Utne Blogs > Politics

Stimulating Stimulus Coverage

by Cally Carswell 


Tags: Politics, media, financial crisis, economic stimulus, recession, New York Times, This American Life, Morning Edition, Planet Money, Marketplace,

Desperate times call for desperate measures and, hopefully, desperately good reporting. But when it comes to the stimulus package—the crucial tonic, we’re told, for our ailing economy—are we getting it?

I’ve been on the prowl for solid, digestible treatments of the strengths and weaknesses of the multi-billion dollar plan, because frankly, I need some help wrapping my head around it. But the stories that seem to be everywhere—those detailing the demise of Obama’s honeymoon (starts around 3:15), accounts of partisan gamesmanship, and analyses of who’s winning the spin wars—make good fodder for gossip sessions, but do little to help us understand how we got into this mess and form educated opinions about the best way out of it.

Here are a few things we found helpful (and have enjoyed) so far:

From the New York Times, lessons the U.S. can learn from Japan’s stimulus spending in the ‘90s, which included heavy infrastructure investments.

Two stories from This American Life and Morning Edition describe the Keynesian approach of the stimulus package (starts around 36:15) and evaluate its merits. TAL has also done great, compelling reporting on the housing and financial crises.

NPR’s Planet Money blog has some handy maps that act as visual guides to the stimulus plan’s expected state-by-state impact.

Marketplace’s “decoder” series translates econ-speak into language normal people can understand.

Keep it coming, people: If you’ve come across particularly good stimulus coverage, let us know about it in the comments section below.

Sources: New York Times, This American Life, Morning Edition, Planet Money, Marketplace