SD Reliable & Not-so Reliable Sources Thread (Mods only)

Discussion in 'Announcements' started by Deino, Jan 20, 2015.

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  1. Deino
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    Deino Brigadier
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    Just fitting nicely to so many discussions here and at other forums "Bltizo" made this proposal ...

    So here we go for the Aviation sector.

    My first place for a non reliable one goes right now to ..

    wantchinatimes (just remember the latest J-25 or this one on the Su-35-story again)

    Deino
     
  2. tphuang
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    tphuang Brigadier
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    not everything Pinkov posts is bad. He goes to exhibitions, takes photographs and reports on the specs that are shown there. That should be accurate. And he also interviews with Russians and other countries' military and they will sometimes tell him the military deals they have with China. Those should be fine too. It's when he starts to do his own analysis, he becomes really amateurish.

    Anything Chinese with titles like "russian source" or "Western source" said blah blah blah or made big revelation, you know it's pure nonsense.
     
  3. Skywatcher
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    Skywatcher Senior Member

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    J. Michael Cole, who writes his fanfiction and paranoid fantasies into actual articles (several of his pieces have apparently been removed from the Diplomat).

    I'd also say Ian Easton, but he's just mostly credulous to a ridiculous extent.
     
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  4. Bltizo
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    Bltizo Lieutenant General

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    I think Rick Fisher is among the better western/US commentators on the PLA even if he does veer towards the China threat side, but that's a given for all commentators of their affiliation. Most of his write ups are fairly accurate and obviously sourced from what we'd deem reliable sources and credible rumours, often circulated from here first. Much of his stuff is very speculative, but that doesn't mean they're not worth considering. I'd rate him a 7/10 for general accuracy and reliability of content and that a lot of it is quite comprehensive through the PLA's various services. Dock a point for exaggerating the threat and hawking about China's intentions.

    Andrew Erickson is also quite good, he is one of the few PLA watchers in the west who can read and speak Chinese it seems, and although he gets some of his numbers wrong sometimes (like displacement of ships, range of missiles), a lot of that can be forgiven for how thoroughly he researches his articles. Unfortunately, his website tends to repost a lot of articles form other less reliable outlets, and sometimes he will jump on a band wagon without first checking it, I feel. Again, a 7/10 seems fair.

    If I wanted to name what I consider a "good" outlet, I would name Skywatcher's Eastern Arsenal blog on Popsci. Even though it is more of a casual blog, it usually provides legitimate updates on items with correct dates, designations, names, specs, and sheds light on some of the more niche bits of the PLA for the general populace. Of course, a lot of his stuff is sourced from here and CDF (with credit, of course!) and he obviously knows the circuit quite well to see reliable from unreliable. I'd call the blog more of an "outlet" than a "source", because it tends to repackage info and news that we receive from the Chinese internet for a casual western audience, but what's important is that virtually all of it is accurate. So I'd give it an 8.5/10, as an "outlet".

    Just for reference, a 10/10 for either a source or an outlet that is highly accurate near 100% of the time, and provides information and/or news which we can not find anywhere else and is up to date, etc. The latter part is especially important if you want to be considered a "source".
    So say, Huitong's website would be a 9.5/10 for me, in the "source" category.
     
  5. AssassinsMace
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    I'll argue that the "professionals" that are active members in this forum are the most reliable. No exaggeration either way, straight-forward assessments with little hint of a political agenda. We know a lot of these so-called military experts outside of China that get paid come here to get what's new and vetted from Chinese sources. The other one is CDF but personally I find stuff shows up here first more. So congratulations to the non-"professionals" here that do their part too. Then on the Chinese side... that's a mixed bag. The people that tend to know post infrequently. The more common names that people tend to look as an authority seems to take advantage and play games with readers.
     
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  6. Tyloe
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    Tyloe Junior Member

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    A lot of western sources, usually the hawkish media outlets, are totally unreliable. Respect to western analytical papers like Janes that are not over hyping the Chinese military 'threat' for their own gain. I thinks forums and blogs are the best source of news about China's military and defence industry. A few Russian sources about export and cooperative exercises with the Chinese are also good.
     
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  7. latenlazy
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    latenlazy Major

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    I would give Huitong an 8 or 8.5. He veers on the side of including more information, often at the expense of accuracy.
     
    #7 latenlazy, Jan 21, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 20, 2015
  8. tphuang
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    let's not generalize authors here. Or make it about that. Just list which source you think is reliable and which one is not.
     
  9. Skywatcher
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    Skywatcher Senior Member

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    Thanks, Blitzo.

    I don't think Bill Gertz quite qualifies (he did break news of the HGV tests, after all), my main complaint is that he hypes every rumor he hears like a fanboy on steroids.
     
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  10. siegecrossbow
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    siegecrossbow Brigadier
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    I think what by78 meant to say (although I wish he didn't put it so bluntly) was that people with Engineering/hard science backgrounds tend to have a better understanding of technical aspects of military hardware. You can't really substitute years of hardcore math/science education involving proofs, projects, and experiments with a crash course on popular science. It is easier for someone with an engineering background to spot obvious scientific B.S. than it is for a liberal arts major.
     
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