Tuesday | October 08, 2002
Praise for Google News
I have spent the last two weeks playing with the new Google News feature, and have been completely won over. It is awesome.
Just as Google ranks search results by considering the "link popularity" of a particular site, their news page posts those items that have been most covered by the 4,000 media outlets they track. This is how Google describes the service:
Google News presents information culled from approximately 4,000 news sources worldwide and automatically arranged to present the most relevant news first. Topics are updated continuously throughout the day, so you will see new stories each time you check the page. Google has developed an automated grouping process for Google News that pulls together related headlines and photos from thousands of sources worldwide -- enabling you to see how different news organizations are reporting the same story. You pick the item that interests you, then go directly to the site which published the account you wish to read.It is fascinating to take a specific event -- say the sniper shootings in the East Coast, and then see how the story has been tracked by the 1,505 media outlets covering it. From an academic standpoint, this will be invaluable research tool. From a partisan standpoint, it'll be fun to track political reporting trends through media outlets that are geographically and ideologically diverse.
In addition, those 4,000 media outlets include a wide array of news sources in non-US English-speaking nations. Thus, the news is less skewed by US corporate media interests, and more by what the international Anglo press deems important.
So suddenly, we are exposed to news from South Africa, India, UK, Ireland, Australia, Singapore, Canada and others that would fly under the radar screens of most Americans. It's already clear that the best reporting of the Bush Administration has come from the Brits -- providing a tool that will bring such articles to a wider US audience can only be a good thing.