The sources I mentioned are the place where people get published. So first strategy is go to skip media and reach out for original sources. I know reading a paper can be a nightmare, so you can read a featured review articles in those journal. For example these articles.
If you have hard time picking up which one to read, then you can use number of citations as a measure to decide what deserve your attention. If you stick to your own area of expertise, then you if it is correct or not. You can check educational background and previous work to decide the validity of their present work.
Research done in physics are not personal opinions. Mathematics speaks for itself. So I don't think that you will ever encounter media bias if you stick to reputed people from reputed journal.
As per finding book recommendations, you can refer back to your current or favorite textbooks to find what those author ask you to read further. You can watch public lectures of your favorite physicist or visit their website to find out their recommendations. Feynman Lectures is the most popular book among new comers of physics students. So I am assuming you know about it. He has given several book recommendation in between the book.
Another approach for validity of article it to refer to comment section and evaluate how heated or constructive is the debate following the article. Look for previous article by same author to see if he just expresses controversial to have more clicks.
For long time, I have been following this list for book recommendation. Inside these books have recommendation for my next book. http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/physics/Administrivia/booklist...
Since you ask for my personal opinion, so I would recommend reading this book. And you know what it is freely hosted on MIT website. It is What is life by Erwin Schrödinger.