Google News has been one of
the usual suspects when you want to monitor current news. The
challenge of Google News is that the layout and organization of the
stories is done by algorithm rather than by a real live human. This
sometimes results in stories from less reliable sources being
featured, at the expense of providing links to more trustworthy
sources. Perhaps the more significant issue is that, in order to
read any of the news, you need to click through to the story. Want
another perspective? You'll have to go back to Google News, skim the
headlines and decide what other sources offer better coverage.
Google has partnered with The Washington Post and The New York Times to
provide a more journalistic approach to providing news. This new
Living Stories, provides more in-depth coverage of ongoing
stories. Right now, the news items being covered include the war in
Afghanistan, H1N1 flu, health care reform, global warming and the
debate over executive compensation. Yes, a bit US-centric, but I
have hopes that Google will expand to more global issues.
Each story includes an in-depth review of the issues involved, a
timeline showing key events, selected news articles and features,
videos, slideshows, graphics, profiles of the key players, and links
to key resources. Because these "living stories" are maintained by
editors rather than generated algorithmically, they offer a way to
get a good introduction and perspective on a current issue.
Living Stories may not be the go-to source for late-breaking news
stories, but this is an exciting initiative. In fact, I hope that
newspapers everywhere look at how Living Stories is received; this
is a great way to leverage all the content that newspapers produce
and tap into the knowledge of reporters by including links to
the key primary sources as well.
An In-depth Look at the News
by Mary Ellen Bates Bates Information Services
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