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Ask HN: What good alteratives are there to Google News?
140 points by cpncrunch on July 9, 2017 | hide | past | web | favorite | 112 comments


It scrapes headlines from Wikipedia once per day at 8p PST. It's encrypted. There's no ads. It loads fast, as-in one request. Your activity isn't logged.

I built this because I got tired of all the shitty tricks news websites play: obnoxious ads, "breaking news", auto-play videos, pumping megabytes of crap into your browser, lack of privacy, and lack of citations.

Legible news is boring. It's non-addictive. If you click on a link you might accidentally learn something about the historic context of a news story. I don't log anything because I don't care. Daily headlines delivered in one HTTP request (look at it in an inspector) over a CDN. It's fast. I hope you like it, but if you don't no worries, I built it for myself.

Is the code open source ? I live in Europe, and it would be great if, with the same product, we could choose the time at which we want the news to be delivered, and the language in which we want it delivered.

Its not OSS at the moment.

I've thought a lot about this use case. My vision is that a few KB of text is delivered once per day to whatever-device at a desired time. No more. No less.

What language and locale would you be interested in?

Both the English and the German wikipedia, maybe something along the lines of:


I made a similar one in german. At the bottom is a link to the GitHub repo. It relies on Cron and Neocities.

Thanks for putting that up! Have any interest in piping that page into an RSS document?

Here's a similar project that provides a lot of different formats: http://thecontext.net/

Sure, I could do this within the next few weeks (time is my constraint ATM; technically this is simple)

Stunning. Thank you, very much.

Your archive seems to be a bit out of date

Yeah, it misses a few months. I'm going to fix this and make the archives go back a few years.

Hat tip to you sir. Bookmarked.

I'll throw a vote out for the New York Times daily briefing:

The sample looks like https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/05/briefing/north-korea-cnn-...

It is exactly what it sounds like—a quick daily briefing of the most important things that have happened over night—kinda as if you're the President.

There is a URL that you don't need to update each day to hit, but for the life of me I can't remember it at the moment.

Similar in spirit is the Economist Espresso. I think there are five paragraph-long articles on various things, followed by maybe a dozen or so sentence-long summaries of what happened the previous day. It tends to cover politics throughout the week, business and finance on Friday, and arts on Saturday.

Is there a link I can bookmark to go there?

I don't use feeds or notifications but manual bookmarks so I can choose the time of reading.

I think https://www.nytimes.com/briefing was what I was thinking of. I kept trying different versions including the word daily, but just briefing works.

Awesome, thank you.

Also interested, good point.

I read this everyday via mobile. It's pretty easy to get to, just nytimes.com and then the briefing is the first link provided I'm not up too early or it's Saturday or Sunday.

I’m surprised Blendle (https://blendle.com) hasn’t been mentioned yet - you end up paying a small amount for each article, but I’ve found the quality of curation pretty decent, but not perfect yet.

You have to apply for beta access, but it didn’t take long for me to be accepted in. It’s probably more of a marketing beta program, to feel exclusive.

+1 from another happy blendle user.

Curation is a valuable service. It's worth paying for.

The daily hour-long version here is the only regular news I consume(minus notify NYC RSS): https://www.youtube.com/user/PBSNewsHour/videos I find them to be less jumpy than similar news sources, probably due to the lack of incentives to bring in massive profit.

If I am interested in something specific/real time, I will open up google news, reddit news, twitter, local news, web search, popular newspaper sites(nytimes, washington post etc.) and/or other relevant places.


I'm working on an alternative to Google News that shows the same event from multiple news outlets/perspectives so that you can draw your own conclusions. Let me know what you think!

Interesting idea but the design right now is, well it feels like it's assaulting my eyes. Looking it on a laptop right now and each story element is just way too large. The font size is almost comical. The size of each story should be cut down like 50-75% I think.

Good work on getting this off the ground. ive seen all-sides before, but i think ur closer.

when i thought of this idea - in my head it was a heat-map, in a rectangular grid pattern. Political affiliation was just 1 gauge u could select. u could navigate the grid by clicking left and right on a page and u would be presented with an article. down the matrix would goto other sections of the news.

News needs to be disrupted, and politics isnt going to be the thing that does it. Think of it this way, if i go out, i dont go and hang with politicans. I hang out with ppl i like. I hang out with ppl with similiar interests.

If i like sports, why cant i read an entire newspaper, with my likes represented? Why can i only read a "sports magazine" or "the sports section"? ppl who like sports, are interested with things that effect sports. it could be the weather, it could be a policy change, it could be beers being on special on saturdays when i hang out and watch it with my friends.

My idea starts by presenting the user with binary options, the choices they make will lead into other choices and finally a curated "newspaper" is presented. each article they are presented with, they can rank in a binary way, which further curates their experience.

hit me up on captainjonoo [at] gmail if any of u are keen explore these ideas.

Funny, we're trying to build something similar (though slightly different) with https://98clicks.com

Cool concept, along the lines of Allsides.com. I'm behind ReadAcrossTheAisle — LMK if you want to talk about collaboration opportunities.

Gives that google news is filled with spam (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14730945) it would be useful if there was a good alternative.

Should adjust this question to say desktop aggregation version, and I am assuming this ASK is in response to the recent Google News redesign that pretty much removed the desktop version of the site.

Apps and mobile is cool and all, but high density or high volume data consumption is not the use case for those platforms.

The redesign isnt an issue...works well enough on desktop. I just refuse to use a news service where 50% or more of the health stories are viagra spam. Completely unacceptable. Especially since people have been reporting it to google for the past month. It makes me wonder about the quality of their curation.

In the Czech Republic, for several years now, google news has been filled with fascist propoganda. I think that no one sane from Google, who understands Czech, ever looks there to see what kind of shit they're promoting.

Am I missing something? I translated a bunch of articles from the current Czech Google News page and didn't see anything remotely fascist.

It seems there is a trend of those on the left referring to anything on the right as fascist. IMO this is dangerous because it dilutes the actual meaning of fascism. I'm not saying fascist ideology isn't out there btw.

Can you point out an example?

I find https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portal:Current_events to have the most important things on it.

I haven't recently found a news organisation that is consistently rational and has done their homework. Given that news is still worth reading, in moderation.

I roll my own sources including: 1. A variety of newsfeeds through a desktop reader. (Can be improved by writing your own rating system.) 2. A list of news sources on a web page, this evolves. (Would also benefit from code that throws out the things I'll never read.) 3. Blendle. 4. People I correspond with (they dig out good stuff, I reciprocate). 5. Less obvious (to some) news sources like HN... are on that web page list. ...

Google used to do custom feeds defined by an arbitrary search string, that had some power.

There are tools out there that help identify material worth reading (DNN's etc.).

I find likes and dislikes are often valueless even if you "assume the opposite".

Your most important weapon may be the realisation that most journalists are under extreme pressure and don't do their job at even a basic level. Makes it easier to quickly ignore the garbage..

I find the print version of The Week to be surprisingly consistent in their balanced review of high quality news sources. Sadly, the online version is a bit click-baity, but the print version is amazing.

Why is it that their Android app hasn't been updated in three years?

Bing News is unfashionable, but it looks like old Google News: https://www.bing.com/news

Initially Bing News looked good, but after using it there are a few issues:

- Payday loan spam (two spams on the front page)

- No way to customize your interests

- Duplicated stories with near identical headlines appear from multiple sources. This isn't usually an issue with Google.

Thanks, Bing News seems to be the best (and only) alternative that I've found so far.

A better question would be what good alternatives are there to news in general. When I see the same headlines with the exact same wording across many different news outlets, I begin to wonder why anybody trusts anything the media has to say about anything.

Presumably a lot of stories are being run from wire services-AP and Reuters. Most news organizations don't have resources to originate every story.

Nextcloud [1] with the News [2] app. Feed it whatever RSS/Atom feeds you want - which can include Google News feeds - and let it rip. You can read the feeds in a browser or in one of the compatible apps [3] (14 of them are listed here, there might be others).

[1] https://nextcloud.com/

[2] https://apps.nextcloud.com/apps/news

[3] https://github.com/nextcloud/news#sync-clients

Im looking for a curated major news service i.e. stories curated from various major newspapers.

Why not use something like feedly, with your own rss feeds ?

I have (and still use) a feed reader, but it doesn't really replace Google News. It's often helpful to have an algorithm tell you what's important on other news sources you're not reading. It's also nice that it filters out a lot of the noise/click-bait that all publishers use nowadays.

Second this, in that I mostly don't want to maintain a current and relevant RSS list of a size that I would want to have. RSS is also a firehose which can be just as bad as a small list of sources.

Just to give another option, I use feedbin, $3pcm and open source. I looked at it and feedly, the latter seemed to (deliberately) abstract RSS too far from my perspective.

Im looking for a curated major news service i.e. stories curated from various major newspapers.

I scrape Wikipedia[1] for my website[2] like another user from this thread, it's pretty good to have a quick look at what happened during the day.

Then I check only the top news from some subreddits[3] and hackernews[4], and I usually hide what I read to avoid seeing them again.

And if I need more I can get the headlines of major news websites[5].

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portal:Current_events/2017_Jul...

[2] https://news.vinc.cc/search?q=wikipedia

[3] https://news.vinc.cc/search?q=reddit+science+environment+tim...

[4] https://news.vinc.cc/search?q=hackernews+time:week

[5] https://news.vinc.cc/search?q=newsapi+the-guardian-uk

I migrated to The Old Reader (https://theoldreader.com). I even tried to wirte the emacs mode for it (just for education), but didn't manage to finish it yet (https://github.com/jerry40/the-old-mode).

There's one thing on reddit called "multireddits" which is an aggregation of multiple subreddits; so I picked my local news subreddits + world ones and this is my daily news. I like it very much. Only complaint is that it seems to show the same news multiple days in a row even though I "read" it already.

I have been working on a news aggregator site- https://news.r1b.solutions/ github- https://github.com/r1b/news-wires

FYI - this is my actual HN account. It seems that one of my..fans has created another :)

Happy to answer any questions.

Very nice. Bookmarked.

I love it! Simple, informative, and just what I've been looking for in a news site. Expect some ETH coming your way ;)

Thank you! You can expect more features in the coming weeks including additional sources, filtering & feeds.

I've been using this mobile focused site:


It's a short digest of articles from a number of sources. It's not specifically hard news but it covers important stories of the day and interesting reads from across the web.

http://foreignpolicy.com is a good source... the digital subscription is worth the price. You need to pay for good curation. I like the links to source documents. They also provide names of officials. I highly recommend.

http://www.middleeasteye.net/ is another good site. good analysis and helps me understand what is really going on. They link to source documents. Very useful.


I wrote this as a daily briefing, also for myself. It scrapes around 45 sites that I have handpicked. Links are ranked based on shares across social platforms: the usual suspects.

I curate each issue based on what looks good each morning and send it out at around 7am AEST.

I wrote more about it here: https://www.kripy.com/alt-all-in/.

I usually don't want to be the wise-ass responding profoundly to a question that was not asked, but I can't resist.

Ignore news and focus on things that are more important, like family, health and work.

It's probably overall beneficial to have a rough idea what is going on in your city, your nation and the world - in that order - but try to do it on a larger timescale, rather than be a squirrel chasing the "news cycle" - which is what sites like Google News are geared towards.

Offtopic, but I've never found a newsfeed / RSS reader that compelling. After a while you've subscribed to say many things that you don't want to (and can't) spend the time required to catch up on everything.

Personally, I subscribe to one newspaper, watch one cable news network and browse HackerNews and Reddit (HN trending upward vs. Reddit in recent months) and listen to a few podcasts and I'm able to keep up with the world on a wide range of topics.

http://www.f3nws.com - Aggregates news from various news sources and present a reading view.

http://www.f3nws.com/mobile?amp - is the fast mobile/AMP version of the same site.

http://www.f3nws.com/feed - RSS Feed

Nice looking — what's the long-term plan on copyright? That is, if you get big, won't publishers get angry that you're repurposing their content? In the meantime, I'll give it a try.

I'm working on a system that summarize a news. Not sure if it stand a chance to get big as there are many sites like this, :P

https://statesreport.com is a project I wrote as an alternative.

RSS feeds, I currently am subscribed to over 1200 feeds ranging from cooking, to hunting, to bikes (motor and pedal), to fashion, arts, humanites, economics, social science, world affairs, programming, finance, coupons, hockey, china, you name the subject you are interested in and you can find hundreds of fees for your preference.

Only sheep passively consume news as its fed to them.

Is there actually interest in a site which does what Google News does, but better (somehow?).

What exactly would people want to see different to Google News?

I've been mucking around with various things in this area for over 15 years now, but I'm just not sure what is useful to others?

Please tell me, because I'd like to build it. Reply here or email or Twitter.

I'm curious - do you mean you've been playing around with news aggregators for 15 years or something else?

I'm not the OP but there's clearly some pretty widespread dissatisfaction with the current news production and consumption landscape. I think there's a huge appetite for bias identification and noise identification and filtering. Given that the idea of a "fact" is something the two main political parties cannot agree on, it seems that's there a huge opportunity for someone/something to come in and disrupt that.

I've been writing code to do things in this area since 1999. I wrote a RSS parser in Delphi in '99, was in the RSS/RDF/Atom wars, wrote a aggregator with Bayesian filtering in 2003, and I'm one of the authors of the ROME Jave RSS library. I'm currently running a research project in news event prediction and detection.

I don't think anyone wants bias detection.. or maybe they do so that they can only read things that they agree with?

I'm trying to start a subreddit for twitter moments.

I think the moments format is really good for dispensing information quickly and easily linking to more detailed information when needed.


Check out http://contentgems.com. It's similar to Google News but gives you more filtering options and ways to share content.

Disclaimer: I'm a cofounder.

Edit: http://contentgems.com

> Check out http://contengems.com.

Think you may have a typo, and intended to direct OP to http://contentgems.com

You need to redirect your HTTP/port 80 requests to your HTTPS/port 443 URL.

I think you mistyped a URL, the link is broken. Perhaps Contentgems.com?

Im looking mostly for a news curation service.

Depends, what do you use Google News for? I just read HN and Tweakers.net (Dutch). If you want multiple sources, why not visit a few of its sources? Or does Google News have an app that is convenient or something? I don't understand what you are looking for exactly.

Hi, we're now building nupinion.com which might address your needs. You can use it for multi-sourcing, understanding propaganda and detecting unreliable content quickly. You can also use it to track topics or to store articles for later.

Friends of mine have built Inkl [1]. I think it's a pretty good alternative to Google Newsstand (I assume that falls under "Google News").

[1] https://www.inkl.com

I'd be interested in talking with this team about partnerships. Any chance you could make an intro? Also, the animations on their site load so slowly (at least for me), that often I was scrolling and just seeing white. By the time the animation loaded, I was already halfway past it.

I'm an SVP @inkl, how can I help?

Inkl looks about the best (at least in theory, as I haven't tried it). The problem is I want to be able to use it mostly on desktop, and Inkl seems to be mobile only.

For a quick, U.S.-centric overview of current political news headlines, Memeorandum is pretty good:


http://eventregistry.org/search?type=events if you're looking for an API source

If Twitter is your thing, see https://thefeed.press. Curates news links shared by your friends on Twitter

What's the difference between this and nuzzel?

For the most part, it is that the articles are extracted (Pocket/Instapaper style) for easy read.

Techmeme is a good aggregator like Google News specific to startups and tech.


I like newsmap.jp, but Feedly is my news source of choice.

newsmap.jp is a great tool. Wish it was opensource, or was for profit so I could pay for it.

I'm surprised nobody has cloned it, treemaps aren't exactly obscure and they're criminally underused. Thanks for reminding me about this, I'd forgotten about it and it's just what I needed to unpin the now-ruined Google News.

People put a lot of the blame on FB, but I think Google is as much to blame for the epidemic of fake/crap news as anyone. I have been appalled at the shitty quality of stuff showing up in my google news feed and treated as being on a par with other sources over the last year or two. It's obvious taht google only cares about this as a market rather than anyone there being invested in News as an end in itself.

http://www.upday.com if you are on Samsung Android (currently only in Europe).


Continuous stream of socially curated news, formatted for mobile.

Twitter + Feedly works great for me.

Feedly is the reason I no longer follow Google News.

/r/news and other interest specific subs.

reddit.com Just subscribe to the subreddits you are interested in.

Reading books?

Idea for a browser extension: randomly when you go to a time sink site (even if the sink is only a few minutes), pull up some ebook text to read instead.

The best would be site recommending ebooks related to the news you just started to read giving background or historycal information on the issue.




Lobste.rs is a better website, but a smaller community.


omni.se if you are in Sweden


Protip: identify the news sources you don't like and ban them wholesale under "Manage Sections / Sources" in Google News. Banning just a few improves the experience tremendously. HuffPo and Buzzfeed are prime candidates for the ban hammer.

Isn't Buzzfeed news decent? I know their main site is full of clickbait, etc. but I was always under the impression that they used the money from there to fund their other journalistic ventures? Interesting, I suppose, how a negative perception of their clickbait side can negatively skew any decent/viable journalistic efforts...

Now that I think about it, I'm not 100% sure if I find it decent because I'm sub-consciously comparing it to the rest of Buzzfeed vs. all other news in general.

This is a great tip (eg banning TMZ seems like a great idea). Unfortunately, if you switch between US & regional Google News often (maybe you mostly read Google News Australia), it has a tendency to delete all your carefully curated settings on both sites.

You can also add preferred sources now, which helps a lot (when they don't delete it). I found adding WSJ, Deutsche Welle, FT, Bloomberg, Financial Review & similar sources improved things for me. I wish I could add blogs I follow there too.

I'd love to see a Google News alternative that used a customisable whitelist of sources, and mute filters to block topics I'm just not interested in.

I actually think it just loses your choices completely on its own and local news thing is unrelated. If you add them a few more times, they stick.

It actually looks like all of these are legitimate news sites that have been hacked so that they redirect to viagra sites if the url is crafted correctly and if the referral comes from google news, e.g. http://www.maceandcrown.com/?zhq49qb=1658898069 (link works fine there, but when referred from google news it goes to a viagra site).

Not really a direct alternative, but applicable to the spirit of the question:

I don't really like any news organization very much, so instead anytime a political/current events piece pops up here and I like it, I check to see if the author has a Twitter account, and follow them on there. Then, via their RTs and posts, I discover new journalists. If they consistently put out good stuff, I follow them too.

As an example, someone here once put out a piece about Silicon Valley and politics by Emmett Rensin, which I thought was spot-on. Rensin showcased Nathan Robinson, then Abi Wilkinson. And so on and so on.

If you keep a sufficiently varied crowd of followers, geographically and topically, you always see RTs of pertinent news events from eg: BBC, Reuters, AP, or what have you.

In essence, what some of these services do algorithmically, I rely on humans for. As a result I seem to be aware of just about any current event topic that comes up, so it's working for me.

Don't use Twitter like Twitter itself suggests, e.g: "Follow Lebron! Follow Donald Trump! Follow CNN!". Add people very very judiciously, so that your feed looks like the news aggregator you wish to see.

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