Wednesday, May 09, 2007

What we've always needed

News researchers who've been searching news archives for thirty years, now, have always known the limitations of news retrieval databases.

From the old days when reporters had to ask a researcher to 'do a Nexis on this', to now, when everyone's doing their own research, we know that when you dip into the archives you don't necessarily know where to focus the search, until you've browsed a lot of less relevant stories.

Researchers on a mission to find, say, only the best investigative stories on a topic have tricks like searching the IRE's story archive. Or maybe now, using something like LexisNexis News to find a quick collection of stories on a hot topic. But now, how to also add the best blog postings and oddball news sources to it?

So here's someone else thinking about this, linked by Dave Winer: Amyloo writes Cull it for me, but be specific: who has the best news coverage of this one thing. Great thoughts about what a boon a service that aggregated the best coverage for you would be.
For ongoing stories, like the U.S. attorney firing scandal, you get all the Talking Points Memo posts about it, plus all the stories about it from a big paper, maybe it's the Post, maybe not, for that particular issue. Depends on whose reporter has fire in the belly about it or seems to have the closest sources.
For the story on selling the need to attack Iraq, it was the McClatchy (then Knight-Ridder) reporters who owned the story, but most of us didn't know about that until Bill Moyers told us years later.

(Ahem, a few others pointed that out a long time ago....)

Wouldn't that be great?

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