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Web Reviews – News from across the pond.

So what’s up with Uncle Sam on the other side of the pond?[QQ] It seems he’s getting twitchy, and when that happens the mere mortals of Europe start to scratch vigorously.

The internet is the perfect medium for finding out what is happening in the US and it is interesting to see how the Americans report themselves – are they heading for an economic recession or is it a soft landing after a record period of growth?

Websites for US newspapers make a good starting point.

The Wall Street Journal’s website should be good, but it costs money to subscribe.

A shame really, as its direct competitor in the UK, FT.com, has publicly committed itself to staying free.

The Washington Post, on www.washingtonpost.com, however, is free, and is a good read.

Stylistically it looks odd – it has a modern-looking masthead alongside its traditional newspaper logo, and the home page is too busy.

But it cannot be faulted for content and serious commentary, both political and economic.

USA Today can be found at www.usatoday.com. The international tabloid is informative and to the point – plenty of gossip as well as hard news.

If you want some fun look at the ‘offbeat’ section – here you can read about such oddballs as the 20-year-old who auctioned his soul for $400 on eBay.

A must is the now notorious Drudge Report site, www.drudge report.com.

Packed with political and showbiz gossip, it certainly wouldn’t win any awards for design, but works by pulling together key news stories from a raft of online sources.

It looks like it has got every online newspaper in the US listed along with a number of UK and international titles.

Disappointingly the mainstream political parties have remarkably dull sites.

Both the Democrats, on www.democrats.org and the Republicans, www.rnc.org, have made little effort to make their sites exciting and informative.

Given the amount of dollars that end up in their collective pockets, one would have thought investment on websites would have been money well spent.

Perhaps they were too busy sending out spam emails during the course of the elections, but they certainly could learn from their political cousins on this side of the pond.

See Networking, starting on page 29, for in-depth analyses of the US economy.

OUR TOP FIVE SITES

www.washingtonpost.com

Good political and economic coverage. Let down by an odd design and cluttered homepage, but content cannot be faulted.

***

www.usatoday.com

International tabloid with wide coverage of US news. Strong political and social content and a fun ‘offbeat’ page of US oddballs.

***

www.drudgereport.com

Stripped down, straightforward news site linking to raft of US publications and columnists. High gossip content.

****

www.democrats.org

Surprisingly dull, does not fill voter with enthusiasm or the desire to contribute to the party machine. Limited news content.

*** www.rnc.org

The Republican party’s site does not outgun the Democrats. At least it tells you what GOP is. Both sites could learn from UK.

**.

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