Did you hear news? From three years, two months, and one week ago?
February 10, 2009 7:35 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for an easy way to browse the "popular" US political news stories of the past four years online ... by week. Wondering if there's a site that offers a "big stories of the week" feature.

I'm being so specific because I'm writing a time line. I have no specific events in mind that I want to research. Rather, I'm trying to find events to research.

I've looked around in the following sites but haven't found an archive through which it's "easy" for me to sift:

BBC even

Maybe the capability is in one of these and I'm just not seeing it?

Please note: I know there are "archives" but, from my experience so far, these are generally so long that I can't browse them. I want something good but pared down in some way.
posted by metajc to Media & Arts (12 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: The Economist. You can see the "Politics this week" summary, and the links at the top left let you go back to previous issues. (They consider an awful lot to be politics though.)
posted by smackfu at 7:44 AM on February 10, 2009

Along the same lines, you can flip through old Newsweek episodes on this page. Switch the cover on the left and you can click the "magazine archives" link to see the contents for that week.

I guess my general answer is to look at weekly magazines.
posted by smackfu at 7:55 AM on February 10, 2009

I am not sure if this is exactly what you mean but An Oral History of the Bush Administration can be a great jumping off point for further research. I know you did not specify the Bush Admin but it does bring up many important events that are hopefully relevant to what you are looking for.
posted by thenuts at 8:28 AM on February 10, 2009

This will still be very broad, but you can use the Google News Archive search to show stories through a timeline.
posted by shinynewnick at 10:24 AM on February 10, 2009

The wikipedia Current Events pages lets you view by month. Not exactly what you're looking for but still useful for getting a sense of the big news stories.
posted by metaname at 10:48 AM on February 10, 2009

One offbeat resource for election stories is the babble tower at ThisFuckingElection.com. It lists all the memes, catchphrases, scandals, and gaffes of Campaign '08 in roughly chronological order. You know how every week there was a new "thing" that all the pundits were talking about? It's basically a list of all those. No dates or clear delineations of time, but a quick scroll-through will remind you of a bunch of forgotten political "issues" that dominated news coverage six months or a year ago.
posted by Rhaomi at 11:02 AM on February 10, 2009

Response by poster: The Economist thing is definitely the type of thing I'm looking for ... if there's a free option, I'd love to know but, then again, I'm not against paying for information.

Please, if you know more like that, keep them coming.
posted by metajc at 11:51 AM on February 10, 2009

How about putting those sites into archive.org? It's rather erratic in date coverage but I can see exactly what the BBC's top American stories were, on 4th October 2005.
posted by Electric Dragon at 2:34 PM on February 10, 2009

Best answer: The Harper's Magazine Weekly Review should be pretty helpful, not to mention entertaining.

It covers news from around the world but most weeks there's a healthy dose of US politics in there.
posted by puffl at 2:56 PM on February 10, 2009

If you need anything more granular than a weekly roundup, Slate's Today's Paper is a great resource.

1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009.
posted by joe vrrr at 4:31 PM on February 10, 2009

Best answer: The NYT's "Open" endeavor is just getting off the ground. It will allow API access to all of the NYT newspaper content going back to 1981. Just last week, they launched API access. I'm going to some kind of launch event / workshop next week... So perhaps the NYT is about to make this a few SOAPPY-JSON calls away?
posted by zpousman at 5:36 PM on February 10, 2009

Response by poster: The Harper's Index was helpful ... I also found that I could access Memeorandum's archives back to 2005 by typing out the URL for a given day.

For example /05/0307 ... but then in 2006 they started doing it like /050307/h1800 for a given day
posted by metajc at 4:28 PM on March 17, 2009

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