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News and Current Events: Web Sites, Search Engines and Tools Presented by Kim Feltham, Derek Grasby Norma Godavari, Lee Anne Smith November 15, 2002 PowerPoint PPT Presentation

UBC LIBR 557 Dr. Mary Sue Stephenson. News and Current Events: Web Sites, Search Engines and Tools Presented by Kim Feltham, Derek Grasby Norma Godavari, Lee Anne Smith November 15, 2002. Today’s Presentation. Characteristics of news and current events Three main Web news sources

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News and current events web sites


Dr. Mary Sue Stephenson

News and Current Events:

Web Sites, Search Engines

and Tools

Presented by

Kim Feltham, Derek Grasby

Norma Godavari, Lee Anne Smith

November 15, 2002

Today s presentation

Today’s Presentation

  • Characteristics of news and current events

  • Three main Web news sources

    • Directories and Portals

    • Media sites

    • Search Engines

  • News Tools

  • Specialized News sites

News and current events web sites

News Never Sleeps!

Other characteristics

Other characteristics


  • News in any subject

  • Current events in any subject

  • Politics, sports, health, business, entertainment

    Issues in Content

  • Reliability - original reporting or third party

  • Advertising - how much where, what kind

  • Quality writing versus sensationalism

Other characteristics cont d

Other characteristics cont’d


  • TV and radio

  • Newspapers and magazines

  • Newswires

  • News Web Pages


  • Headlines, top stories

  • Short columns, features articles, reviews

  • Multimedia - videos, audio, photos, images.

Other characteristics cont d1

Other characteristics cont’d


  • Local – Global Vancouver

  • Regional- CBC

  • International-World News


  • Breadth

  • Depth

  • Alternative/non-mainstream information



Denial of service

  • Malicious multiple requests - October 2002

  • Causes outages and slowdowns


  • Usually malicious

  • Can shutdown site, transmit to other sites, infect programs


  • Non-malicious

  • Simultaneous log on – 9/11

  • System crashes, display changes




  • E.g. - China’s block of Google and AltaVista

    Editorial bias

  • Influence of sponsors and advertisers

    Intellectual Freedom

  • Harassment of reporters or sites

    Public scrutiny

  • Reporting practices




  • Search engines


  • Example of indexing (Killerinfo)

    News Alerts

  • Push services with pre-determined profile


  • Big daily newspapers - 5 to 90 days usually free

  • Deeper content - pay per view

How to find news on the web

How to findNEWS on the Web

News Directories and Portals

Media Outlet Sites

News Search Engines



  • Selected Resources-avoid overload

  • Examples:

    • Sites by different compilers

      • News Specialists: Open Directory Project

      • Librarian: NewsCentre

      • Journalist: JournalismNet

News and current events web sites

To JNet

To portals…..



  • Quick reference for breaking news

    Examples: Yahoo News, WorldNews, Canada.com

    • Multiple news sources

    • Shows news source and time posted

    • Subdivided into subjects and regions

    • Some have advanced searching

    • Minimum 2 weeks free archive

    • Advertising is prominent

    • Related story links

Web news comes of age

Web News Comes of Age

  • Death of Diana, Princess of Wales in 1997 major global scale news event -triggered web news expansion

  • Since - interactivity greatly increased

  • Soon after terrorist planes hit on 9/11- Web became lifeline for people trying to contact others and find latest news

Lycos search engine day of 9 11

Lycos search engineday of 9/11

Top ten search terms

  • CNN

  • News

  • World Trade Center

  • CNN News

  • cnn.com


  • ABC News

  • BBC

  • breaking news

  • world news

News and current events web sites

9/11 cont’d

  • CNN logged about 4.6 million unique visitors per day the week after attack

  • Emails flooded in -many posted

  • News sites offered audio/video coverage, but all major news sites drastically overloaded.

  • CNN, though servers ramped up for US elections, posted cut-down front page, temporarily removed video clips, ads and other stories-let users access news faster

News and current events web sites

9/11 cont’d

  • Users could not access news engines, portals

  • AltaVista first engine with relevant search results, within 2 hours-because it used news crawler Moreover

  • Others altered interfaces-putting links such as CNN on pages within 4 hours

  • Search results not up to speed until more than 6 hours after-databases not refreshed sooner

News and current events web sites

9/11 cont’d

  • Just after first attack, worldwide fall by about 10% in network traffic as people stopped trying to get immediate information online-turned to television and radio

  • Email, instant messaging, and web pages allowed communication when phone lines were jammed

News and current events web sites

9/11 cont’d

  • Since 9/11, surge in demand for Web world news has parallelled internet expansion and globalization

  • Shift from mainly western to worldwide news sites

  • Arab websites and alternative news websites have seen a surge in use

News and current events web sites

9/11 cont’d

  • Revival of reporting of foreign news and serious news

  • News sites are creating special archives

  • Articles about the affect of September 11 on news media

News media sites

News Media Sites

  • News coverage from one network

  • Minute by minute updates

  • In depth coverage, related stories, special reports, archives

  • Multimedia

  • Advertising

  • Examples: CNN, BBC, CBC

To Search Engines…

Search engines

Search Engines

Search engines for news yes and no

Search Engines for News?Yes and No…….

News searching

News Searching

When NOT to use a search engine:

  • If timeliness is an issue

    • breaking news

  • If geography is an issue

    • local news

Search engine chart see handout

Search Engine Chart – see Handout

Idiosyncrasies of search engines

Idiosyncrasies of Search Engines

  • Searches

    • Default command AND or OR?

    • Boolean logic?

      • advanced searches are more specific

    • Case sensitive?

      • allows more specific results

    • Phrase searching?

      • allow more precision

Idiosyncrasies of search engines1

Idiosyncrasies of Search Engines

  • Coverage

    • Dates covered?

      • how far back are the archives?

    • Update Frequency

      • how up-to-date are they?

    • Sources

      • news wires?

      • web sites?

      • news sources?

Idiosyncrasies of search engines2

Idiosyncrasies of SearchEngines

  • Results

    • How are the results sorted?

      • relevancy?

      • date?

      • option to change order?

      • unknown?

    • News monitoring?

      • Will they send you news?

All the web

All the Web

Northern light

Northern Light

Yahoo news

Yahoo! News



Google news

Google News

Google news1

Google News

News tools specialized news

News Tools / Specialized News

  • Personalized News

  • News Alerts

  • News Magazines

  • Specialty News

  • Alternative News

Personalized news

Personalized News

  • News sites that attempt to personalize the news


  • http://www.crayon.net

    • Gathers links according to criteria set into categories

Crayon screen capture

CRAYON Screen Capture



  • Headlines listed as links

  • Rates importance of article

  • Remembers preference when changing computers

  • Use X to indicate no interest

  • Drawback - cluttered presentation



  • Summarizes news from various sources

News alerts push services

News Alerts/Push Services

  • CNN

  • New York Times

  • Washington Post



  • News alerts include

    • Breaking news

    • Newsletters

    • CNN specificity on programs – Crossfire, etc.

News magazines

News Magazines

  • Usually have a news specific audience providing commentary on news stories.

  • Examples Maclean’s and Time

    • limited access outside of vendor based systems



  • Provides full text access to thousands of articles

  • Contains articles dated back to 1998 from more than 300 magazines and journals (Gale Group provides content)

  • Accepts quoted phrases, +, -

  • Live search

Screen shot findarticles

Screen shot findarticles

Specialty news

Specialty News

  • Sites focused at a specific group or clientele

  • Broad subject area entertainment, sports, etc.

  • E.g. Financial Site

Financial news


  • Bloomberg.com

    -real time stock quotes,

  • IHT – Business Asia

  • Geographic separation of financial news and tools.

    • Currency conversion, search engine, good tools to visit top articles

Alternative news

Alternative News

  • Credible stories outside mainstream media

  • Can be controversial, unexpected and often critical of governments

  • Digital Freedom Network

Satirical news

Satirical News

  • Some details are true but the rest is embellished or fabricated

  • Intended to make a point and to provide humor relief

  • Broken news link http://www.brokennewz.com/worldnews/weekendatbinladens.asp

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