Iceland's most hated man appointed newspaper editor
Evening Standard not the first "quality free"

Could I have my RSS as I take my coffee, please? (or why I missed that Telegraph story)

I take my coffee straight: it's one of those instant fixes I'm rather dependent on having available whenever I need it, which, seeing that I work for clients in very different time zones, can be at any hour of the day or night. I do wish those RSS-feeds I'm interested in was available the same way.

Actually, they might very well be: I could have created something a lot more tailor-made than just using a newsreader (still on Bloglines, though I know I should switch) to subscribe to news- and blog feeds on media/tech/business and keywords, but why won't media companies make it easier to find their stories?

Take The Times for instance: they have a good media editor, but no media feed the last time I checked (a while ago. NB: see update below). Or the fact that The Telegraph published a story on David Oddson last night, but didn't bother tagging it as "media", at least it wasn't in my Telegraph media feed this morning, so I only discovered their article by checking my RSS-feed from Roy Greenslade after I'd published my own post on this (I first found the story on Icelandreview after someone googled Morgunbladid and ended up on my blog , which made me do the same to see what was up - Icelandic media being something I've followed for several years).

Actually, I know how easy it is in some CMSs, like Escenic, to not put a story in all the categories it should be in, and I'm also aware that, with Twitter, many people have moved away from using RSS alltogether. I still use it though, in addition to Twitter, to find stories: I still think RSS is the best way to find stories proactively online and to get a good overview of what's being written - and either my newsreader has a major problem, or media companies mess up their feeds all the time. There was a week+ this summer my subscription threw up no stories from The Media Guardian - like, I actually had to visit the site, there's not many sites I'd do that for, to get updates;-) - and I've also had the same problem with The Telegraph's muddled media section (muddled because they mix media with telecoms, cable and wireless).

Also, I no longer get the Observer's media feed until Monday, or sometimes Tuesday, whereas I used to get it just after midnight on Sundays (back when "web first" was a pioneering idea?). And this whole idea of mixing the feed of Sunday business sections with the rest of the week, as at least the Indy and Observer do, seems very odd to me as Sunday newspapers used to be something entirely different than weekday newspapers: different weekday business sections always carried much of the same stories regardless of the newspaper, so subcribing to them all feels close to redundant, whereas Sundays used to aspire to create their very own mix of background/analysis and stories they had chased up/uncovered themselves.

If that was still the case - and I'm not contesting that it is, but my perspective is muddled by relying on RSS only and me no longer living in London - I'd pay for the Sundays rather than the weekday papers. Mind you, I'm speaking only of the UK here, in places like Norway business news sites, such as Dagens Naeringsliv, have even been known to send their whole car sections into their media section feed.

Now, I know I should probably move on to create my own tailor-made feed via Yahoo Pipes or similar, but in these days, where paid content and the question of how news sites may successfully charge their readers, this strikes me as one thing that I, as and expert reader, might actually be willing to pay for: to get the news in my RSS-reader instantly - my experience with Yahoo Pipes is also that there's often a delay - and "unpolluted": only the real stuff, please (or, as a friend often puts it: why ruin perfectly good coffee with milk and sugar). Many news sites muddle their media feeds with other feeds, I assume to bring up the volume, but I'd much rather have e.g. media and technology as seperate feeds so I can prioritise better.

However, I'm very aware I belong to a minority of readers who these days only matter in the link economy. Also, I appologise if this post has been mired with household slang: it's one of those rants I usually censor myself from writing, but any input on how I should best set up my newsfeed would also be welcome. I'm not as much of a techie as I'd like to be though: I accomplish most things I bend my mind to, but my mind is frequently overstretched on the workday treadmill of incesscant deadlines...   

Update 01.10 16:30 CET: Joanna Geary kindly made sure The Times got a separate RSS-feed for its media section yesterday, and I quite forgot to update this post until now in the rush of everything. It has of course duly been added to my newsreader and to this new Twingly channel on journalism and media (in beta) I've been playing around with (I've started adding some of my favourite  UK and Scandinavian media feeds to it, leave a comment, email me or DM me on Twitter, I'm @KristineLowe, if you want an invite).


I think few people will lose sleep over this, but your point is a good one for the obsessive media news followers among us. A Times Media RSS feed would be greatly welcomed. Or the facility to create our own customised RSS feeds. Twitter can't replace RSS for me. The only foolproof way for checking stories elswhere is a good old search though...

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