Anyone who hasn't been living under a rock for the last couple of years has probably realized the Internet is probably the most significant step in the last two decades with regards to how we perceive news and the world we live in. However, instantaneous coverage leads to information overload-especially if one takes into account the number of blogs out there, the majority of which are utterly useless and unreadable. Thus, professionally-edited and user-moderated communities have become some of the most useful ways to find interesting and insightful stories from around the world.
Today's Front Pages
Hosted by the Washington Interactive Museum of News (or, "Newseum"), Today's Front Pages allows you to read high-resolution scans of newspaper front-pages from across 54 countries. Especially interesting is the "sort by region" option, allowing users to see what papers from the farthest corners of the globe look like. Also of interest on the site is the Freedom Forum Journalists Memorial, which pays homage to journalists who have been killed for merely doing their jobs.
Anyone familiar with the whole Web-Two-Point-Oh-Ajax-Ruby-on-Rails-YouTube-Stumbleupon-Interwebs Experience already knows about Digg. Digg allows users to submit and rate content, allowing the best to rise to the surface. Find a good article or website? List it on Digg. If other users like it, they'll give it "Diggs," making it more popular. While it's a little heavy on geek and nerd news, it's possible to filter for only political or world news.
An irreverent look at all the pointless news the media uses as filler material, it's worth reading if only for the humorous captions the submitters give the stories. The politics and tech channels are also pretty good and slightly more meaningful.
AlterNet is an award-winning alternative media outlet that provides commentary and coverage of topics such as civil liberties and foreign policy. You probably won't like it if you voted Conservative last election.
The Truth Laid Bear
The Truth Laid Bear collects and reports what the conservative blogosphere is freaking out about today. It provides news and commentary from people as interesting as Michelle Malkin, Ann Coulter and your parents. You probably won't like it if you voted sensibly last election.
How do you define a day, a week, a month or a year in the technology age? Seeing what people searched for on Google's a start. Google Zeitgeist ranks the queries people type, giving a unique snapshot of what's currently hot or what was hot a year ago. This week, it's Richard Jeni. It'll be interesting to see how dated that seems when somebody pulls up this article a year from now...
The OnionLastly, The Onion provides an entirely satirical analysis of current events with such
an effectively serious tone that several user-generated news websites have had to blacklist it and warn users about posting its content accidentally. It's poignant, provocative and always incredibly well-written.