September 7, 2006
Google News Archive Promising

Google is expanding their reach on a weekly basis these days, and the innovations just keep coming. While they are further developing their video features and even doing a little research about social interactive television models, the network is also providing yet another important facet of searching for its users: news archives.

According to yesterday's New York Times article by John Markoff, the Google News Archive Search will allow users to search newspaper archives for content dating back up to 200 years. The archives will be available not only in general searches but also on a new archives search page.

Journalism industry leaders such as The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times are providing content, and Google has independently indexed content from each paper for the search. The content is already available online but had not been accessible through search engines, which is changing with the new archives search deal. According to The Times article, newspapers had been pressing Google to make their content avaiable for searches for some time.

Some of the content will be avaiable for free, while others will require a subscription--through the research company managing the archive, not Google--to see the articles in full. Time has its whole archive, dating back to 1923, available for free, supported by advertising, for instance.

There was even discussion in the article of making video content available as well, from the broadcast networks' archives, which are also being explored as transmedia content through network Web sites.

For journalists, students, reserachers, and citizens in general, having the ability to draw upon these resources is an incredible benefit, especially with the ease that Google will allow the content to be navigated. And with some companies providing their content for free, there now exists a great public database that makes researching topics even easier, especially now that trusted journalistic sources are available.

For those teachers and librarians who say that you can't trust the Internet because there's no reliable name involved with their research, for those that distrust the communal editing of Wikipedia, these digital archives provide a space for trusted news content that may provide a powerful new resource for public schools, college students, historians, and anyone just interested in educating themselves on something.