It seems that with all of the viewpoints, no one has presented what is most essential in obtaining the "facts": an unbiased opinion.
You do not have to have gone in person to a sled race, or a kennel, to know whether or not there is cruelty going on. With today's resources, you should be able to stay in sunny Florida and not have to travel to the frozen wind-swept state of Alaska in order to find a problem. All you have to do is find honest, verifiable, non-biased sources that have.
Newspaper articles are our prime source for unbiased information which presents both sides of the story. As a certain Mrs. Glickman has pointed out, newspapers, such as Alaska's, can be biased, too. In general, however, newspapers are a reliable source of information.
There are three main exceptions to this. They should be obvious.
1. Opinion columns. Interesting as they may be, they can not be presented as fact.
2. Publications catering to a particular idea. A magazine titled "Saying No to Pets" will probably not present an unbiased argument on pets.
3. Quotes taken out of context. A pet peeve of many, and can be hard to spot. Quoting "sled dogs are beaten" from an article is not accurate (or ethical) when the rest of the sentence reads "during no part of the race". Reading the whole section or article will prevent this kind of misinterpretation.
Its alright to believe some of what you read, but I can state "sled dogs hate running, and the mushers beat them with whips because they hate dogs and only care about money", and you can post it under a section entitled "facts", and it still may not be true. Again, the trick is finding good sources.
Photos must be real, right? The problem is people can view them in multiple ways. A picture of a dog chained to a pole only proves that that dog, or dogs, is chained to a pole sometimes. It does not prove that that dog is abused, or neglected. Some people have found that parts of photos displayed at certain web pages are fakes.
Videos are a much better reference. They can't lie, and they show more than an instant captured in time. It does not matter how much people state "mushers never beat dogs" if there is a video showing one doing just that. Though they can be edited, even videos from biased organizations show what is really happening.
Is there no one else out there who has gone to Alaska, and written and taped an unbiased account of the race, the dogs, and their mushers? Well I have been there twice, and though I have seen only sumertime kennels, I am willing to go again. Will anyone support me on this?