In a world where journalists are feeling like an endangered species, there's still a great deal of value placed on news content. I've been spending a lot of time thinking about news lately. There's ever changing sea of the stuff out there, and getting a handle on it isn't easy. Westlaw's Intraclip platform closes down on September 15th, after which the new Westlaw Watch will be the platform of choice for providing Newsroom stories to your Intranet, and/or to deliver email alerts.
Lexis Publisher, the Lexis equivalent, is a more sophisticated and hence, more complicated tool and offers the benefit of the Wall Street Journal, Dow Jones Wires, and other Factiva content. Lexis has added Continuous Alerts to their arsenal, probably in response to the yells of former Factiva subscribers who were torn from the bosom of Factiva kicking and screaming, as well as complaints from everyone else who wanted updated news as it happens. And, by the way, Lexis Eclipses are now called Lexis Alerts, a logical name change whichever way you look at it.
In other developments, the Financial Times is now embargoed on Lexis, Westlaw, Factiva, and other third party news aggregators. You can get the Financial Times on these services; you just have to wait 24 hours to do it, not always a satisfying prospect. If you can't wait, you'll have to pay more money and subscribe directly. The Financial Times isn't the only publication that imposes an embargo, and many journal articles don't get picked up for weeks.
Lexis and Westlaw have huge news databases, with very deep archives, but they seem to struggle to get the new stuff loaded as quickly as it appears on the web. Some newspaper web sites post articles hours, sometimes days before the big guys get a hold of them. The free Google News or Yahoo News can sometimes deliver up to the minute news faster than the premium services. Ignore web news at your peril.
Things are happening very fast these days, with information and mis-information spreading like wildfire throughout the blog world. In an interesting development, Lexis has announced that they are including selected blogs from Newstex Blogs On Demand in their news database. How long will it be before the premium services have to include web news as well in order to be as comprehensive as possible?
Because right now, there's no one place to go to get everything out there. There never has been, but with the abundance of digital content, the expectations of our patrons are high, and a combination of web news and premium news is essential when you want to be comprehensive. And there's still no guarantee you've got it all.