetNewsWire is a great free RSS reader for Apple.

I prefer the International Edition (see the /international URL above. UK, US, European, Australian editions also exist.)

Ignore most of the opinion writers. Both in the Guardian and the FT — and, indeed, all other papers.

20 years ago, I might have listed the BBC (free to read, paid by UK residents) as first choice.

But internal crisis and party-political onslaughts have made the Beep insecure and ineffective, especially about UK issues.

The BBC website is still good. But both in journalistic content and user experience the Guardian’s site ranks higher.

I don’t know which US paper is worth reading today.

The New York Times is surprisingly bad, or at least their foreign news reporting, which is the area I feel able to judge.

Final tip: Spain’s El País has an excellent English edition (small, but free).

Germany: Tagesschau


Tagesschau, the famous 15-minute news bulletin at 8pm, is the closest thing to ‘official’ news in Germany.

No wonder, then, that national broadcaster ARD uses Tagesschau as the brand for their news portal.

Coming from TV, the main site features too much video content. With Javascript off, the text becomes more prominent.

Even better: I use the archive page (URL above) to get a clutter-free, chronological overview. It’s best read via RSS.

Tagesschau has a reputation for being reliable but boring. Boring is good for news!

I wish the ARD team would invest more in its data journalism and visual elements, especially maps.

For anybody interested in German news, however, this is the best one-stop solution.

Foreign speakers should use translator tools. I recommend DeepL. 95% of the content will translate accurately.

German residents pay a high tax for their public media (220 Euro per year). So, better use it!

Portugal: RTP


As in Germany, so in Portugal too, the best one-stop solution is the national broadcaster, RTP.

RTP’s site is clean and straightforward, offering a no non-sense overview of the day’s main political stories.

Business or culture news are limited and local news missing entirely. Sport (football) has its own site.

Portuguese households have to pay 36 euro annually for their public media.

If you are willing/able to pay 68 euro per year, the newspaper Público stands out.

Their original reporting is exceptional and they cover a wide variety of issues and perspectives.

Algarve: SulInformação


Until recently I lived in Faro, the capital of the Algarve.

Portugal is a centralised country, with all focus on Lisboa. Only Porto, Madeira and Açores get regional attention.

Luckily, a small, independent team at SulInformação covers local news for the Algarve with great care.

All articles can be switched to an auto-translated English version. Or just add /en after the pt.

SulInformação is free to read, financed by advertisement and donations.

Side note: During the Covid lockdown, to improve my Portuguese writing skills, I wrote an article for SulInformação (about the car problem in Faro).

Arsenal: Arseblog


As an Arsenal fan, I am spoilt for choice because so many excellent blogs are out there.

Arseblog is the biggest and one of the oldest Arsenal blogs and No.1 for a good reason.

It offers the unique personal voice of a blogger (and podcaster) but in a comprehensive, professional format.

In addition to the daily blog, Arseblog News collects all the day’s Gunners news.