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News Searching Revisited
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Posted On February 1, 2002
In one of my first NewsLink articles (January 2000; http://newsbreaks.infotoday.com/nbreader.asp?ArticleID=18798), I wrote about special news search resources. Moreover.com had recently launched its news headline service and I discussed it and a few others. Last October, Chris Sherman, a friend and fellow news junkie, had a weeklong focus on news searching in his free SearchDay newsletter (http://searchenginewatch.com/searchday/archives.html). It's still worthwhile reading, even if there has been the inevitable death or two. Given the continually changing Web landscape and some recent modifications to a couple of my favorite news sites, I thought this would be a good time to revisit Moreover and mention some other current news-specific resources that I find useful.

For the last year or so I've subscribed to free daily e-mail updates from Moreover that provide headlines for several categories of Internet news: content, legal issues, and search engines. There are 24 categories just within the Internet channel. There's also a technology channel with 28 categories to choose from, as well as channels for business, finance, regional news, and many more. While I've tried many other e-mail update services for Internet and technology news, I really like the Moreover categories and results.

One limitation is that Moreover has started charging news sites to be featured in these e-mailed news updates. It may crawl a site (such as http://www.infotoday.com) for headlines to include in its full competitive intelligence database that paying customers access, but not include these non-paying sites in the free e-mail updates. (It's a good thing we have NewsLink to let readers know about stories we've posted.) Moreover's focus, of course, is on licensing its technology and customized news products to corporations and portals, but its Showcase News Portal (http://www.moreover.com/news) is a good place to check for breaking stories. It recently limited search results to the latest five story headlines, but if you register (there's a free login), you can expand the search results to 25 headlines. (Here you can retrieve some headlines from the non-paying sites, including infotoday.com.) Moreover often comes through for me when I'm chasing down a news story, and it's particularly good at pulling in news from the U.K.

Another favorite is the special news search at AllTheWeb.com. It often scoops some of the other sites I check when monitoring breaking news. The site has added a separate News search cluster running the FAST real-time search technology. This cluster crawls more than 3,000 sources, and continuously updates the news catalog all day long (at a rate of up to 800 articles per minute). The advanced search capability allows users to select categories of news, such as U.S., International, Business, Sports, Technology, and several others, or to search all categories. Users can also limit the search by freshness, ranging from 2 hours to the past week. It doesn't offer e-mail news updates however.

For news that focuses on a particular company or topic, northernlight.com is a good place to sign up for its free e-mail alerts and news search capability. Despite the recent sale of the company to divine and the deal with Yahoo! for its premium content collection, northernlight.com is still a good source for current news. Its Current News feature provides a search of the past 2 weeks of news stories from over 117 sources from 62 news wires and online publications. Current News also includes continually updated real-time headlines, weather, and sports. All documents are free. News stories older than 2 weeks are available on a pay-per-view basis.

One source that Sherman alerted me to is Yahoo! News Full Coverage (http://fullcoverage.yahoo.com). I had used various Yahoo! news resources, but I didn't realize what the Full Coverage provided: links to news stories picked by human editors. The quality is high and offers a good way to scope out a news event. Yahoo! provides an excellent general news portal. I especially like the business news categorized by industry (http://biz.yahoo.com/industry) for getting press releases from PR Newswire and BusinessWire. You can sign up to receive e-mail alerts with news bulletins by category, such as technology, or specify keywords for a search alert. However, I've found the delivery of my search alerts to be somewhat erratic-not reliable like with Northern Light or Moreover.

If you have a favorite news site, like The New York Times, The Washington Post, or CNN, you can sign up for free e-mail alerts. Some company Web sites will also let you sign up to receive regular news and product information. After all, it's in their best interests to keep customers and potential clients informed. And Sherman mentioned a number of other good resources in his series. Another colleague, Gary Price, is the eagle eye for breaking news for information professionals. Check out his Weblog, The Virtual Acquisition Shelf & News Desk (http://resourceshelf.blogspot.com); he also offers the highlights by weekly e-mail.

Of course, I haven't cancelled those Custom Clips I still get for my chosen topics in Dow Jones Interactive, or the specialized e-mail newsletters I subscribe to, or the newsgroups that I monitor for tips and leads on breaking stories, or Yup, it's a news addiction.


Paula J. Hane is a freelance writer and editor covering the library and information industries. She was formerly Information Today, Inc.’s news bureau chief and editor of NewsBreaks.


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