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Show HN: 22 top US newspapers in an RSS OPML list (quod.us)
83 points by newman8r 8 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 23 comments

I found RSS feeds to be better alternative to read the news beyond the filtering bubble that our social media platforms create.

There was an interesting tool to monitor RSS list of newspapers[1] on HN sometime ago. I wish that this tool [2] is hosted somewhere to easily get notification on my slack without setting it up or managing it. With load of information we face everyday, the idea of monitoring RSS feeds through Slack interface is very interesting.

[1] https://github.com/tzano/wren/blob/master/wren/config/rss_fe...

[2] https://github.com/tzano/wren

Upvoted just for mentioning OPML! I can't remember the last time I saw an OPML reference on HN. Hopefully there will be more RSS, Atom, OPML, ActivityPub, ActivityStrea.ms, FOAF, SIOC, etc. related work showing up here in the future.

For those interested, this might be a good place to mention Newsbeuter, but Mutt of feed readers! It can be pretty efficient to do feed reading and management via CLI.


Then this would also be a good place to mention the currently maintained fork of newsbeuter; newsboat[1].

[1] https://newsboat.org/

I would be interested to know if the OP has actually attempted to use this, and if so how they have avoided feeling completely overwhelmed.

The challenge with RSS isn’t finding the feeds - they are for the most part readily available. It’s having a feed that doesn’t completely overwhelm.

That’s the problem that social, for all the concerns about filter bubbles and tracking, does actually do a good job at solving.

Not OP, but I recently have set up Tiny Tiny RSS and did something similar. I find that there are two categories: High bandwidth feeds (your NYTimes, Reuters, etc.), and low bandwidth feeds (blogs/projects I like to follow, the occasional youtube channels, etc.)

If you curate it (I have worlds news, US news, politics, tech, science, etc), I find it's actually pretty nice to be able to scan through the headlines and see what interests you. It seems to augment my Reddit/HN feeds pretty well. I find that I can scan through all the headlines in ~3-4 minutes.

I also find it is incredibly nice for the low bandwidth feeds. I don't feel like I need to check those everyday, when I get an update it shows a notification and I can go straight through it. As a result, I am subscribed to a lot more of those, as it very easy to look through.

Fever had something like that, unfortunately it's not available any more as an RSS provider. Not sure if there are any other solutions, maybe even self-hosted that aggregate content.

I'm currently using http://nuzzel.com/ to aggregate my Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin feed and it does a great job of filtering out the "important" stuff that people talk about. Not just the noise that comes and goes.

I'm really happy with it, so happy that I even activated the email digest every morning and push notifications. It's pretty neat if you don't want to be drowned in a stream of information but also want to know what's going on.

I've experimented with using clustering algorithms to rank stories from about a dozen different RSS feeds to get results based on media coverage. I have some basic output set up here, it could use a lot of improvements but it seems like a decent way to sort national/international news without needing social media data: https://confabulator.io/newsclustering/

I've wanted to do this as well. How does your site rank stories within a cluster? I had always imagined that if I were to do this, I would order them by centrality, where the distance metric is Euclidean distance between the word histograms.

I'm doing graph clustering, where stories are connected by shared terms, so I'm ranking based on the weight of the edges to a story inside the cluster. The terms are weighted by frequency over all the stories in the system with the intention of prioritizing articles contain a lot of specific terms that look like they're related to the story.

I do use it, I actually have over 400 feeds in my personal collection. I have to manage my settings so I don't keep anything longer than a few days. I don't think it's necessarily something most people would enjoy. I only read a small percentage of the articles.

It's not that overwhelming to me because I've been using RSS a long time and I know what to expect, but I could see how it's not everyone's cup of tea.

I have Reuters RSS feed and the amount of story duplication (3 stories about the same from different angles)and the sheer number of news is really a problem. Plus RSS contains only one sentence summary.

Maybe RSS + local ML would solve the problem?

For those hitting the JS-disabled/blank-page syndrome, the referenced Github resource:


A lot of people have been interested in cnn's lite version, but unfortunately it seems like most other sites don't offer one. RSS is essentially that though, so even if you don't use an RSS reader you can bookmark the RSS versions and browse them individually.

There's a little project I made some time ago that takes either the text-only or AMP version of news stories and displays them in sandboxed iframes, which disables all scripts leaving one with just text.


And there's an RSS feed(headlines only):


I think Washington Post is broken though, but everything else is working fine. Sadly, it appears both the Atlantic and Reuters have added some annoying elements to the top of their AMP pages that take up a lot of space; that wasn't how it was when I first made this project.

Keep doing what you're doing.

NPR's Text Only is pretty good too.


"Hey, where's the St. Louis Post-Dispatch," I thought to myself.

Ugh, it's now the 26th largest by circulation [0]. How the mighty have fallen. They do have RSS feeds, if you want to add them:


However, like most other smaller dailies on this list, they no longer do much national reporting (it's all from the wire services). So, unless you're really into hearing about local politics in various mid-sized U.S. cities -- which I'm not disparaging, because I actually am! -- a lot of these are going to be pretty useless for you.

[0] https://www.infoplease.com/arts-entertainment/newspapers-and...

I am not sure this helps people get into the habit of paying attention to news instead of hovering over social media sites, other than raising awareness. Every one of the feeds can flood your RSS inbox in a few hours, and a normal person simply don't have time to catch up with all of them. I remember this was how I abandoned RSS the first 5 times.

You may want to pick only a few of them, maybe one for each political leaning, and look at their site to see if they provide feeds by section, then pick the section you are interested in, instead of importing the OPML whole.

Yeah I can see how that might bog down a newcomer, that's not bad advice. You could also import the 22 feeds and delete any that seem to be posting too often for your taste.

A rough estimate is that these 22 feeds would generate about 300-600 stories a day.

By my experience, you don't even need all 22 to feel overwhelmed. I still haven't found one news agency with a feed that would feel like "important news". Actually, all the news are simply the worst, and getting worse still. All the most prominent media resources manage lately to combine in a news feed tell-you-nothing headlines, lengthy writing style of the newyorker w/o a summary, and still not including a recap/timeline of previous events when following up on something that's ongoing for the last 2 months. Plus, I do understand that importance is somewhat a matter of perspective, but they still manage to post some nonsence every 2 minutes, while not covering really impactful business news/economic events.

I considered creating a service that you subscribe to and that gives you reasonably detailed content filtering. With configurable classes to sort news between e.g. newsletters and chatbot interfaces, based on how time-critical they are. There are meta-agreggators like GDELT [0] that supply machine-readable classifications that should somehow allow filtering useless stuff out based on what they contain. Do you think there is significant demand for this, possibly even in a way that you pay a (small) amount for the service?

It seems like a (comparably) sane idea to pursue, but pre-implementation market validation is a strong motivator to prioritize work on it without direct financial pressure.

[0]: https://www.gdeltproject.org/

This was the original intent of Vox.com ... and here we are. Think we're in the minority of the reading audience, unfortunately.

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