DISCOVER | Online Advanced
On this page you’ll find links and descriptions of web sites that can provide hours of advanced-level reading and listening. The page is organized into topics to make browsing easy.
If you’d like to suggest other sources to include on this page, please send me an e-mail, and I’ll look at them. My address is warren [at] successfulenglish [dot] com.
- Newspapers and News Magazines
- Magazines and Journals – Business | The Arts & Culture | Science & Technology
- Human Interest (including Mr. Ayers and Mr. Lopez)
- Radio & Television
- Video – Education (including iTunes U) | Inspiring Ideas
Newspapers & News Magazines
The New York Times – The New York Times is an American daily newspaper that was founded in 1851. It’s one of the largest and one of the most respected newspapers in the U.S. The paper’s motto – All the news that’s fit (appropriate) to print. – appears on the front page.
If you aren’t sure where to begin, look at the Today’s Paper and Most Popular links at the top of the home page. Go to the Opinion page and look Columnists for good essays. The Times also has a global (international) edition and a popular weekly magazine.
The Christian Science Monitor – The Christian Science Monitor is an international daily newspaper that moved onto the Internet in 2009. It is published online Monday through Friday. The print edition is now published only once a week rather than every day, like most newspapers. The Monitor is known as a “serious” newspaper because it avoids sensational stories and focuses on objective, informative stories that provide “clarity and context.”
As the creators of the Monitor have begun to concentrate on their online edition, they have developed multimedia projects, like Little Bill Clinton, an award-winning story of a year in the life of a young refugee from Tanzania.
Newsweek, Time, and U.S. News and World Report – These are three popular weekly news Magazines. Newsweek and Time report a broad range of topics including popular culture – entertainment, etc. U.S. News and World Report focuses more on political, economic, education, and health stories.
All three are good sources for weekly essays and feature (more complete) coverage of significant people, events, and topics. All three of them have a good index on their home page and links to Most Popular stories and essays.
Columbia Journalism Review – Think of the CJR as news and comments about the news. It reports and comments on newspaper, magazine, radio, television and Internet journalism. If you’re interested in gathering, writing, and reporting news or the relationship between journalism and society, you will probably enjoy the CJR. The motto (a phrase that summarizes their beliefs) of the Review is “Strong Press, Strong Democracy” – an idea that comes from Thomas Jefferson, one of the men who helped write the American Constitution.
creators.com – creators.com is a syndicate, an organization that represents writers. You will find columns, or essays, by creator.com writers in most of the popular newspapers and news magazines across the U.S. I encourage you to begin by looking at the Editor Picks or Hot Topics on the home page. You can also look at lists of writers who are politically and socially conservative or those who are politically and socially liberal. There are excellent writers in both groups!
Magazines & Journals | Business
Business Week – Businessweek.com provides up-to-the-minute news, podcasts, blogs, multimedia slide shows, video reports and interactive features. The BW web site is divided into seven channels: news (homepage), finance, technology, innovation, management, small business, and global. It was named the web site of the year by the American Association of Business Publications Editors for 2009.
The Economist – The Economist is an influential weekly news and international affairs publication written for sophisticated, educated readers. It claims to be the leading onlince source for the analysis of world business and current affairs. It covers international news, world politics, business, finance, science and technology, as well as overviews of cultural trends. In addition to a good table of contents on the home page, there are lists of Most Commented, Recommended, and Read articles at the top of the page.
Forbes – Forbes an excellent online source for the latest business and financial news and analysis. It covers personal finance, lifestyle, technology, and stock markets. Forbes is well known for their lists, such as The World’s Billionaires, The 400 Richest Americans, American’s Best Colleges. It is similar in many ways to Business Week and Fortune. The site is well-organized and easy to navitage.
Wall Street Journal – The Wall Street Journal is the largest circulation (distribution) newspaper in the United States. It covers general news as well as U.S. and international business and financial news and issues. The name comes from Wall Street, the street in New York City that is the center of the financial district. It is highly respected and has won many awards.
Harvard Business Review – The Harvard Business Review is a general management magazine written for business people. Many of its articles are research-based, and it is popular among leading academics, executives, and management consultants. It contains articles on entrepreneurship, leadership, innovation, nonprofit organizations, and best practices.
Magazines & Journals | The Arts & Culture
The Atlantic Magazine – The Atlantic began as The Atlantic Monthly, a literary and cultural commentary magazine. It focuses on foreign affairs, politics, the economy, and cultural trends. The target audience is what The Atlantic calls “thought leaders,” people who are influential in American life and culture. It has special sections, called channels, for business, politics, and food.
National Geographic – This is a web site for the eyes! National Geographic is a highly popular magazine that contains articles about geography, popular science, history, culture, current events, and photography. The web site also provides daily news. The National Geographic has always been known for its outstanding photography, which is displayed throughout the web site. The primary goal of the web site is to “inspire people to care about the planet.”
The New Republic – The New Republic is an American magazine of politics, foreign policy, and culture. It’s mission, or purpose, is to provide readers with an intelligent, stimulating, and careful examination of these three areas. It contains sections on the politics, books & arts, economy, energy & environment, health care. The New Republic’s political and foreign policy views are similar to those of American presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy.
The New Yorker – The New Yorker features news and commentary (opinion), criticism (analysis of literary or art works), essays, humor, fiction, and poetry about life and culture in New York and the U.S. Throughout its history, The New Yorker has featured the writing of some of America’s best writers, including E.B. White, one of my favorites.
The Smithsonian – The Smithsonian Institution is a large public educational and research institute that is best known for its group of museums in Washington, D.C. The web site reflects the Institute’s many areas of interest and provides a broad view of American life and history. It has sections devoted to history & archeology, people & places, science & nature, arts & culture, and travel.
The Daily Beast – The Daily Beast is a contemporary news and opinion web site published by Tina Brown, who became well known for her work at Vanity Fair and The New Yorker. It is unique because about one-third of its content is original and the rest is a collection of links from other sources. These links appear in the popular Cheat Sheet, which contains summaries and links to stories from other sources. From time to time the site creates large features, collections of stories and links, related to important topics, or subjects, such as President Obama’s inauguration, the Madoff Ponzi scheme, or the unrest in Iran.
Magazines & Journals | Science & Technology
Science Daily – Science Daily, which has more than 3-million visitors a month, calls itself “your source for the latest research news.” It covers a wide range of scientific topics, including health & medicine, mind & brain, plants & animals, earth & climate, space & time, matter & energy, computers & math, and fossils & ruins. They “showcase the top science news stories from the world’s leading universities and research organizations.” The site includes a special search function so readers can easily do their own research using the site’s large archives (a place where historical documents are kept).
Science News – Science News is devoted to short articles about scientific and technical developments. Most of the articles come from recent scientific and technical journals and are chosen to appeal both to general readers and scientists. It covers a variety of topics: atom & cosmos, body & brain, earth, environment, genes & cells, humans, life, matter & energy, molecules, science & society, and others. A well-organized, informative home page makes it easy to quickly find articles.
Wired – The Wired web site calls itself “the essential daily guide to what’s next,” to how technology is changing the world. It focuses on new methods, ideas, and products and how technology affects technology, science, business, and culture.
Mr. Ayers and Mr. Lopez – Nathaniel Ayers is a gifted African-American musician who suffered a severe mental breakdown while attending Julliard School, one of the world’s leading music schools. Steve Lopez is the Los Angeles Times writer who discovered Mr. Ayers, 35 years later, playing cello on the streets of Los Angeles and became his friend. This compelling collection of video from 60 Minutes (CBS News) and articles written by Mr. Lopez will inspire you. Must reading and listening!
Your America from Reader’s Digest – Reader’s Digest has been a popular American magazine for nearly 100 years. It is well-known for its stories about inspiring people who often had to overcome difficult situations to succeed or survive. The stories in Your America are inspiring, exciting, and easy to understand.
Radio & Television
Voice of America (VOA) – VOA is well-known to English learners because of their Special English program. This is the main VOA home page. Look at the Features; you’ll find many interesting articles in the American Life, News Analysis, and Special Reports sections. A bonus for English learners: most of the articles include an audio recording and a transcript (text copy) so you can read and listen at the same time.
National Public Radio (NPR) – NPR is recognized internationally for its high-quality news, talk, and entertainment programming. It is non-commercial (no advertising), privately-supported, and operated by a non-profit organization. It is non-commercial (no advertising), privately-supported, and operated by a non-profit organization.
Public Broadcasting System (PBS) – PBS produces a large variety of high-quality television and online news, educational, entertainment, cultural, and historical content. My favorites: The Newshour, Bill Moyer’s Journal, and Washington Week with Gwen Ifill. PBS is non-commercial, like NPR, and is supported by a combination of private and government funds.
Video | Education
Academic Earth – Academic Earth is a collection of free online video lectures from American universities. You can view all the lectures from one class or use the playlists, which are lectures organized by theme, such as the sound of music, laws of nature, wars throughout history, and understanding the financial crisis. Many of the lectures include transcripts, the text of the lecture. Links to transcripts can be found under the Related Resources heading on the same page as the lecture.
iTunes U – iTunes U – a part of the iTunes Store – is the most complete online collection of free academic lectures and cultural content. It includes more than 200,000 audio and video files from American and international universities – like Yale, Stanford, Berkeley, MIT, Oxford, and Cambridge – PBS stations, and cultural organizations, like the Smithsonian Institution and Metropolitan Museum of Art. Watch this introductory video to learn how to find and use iTunes U.
Video | Inspiring Ideas
TED: Ideas worth spreading – Each year, TED conferences bring the world’s leading thinkers and doers together to share their ideas. Presentations are short – no more than 20 minutes – but full of excitement, stimulation, and challenge. For an introduction, watch A Taste of TED. TED videos now include a transcript of the video that can be used to navigate – move forward and backward – the video by clicking on the text in the transcript.
PopTech! – PopTech! is similar in many ways to TED. It includes video presentations from the PopTech! annual conference, which brings together 700 influential people who explore issues, trends and technologies that will shape the future of our world.