Text only news websites

(This is an up to date list – last reviewed 9 Mar 2020)

CNN – the audio stream hasn’t worked for a while, but otherwise, items are presented cleanly and very few have the usual HTML->text conversion problems (i.e. missing elements or video/highly interactive items that shouldn’t really be there).  Plenty of stories (40+)

Today’s Guardian – this is absolutely beautiful (also includes photos).  Swipe right to navigate stories.  Not made by The Guardian – uses their API. Blog post on how it was built.

NPR – formatting is a bit cruder and only 10 stories on homepage (tip: click ‘News’ and you get 15)

Old apps:

The Reuters app on iPod Touch 4th generation – supports offline mode. Not strictly text only, as there are photos at the top (imho, Reuters has the best/fastest range of news photos).  Still loads quickly on hardware that was released in 2010.  Most content sections still working. iPod Touch only weighs 100g so comfortable to read for long periods and easily slips in a bag (just don’t use it for anything that requires up to date security).  Turn javascript off in Safari settings to make websites bearable.

Reasons to use text only sites:

    • Save time
    • Save bandwidth / access conveniently in poor connectivity situations
    • Increase battery life on mobile devices (little or no JS to load/process)
    • Less distraction / more immersion in content (like reading a book)
    • No iframes / social media oEmbeds
    • Usually no advertising
    • Overall, much less stressful