I Can’t Believe It’s Free: The Week
I don’t watch the 24-hour news channels very much, but I did tune in during the Osama Bin Laden story. I was struck by how hard it was to get the actual story on these channels. Instead, there were lots of wordy pundits, eager to put their own loud spin on events even as they were unfolding.
As I watched, I got the sense that many of these channels are catering to people who 1) have infinite amounts of time, 2) want their news outlet to confirm what they already think, and 3) enjoy picking political spats with family members at Thanksgiving. For the other 90 percent of us, there’s The Week. And it’s now available as an Android and iPhone app.
For several years I’ve subscribed The Week in print. It comes every Saturday. Spend 20 minutes with it, and you get your current events “booster shot” that helps you shine at work and at cocktail parties. The editors at The Week comb through newspaper and magazine stories from around the world and succinctly summarize the week’s most important events. More importantly, they scrutinize what the editorials have said about those stories — in both “liberal” and “conservative” publications. A regular feature called “How They See Us” even examines what publications overseas are saying about U.S. news stories. The Week always cites its sources clearly, so you can go back to the original article if you want to learn more.
The Week has a lighter side too — collections of the best political cartoons, reviews of movies and T.V. shows, and a roundup of celebrity gossip.
The app has tabs like “The Latest News,” which today features topics ranging from immigration reform to Oprah’s last guest. Another tab called “Editor’s Choice” picks the most interesting stories from a longer period of time. Here, you’ll find stories ranging from Detroit’s 47% illiteracy rate to Bristol Palin’s (possible) plastic surgery. “Cartoons” collects the funniest and most pointed work from publications across the country. Other tabs allow you to browse stories in more specific categories and even bookmark stories to read later.
My only complaint with the app is that it sometimes takes 10 or 20 seconds to load on my Android phone. But the content is worth the wait.