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 • Directories and Portals • Media sites • Search Engines • News Tools • Specialized News sites
Other characteristics Content • 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 Sources • TV and radio • Newspapers and magazines • Newswires • News Web Pages Format • Headlines, top stories • Short columns, features articles, reviews • Multimedia - videos, audio, photos, images.
Other characteristics cont’d Scope • Local – Global Vancouver • Regional- CBC • International-World News Coverage • Breadth • Depth • Alternative/non-mainstream information
Attacks Denial of service • Malicious multiple requests - October 2002 • Causes outages and slowdowns Virus • Usually malicious • Can shutdown site, transmit to other sites, infect programs Overloads • Non-malicious • Simultaneous log on – 9/11 • System crashes, display changes
Censorship Blocks • 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
Searching Ranking • Search engines Results • Example of indexing (Killerinfo) News Alerts • Push services with pre-determined profile Archives • Big daily newspapers - 5 to 90 days usually free • Deeper content - pay per view
How to findNEWS on the Web News Directories and Portals Media Outlet Sites News Search Engines
Directories • Selected Resources-avoid overload • Examples: • Sites by different compilers • News Specialists: Open Directory Project • Librarian: NewsCentre • Journalist: JournalismNet
To JNet To portals…..
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 • 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 engineday of 9/11 Top ten search terms • CNN • News • World Trade Center • CNN News • cnn.com • MSNBC • ABC News • BBC • breaking news • world news
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
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
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
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
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 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…
News Searching When NOT to use a search engine: • If timeliness is an issue • breaking news • If geography is an issue • local news
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 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 SearchEngines • Results • How are the results sorted? • relevancy? • date? • option to change order? • unknown? • News monitoring? • Will they send you news?