Language teachers have always made much use of foreign language newspapers and magazines for teaching purposes. In the old days we used to bring back suitcases full of them from exchange visits or holidays or pop down to WH Smith for a copy of Paris Match. There is still a lot to be said for hard copy fresh or not so fresh off a real printing press, but the web now offers us much more choice (French language papers from Africa, for example) and the chance to be really up to date. Most of us have already got lots of newspaper and magazine websites in our list of bookmarked pages, but there are also some useful gateway sites that bring them together.
Let’s just stick to three of the best. First, The Paper Boy. The legendary Australian site offers links to newspaper websites from all over the world. It allows you to filter by country, so you can see everything from France, Switzerland, Ivory Coast or wherever. This site is everything you need. Well, nearly. Second, Today’s Front Pages. Aha – now we can see what’s on the front page of the actual newspaper on this very day as well as what’s on the website (plus an archive of previous front pages). Not as easy to filter as The Paper Boy, admittedly, but a handy site. Third, Kiosko. Now this site doesn’t have the range of titles that The Paper Boy can boast, but it does the today’s front page thing, so you can see what’s à la une then visit the relevant website. Plus – really clever, this bit – you can see images of all the front pages of a paper for the preceding week.
And the winner is? Extensive as The Paper Boy is, I think that, for sheer flexibility and ease of use, the gold medal goes – for now, at any rate, to Kiosko. It’s a good read.