Chapter 5 Yahoo! News - Information Today, Inc. Books

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Chapter 5

Yahoo! News

Whether you're a dedicated newshound, need to track a recent story on a particular topic, or just want to keep up on what's happening, Yahoo! News is a good place to start. Yahoo! has offered news since early in its history and now has one of the best news sites on the Web. Yahoo! News is not only fresh, extensive, and searchable, but beautifully integrated into other Yahoo! offerings such as My Yahoo! and Yahoo! Financial.

The strength of Yahoo! News is focused in three areas: the News home page with the day's headlines, the news search engine, and the news alert service. Each of these includes a variety of features, which we'll talk about in this chapter.


Yahoo! draws its news from more than 7,000 sources in 35 languages. This includes both news providers with which Yahoo! has licensing agreements and Web sources that it has identified and crawls on a constant basis. Yahoo! News sources include Reuters, the Associated Press (AP), Agence France-Presse (AFP), National Public Radio (NPR), USA Today, , Canadian Press, Dow Jones, Forbes, Financial Times, BusinessWeek Online, Investor's Business Daily, and approximately 20 other providers. Also included are news sources from 45 U.S. cities. Different sources provide the content for various Yahoo! News categories. For example, Reuters, AP, and AFP provide the majority of main News


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page items, while E!Online only delivers content to the Entertainment category. News from the other 7,000 or so sources goes into the news database and is searchable, but does not appear on the News home page. The links to "Full Coverage" in the Yahoo! news pages refer to these 7,000 additional sources.

News from Reuters and the AP remains in Yahoo!'s News database for two weeks. News from other sources is typically retained for a month. This varies somewhat depending on the source; some stories may remain for as little as seven days. In general, don't expect to find news in Yahoo! that's older than a month. For a list of Yahoo! News sources, check news-03.html.


Its "front page" presentation of headlines makes Yahoo! a popular choice for quickly checking on what's happening in the world (see Figure 5.1). Yahoo!'s News home page features a major headline in each of these categories: Top Stories, Business, World, Entertainment, Technology, Politics, Science, Health, Oddly Enough, and Op-Ed. Each category includes the headline, which is linked to the complete article, the source, how long ago the story appeared (in minutes and hours), and the lead paragraph. If the article includes a photo, you'll see a thumbnail image. Some stories include a link to video footage. A "Full Coverage" link leads to additional articles in that section. You can also look at all stories in a category by source (e.g., Reuters).

Yahoo!'s News Directory, which appears on the left side of the News home page, lets you quickly browse any of the topical news sections, as well as comics, weather, and audio and video clips. Click on any category to get headlines and links to subcategories. If you click on World, for example, the resulting page not only displays international news stories but a list of geographic subdivisions under World on the directory side of the page. Click on Europe, Middle East, or Canada to get news stories about those regions.

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Figure 5.1 Yahoo! News Home Page (news.)

Beneath the News Directory are sections labeled Slideshows, Snapshots, Comics, Full Coverage, Resources, Services, News via RSS, and Audio/Video. Each of these provides more detailed access to Yahoo!'s news content and deserves a closer look:

? Slideshows ? Click on Photo Highlight Slideshow for a display of featured photographs. The Gallery and Slideshow links lead to collections of photos on various themes, and photos on current news topics presented in slideshow format.

? Snapshots ? The photos here are from a Yahoo! partner, such as USA Today, and link to additional images and features.

? Comics ? Get your daily chuckle here from the day's featured cartoon, then click on More Comics for, you guessed it, more. There's a good chance you'll find your favorite comic strip here, since Yahoo! provides access to 40-plus well-known comics. Editorial cartoons get their own page,

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with current and recent contributions from 18 political cartoonists. ? Full Coverage ? This section offers links to in-depth coverage of leading news stories, including relevant articles from all 7,000 sources that the Yahoo! search engine crawls. When you click on a story from one of the "crawled" sources, you go to that publication's own site rather than to a Yahoo! page. Regional, national, and international publications offer an additional wealth of stories, multimedia, archives, and other features, all presented with the style, perspective, and emphasis of that particular newspaper or other source. ? Resources ? This miscellaneous collection includes News Web Sites (a link to the News and Media category of the Yahoo! Directory), News by Region (a link to the By Region subcategory of News and Media), What's New (in Yahoo!'s News offerings), News Message Boards (discussed later in this chapter), Corrections (aggregated corrections to stories from AP and Reuters), Today in History (from the AP feature by that name), Obituaries, and a site map for Yahoo! News. ? Services ? From here you can set up and review your news and weather alerts. (See the section on Alerts later in this chapter.) ? News via RSS ? This option lets you set up RSS feeds on your My Yahoo! page for various Yahoo! News categories and subcategories. RSS is discussed further later in this chapter. ? Audio/Video ? This section features audio and video clips from selected sources, including Reuters, NPR, and AP. For a complete list of current clips, click Audio/Video in the News Directory further up the page.

News Story Pages Click on a headline on the main News page to get the full text of

any story (see Figure 5.2). As you read, you sometimes find a pair

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of "news - Web sites" links next to a term in the text, especially the name of a person, company, or organization. Click on "news" to run a news search on that term, and on "Web sites" to search Yahoo!'s Web database. Articles might include a photo, links to a slideshow of pictures, or a video related to the story.

Figure 5.2 Yahoo! News Article Page

Take time to explore news story pages; you'll find a number of other useful features. The Yahoo! News Directory on the left side of the page shows the subdivisions of the category from which the current article came. For example, when you click on a headline from the Technology category, the subcategories for that category-- Internet, Personal Technology, Communications, and several others--appear. You can browse the contents of these subcategories and make a mental note of areas that interest you. In the future you can go directly to these areas to keep up on the news you need to


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