One of the fabulous things about the internet is the ease in which you can keep up with the latest news.  You can sit in small cafe in downtown Lagos, Nigeria and get the latest on Brexit as if you were just outside the House of Commons.  News channels are available online from all over the globe, mostly free of charge although there are often some restrictions.    Most people will probably gravitate towards their home news channels, although there will be some major exceptions to that.

Most Western democracies have fairly accurate News reporting, although there is obviously some political bias for some channels.  The news though is a powerful form of communication and it’s no surprise that news channels are often the first part of the media to be targeted by politicians.  Whether it’s Trump banning selected media from News conferences or Erdogan in Turkey imprisoning and censuring journalists -they do so because they recognise the power and influence.

In the United Kingdom is amazing to see the power of newspapers actually manipulate public opinion.  A few months before the Brexit referendum, the idea that the UK would vote to leave was barely plausible.  However if you stood back and saw which side the majority of the UK press were on then it began to make sense.  Of course, a news paper or TV station will inevitably have some sort of opinion.  Even the national broadcasters in places like Ireland and UK are criticised for bias however hard they try.   For media companies owned by powerful people or organisations some opinion is inevitable.  Expats and people familiar with the companies will usually be aware of the political leanings though which is important.

The BBC is usually the media of choice for the UK expat and indeed you can often see people watch the BBC news abroad through internet connections.    Although many are increasingly turning to the excellent Sky News which is available free and without regional restrictions in most places.   The BBC of course has a long standing tradition for bringing news to all corners of the world.  The BBC World service has thousands of loyal listeners all across Africa for instance.

Unfortunately the vast majority of news channels broadcast over the internet are normally region locked.  This means that the online service is only accessible to those physically located in a specific country (usually the domestic country).  This is normally enforced by checking the locale assigned to your IP address when you connect.   It is obviously possible to bypass this, you normally can use a VPN or proxy.  It is important to use a server based in the right country though – so for the USA’s CNN you need a US proxy buy or rental.

Overall although a myriad of people and organisations try and control what goes in the news, there are options for other opinions.  The internet enables us to be able to seek out different opinions and points of view.  The Russian web surfer doesn’t need to rely on Russia Today, there are many international news companies online which cover global news.