google news preferences
September 3, 2009 2:10 AM   Subscribe

Is there any way to set google news' preferences to ignore headlines from certain sites? Lately, I'm seeing a lot of links to rabid right-wing op-eds from the Wall Street Journal and and Fox News where I'd much rather read real news from real newspapers. I didn't see an ignore option in the preferences section... am I not looking in the right place? Do I need to find a new news aggregator?
posted by Slap*Happy to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
First, do you have an "Op-Ed" section where you're seeing the majority of op-eds? You can remove that, click the X in the section title bar.

I don't think that removing sources is an option in Google News. As an alternative, you might try using the UK, Irish, Canadian or Australian versions of Google News and then add sections to suit your interests. To add sections, click the "Edit the page" link on top right-hand side of the page. Of course, all Murdoch companies are present in each of those countries and their Google News is probably equally likely to offer you some headlines from Murdoch publications.

Personally, I think you are going about it wrong. Google News gives you a wide smattering of news on the web, from Old Media to upstart blogging insurgents. The WSJ is a respected conservative newspaper and FoxNews is a popular news source for many people, judging by TV ratings. You don't have to read every right-wing commentator but it is worthwhile to get an idea of the days headlines from both sources you agree and disagree with. Or alternatively, consider Thomas Jefferson's council:

"From forty years' experience of the wretched guess-work of the newspapers of what is not done in open daylight, and of their falsehood even as to that, I rarely think them worth reading, and almost never worth notice." --Thomas Jefferson to James Monroe
posted by McGuillicuddy at 4:23 AM on September 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

Of course, all Murdoch companies are present...
posted by McGuillicuddy at 4:27 AM on September 3, 2009

You can add certain options to your google news filter to selectively exclude certain sites. For example, searching for 'obama -wsj -foxnews' will remove those two sites in question.

On a more personal level, I'd urge you to be more open about your news. The WSJ is hardly a tabloid newspaper, and I do not think you will be richer by ignoring it. I consider myself fairly conservative, but I still regularly read the liberal op-eds in the NYTimes, even if they occasionally irritate. I may sometimes actually agree with them.

It's when we start dividing the world into an "us" vs "them" mentality that we grow even more intolerant of others. Please be open-minded.
posted by gushn at 6:45 AM on September 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

The Wall St Journal is a "real" newspapre whatever you think of its politics.
posted by dfriedman at 7:38 AM on September 3, 2009

Response by poster: No, the only part of the Wall Street Journal outside of the pay wall is a Rupert Murdoch right-wing propaganda machine. It has no place in credible news reporting, and is poisoning the rep of the WSJ's financial reporting, too.
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:56 AM on September 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

Actually, since Murdoch took the WSJ over... not so much. Many of my Wall Street friends are going solely with the FT and Bloomberg for their financial news. Apparently, they really have gone down the tubes.
posted by Citrus at 8:04 AM on September 3, 2009

gushn's got it for you re. use of the "without" ("-") search limiters.

IMHO, gushn's also got it right re. the content of the WSJ in general. I consider myself a liberal progressive at about the polar-opposite of the political spectrum from FauxNews and 99% of the WSJ Op-Ed pieces. (With the exception of Thomas Frank's column - his piece on how the Democrats are screwing up healthcare reform earlier this week was masterful).

That said, I read the WSJ cover-cover 6 days a week because they've got darn good reporting. I frequently add to my reading list books that I learned about in a WSJ review, and not just business related titles, but history, arts, and other topics commonly referred to as being in the "liberal" arts. :) They also have some of the best coverage of legal issues and court cases out there. My advice is to keep WSJ in your feed but cut out the Op-Ed sections.
posted by webhund at 8:26 AM on September 3, 2009

I have also noticed an increasing amount of far-right political commentary on Google News. And I have made a habit of reading it, because I consider it important to challenge my own viewpoints. Even if I ultimately conclude that it's nonsense, at the very least, it helps me to gauge the cultural and political climate.

That said, a good part of my tolerant progressive open-mindedness drew back in disgust, contempt, and fear, after finding this on my Google News homepage. And though I despise the very idea of it, I am now strongly considering filtering my news.
posted by dephlogisticated at 9:52 PM on October 9, 2009

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