Reputable websites

From the excellent book Unspun by Brooks Jackson and Kathleen Hall Jamieson:

Amid all the deception and misinformation on the Internet, some sites stand out as mostly reliable and unbiased. Here are a few of them. All are free, unless otherwise noted.

URL Description The National Center for Health Statistics, of the Centers for Disease Control, has official data on births, deaths, accidental injuries, marriages, and divorces. The “FastStats” feature allows easy location by topic. The online version of Consumer Reports magazine, publishing unbiased test reports since 1936 on products of all sorts, from autos to kitchen appliances. Published by the nonprofit Consumers Union, which accepts no advertising or even free test samples. A $26 annual subscription can prevent mistakes costing much more. The Center for Responsible Politics is a private, nonprofit group that collects official data on political donations and lobbying and provides useful analysis of which interest groups gave most. Lawmakers of both parties rely on the Congressional Budget Office for analysis of economic trends, federal spending, and the deficit, and of the likely impact of any new legislation. The Kaiser Family Foundation, whose stated mission is to “help improve health policies and programs for people in greatest need,” provides a wealth of nonpartisan information about Medicare, Medicaid, private health insurance, AIDS, and women’s health. The Bureau of Labor Statistics collects official statistics on unemployment, jobs, inflation, and wages. The U.S. Census Bureau site supplies official statistics on population counts, poverty, household income, health insurance coverage, and home ownership. The Energy Information Administration has official statistics on all sources of energy, including gasoline prices, sources of crude oil, nuclear power, and solar power. The “Kids Page,” more sophisticated than it sounds, provides basic summaries. Dr.Stephen Barrett’s respected and thoroughly documented “guide to Quackery, Health Fraud, and Intelligent Decisions” about medicine. The U.S. Government Accountability Office is a hard-nose, non-partisan watchdog agency set up by Congress. The site contains reports on “high risk” programs vulnerable to fraud, waste, and mismanagement. is a nonpartisan, nonprofit, “consumer advocate” for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics. This site monitors the factual accuracy of what is said by major U.S. political players in the form of TV ads, debates, speeches, interviews, and news releases. The Librarian’s Internet Index has links to thousands of websites that have been screened by professional librarians — people who look things up for a living. It’s more than 20,000 entries are organized under 14 main topics and nearly 300 related topics.

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