That's the interesting thing about history. When news stories are written about current events, they can often be politicized and slanted, distorted, and exaggerated, and we (or at least I) have realized that the news doesn't always tell the whole story. But once these stories are in the history books it almost seems like they develop in stature as being the historical "truth". Perhaps this is the case because scholars, even though they may disagree, have come to at least some concensus on the matter.
So where do we draw the line between current events and history? Sometimes the lines are blurred. After all, some events of the past five years have begun to enter the history books even though they are still used as political tools. I don't think there is an entirely clear answer to your question, although generally speaking if something or someone has moved out of being only in the newspapers to being in the history books, it becomes "recent history".
For example, the impeachment of President Clinton is an example of "recent history" even though it's still brought up in current politics these days. Perhaps Donnie can give us his thoughts on the matter since this issue must have come up at least tangentially in some of his classes.