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


Status
Not open for further replies.

Deino

Lieutenant General
Staff member
Super Moderator
Registered Member
Just fitting nicely to so many discussions here and at other forums "Bltizo" made this proposal ...

This is why I think it will be useful to have a master post or at least a thread naming and/or discussing the reliable sources and the typical non reliable sources from which everyone sources their info and pics from... It'll help new members get their bearings quicker and contribute to the conversation faster and maybe even cause some mainstream media to reassess what's useful and what isn't for PLA matters given how many of their breakthroughs are often indirectly sourced from here...

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
 

tphuang

Brigadier
VIP Professional
Registered Member
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.
 

Skywatcher

Captain
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.
 

Bltizo

Lieutenant General
Staff member
Super Moderator
Registered Member
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.
 

AssassinsMace

Brigadier
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.
 

Tyloe

Junior Member
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.
 

latenlazy

Colonel
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.
I would give Huitong an 8 or 8.5. He veers on the side of including more information, often at the expense of accuracy.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Skywatcher

Captain
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.
 

siegecrossbow

Brigadier
Staff member
Super Moderator
I nominate David Axe, Zachary Keck, Richard Aboulafia, and Pinkov (Kanwa Information Center) for general unreliability and crankery.

They should be ignored, or if your mood suits you, read their stuff to get a good laugh.

As a rule of thumb, people who have liberal arts degrees (esp. English Literature or Political Science majors) are usually the most voluble when in fact they are the least knowledgable:

1) David Axe: English Literature major
2) Zachary Keck: Political Science major
3) Richard Aboulafia: History major

As a corollary to the above, read only opinions from those who have technical/engineering background or have defense industry experience, excluding lobbyists.

I would give Huitong an 8 or 8.5. He veers on the side of including more information, often at the expense of accuracy.




I'm a political science major, so I take offence to that suggestion. Best to look at records rather than labels.

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.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Top