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Reuters killed their RSS feeds? (reuters.com)
234 points by antpls on June 19, 2020 | hide | past | favorite | 124 comments



99% of times it's just an error on their end and they eventually come back.

Why: I've created popurls fame back in the days (now hvper.com) and I can tell you that this would be the first prominent case that a major outlet would eventually give up on offering a feed. RSS is alive and kicking and its death is just something the tech community loves to agonize over and over again.


My experience diverges from yours. Reuters feeds have been highly reliable over the last 3 years for me, with near zero downtime. There were at least one new entry per hour, almost 24h/24, but it can go up to 5 new entries per hour.

This is not a small "hiccup", this is a total blackout for almost a day now

Meta : HN doesn't let me downvote your comment, that doesn't seem very fair.

Edit : I invite everyone to look at webarchive : https://web.archive.org/web/20191029165306/https://www.reute...

The tools/rss page went offline October 29th 2019, which seems to indicate a planned shutdown of the RSS prepared months ago. Possibly, they delayed the shutdown with covid19 to now


I created a support ticket with my RSS reader (Newsblur) about this issue concerning you! It appears to be quietly feeding me hvper.com articles from the now non-functional feeds.reuters.com (https://forum.newsblur.com/t/where-did-hvper-news-come-from/...).

I don't supposed you know how this magic could possibly happen?


Still showing up on RSS apps and populating new entries. https://imgur.com/a/GiE37KC


They aren't populating new entries, the feeds were actually taken down about 21 hours ago.


Ok, I'm going to downweight this thread for now. We can revisit the story if it turns out to be true.

https://hn.algolia.com/?dateRange=all&page=0&prefix=false&qu...


Hi dang. The feeds are _not_ populating for about 24h now, but any rss readers that fetched the last news from 24h ago will still show the last news from 24h ago (like in the imgur picture). With all my respect, I would agree to change the title to add a question mark, but not to downweight the fact that, intentionally or not, reuters killed their rss feeds for 24h now, and some of us are impacted, and they would like to share their experiences and opinions.


Ok, but the problem is that then this becomes an "is down" story, as in "Reuters' RSS feed is down". Those tend not to be a very high quality category of submission, and it's unlikely that a story with that title would have shot to the front page.

Rather it's the sensational they-killed-RSS! aspect of the story that attracted attention, because it ties in with the generic topics of RSS-lamentation and web-nostalgia which are perennially popular here (plus the word 'killed' evokes indignation, which invariably attracts upvotes).

I'm not mocking those feelings—I share them! I just think there's a binary outcome here: either Reuters is truly killing their RSS, in which case we can discuss that once we know it; or (more likely) this was just a bug somewhere, and that is not SNI (significant new information) which could support a substantially different discussion. For more on SNI, see https://hn.algolia.com/?dateRange=all&page=0&prefix=false&qu....

Actually, the 'bug' interpretation does relate to the RSS-lamentation topic in a more subtle way. Software that's low-priority never gets as much maintenance attention. Perhaps someone made a change that broke the RSS feed, but no one noticed because they didn't test that.



Absolutely agree with your thinking, Dang. Also, my apologies to Burkaman, you were right. Reuters' feed has not pushed out any news story in 24 hours now. Apologies for jumping to the conclusion that its feed was populating as normal.


I sent an online support request pointing out the problem (as though they're not aware) and politely asking when it would be fixed. Assuming the reply window for this thread is still open by then, I'll post any response here.


I posted something here: https://reuters.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/requests/new I wonder if I'll get any response...


Yep: got this:

Leo, Jun 22, 2020, 9:55 AM UTC: Hello,

Thank you for reaching out. Please be informed that we've already discontinued RSS Feed on Reuters.com. If you require the service, we suggest that you contact our Sales Team on the link provided below:

https://agency.reuters.com/en/contact-us.html

Kind regards,

The Reuters.com Team


That's the same reply I got.


Surely there is a better approach than a passive aggressive support request?


I don't think it's passive aggressive. It could actually just be a mistake. I've emailed (admittedly much smaller) news organizations before when their RSS feeds went down, and received a response and a reinstated feed.

I wouldn't bet money on it coming back, but if this was an intentional move I might have expected them to replace the page with "Sorry, no more RSS, try our app!" or something. They are also still linking to the feeds at the bottom of many pages, like this one: https://www.reuters.com/tools/mobile/us


If nobody complains, then they'll know nobody really cares about it.


The passive aggressive part is the “(as though they’re not aware)” part of the comment. It makes it clear that the commenter thinks this is intentional but is acting as if it isn’t.


This entire post on hackernews. Likely the people who removed the RSS feed will read it.


Reuters read HN?


Some developers at Reuters definitely do. Indian and Belarusian programmers, heh?


Confirmed: Reuters closed their RSS down. Not a good look, imho.

Leo, Jun 23, 2020, 1:13 PM UTC: Hello,

Thank you for reaching out and we apologize for the inconvenience. We are shutting down the current iteration of the Reuters.com global editions RSS feeds as part of our larger strategy and as part of better experiences we have in store for Reuters.com.

However, if you require the service, we suggest that you contact our Sales Team on the link provided below:

https://agency.reuters.com/en/contact-us.html

Kind regards,

The Reuters.com Team


The death of RSS is the death of the federated web model where users view and consume the content they want to. Modern alternatives like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram do not serve users in the same way. Users happily consume the content the platform feeds to them, without much say in it. It's an eerie return to the pre-Internet days, where the only choices a consumer had were to change the TV channel / radio dial / newspaper. An illusion of choice in which users are disempowered.


I think this is only a short-term effect. In response to things becoming more locked down, more and more "info liberation" projects will take root, and in the end the information will just gradually all leak out and end up outside the prison wall, in compatible, accessible formats. Then, eventually, even the sources of the information will switch to publishing it in the libresphere, because at that point the best audiences will be there too.


I hope you're right, but this is an extremely optimistic view that does not have much historical precedent.


Looking at all of history, I'm very optimistic. Going way back to Cuneiform and the printing press, and the internet itself, they all point to a general principle of the breaking up of monolithic information sources over time. It might take a while, but it'll happen with the internet too.


What you describe in the digital age will be an illusion of freedom. Delivery of the bits will still be locked down tighter than ever. Delivery allows filtering. The future is very bleak.


Sad that the internet is now considered a “monolithic information source”. But yay for unicorns I guess.


It's how things went down with aol


Isn’t the Wikipedia current events portal just that?


Who will do the work to make this so and what is their motivation?


I think it will be hackers just like you and me, and our motivation will be making information accessible and the world a better place.

It may seem optimistic, but I'm also optimistic about what our reality "optimizes" for.


What death of RSS? There are literally zero blogs I want to follow that don't support it.


Most blog software have RSS built in, so that's not where you would see the death of RSS.

These sites don't have RSS (anymore): News publications: Bloomberg, Economist, Forbes, TechRadar ... Communities: Indiehackers, dev.to They switch it off because it allows people to see their content without the advertising, or they forget to implement it. Source: I created https://nuuz.io/tech and it depends on RSS feeds for news.


Jepsen.io doesn’t seem to have one.


Hogwash

Email works fine. I am in months long conversations with academics and thinkers around the world.

Signal works fine. Same story as above.

What’s dying is your historical connectivity to specific ideas.

That’s hardly a sign fascism and censorship are settling in.

And really you’re saying it was impossible for anyone to blindly get addicted to an RSS feed, just reading whatever is posted to it?

Good grief. Your brain is experiencing chemical shock over one of thousands of epistemological inventions going away. That’s akin to the dark ages literally returning?

Perhaps your connection to current events is coloring your thoughts here. RSS still exists. History wasn’t sucked into a black hole.

This is what’s deflating about the tech scene. All these weird hills to die on, as if some favored bespoke language that is only 10-12 years old anyway losing popular favor means 1984 is upon us!


Email is being replaced by Slack. Maybe RSS / Atom weren't good enough, but what they're being replaced with isn't better either. It's not just about RSS. It's about moving off open standards to closed properties. It's also more effort to integrate different sources as each one has a different API.

Indeed, nor the world nor freedom of information will die here, but that doesn't mean it's a step forward.


> Email is being replaced by Slack.

Is it? I've never once used Slack. It's not on any of my devices. But email is and it works great.


While I obviously still use email, the company I work for doesn't use it. We only use slack (and various other communication tools like Github and Monday).

We use our personal emails to set up the accounts. It's an interesting experiment that seems to be working fine so far. Not sure how it will work as we continue to grow (only about 40 employees right now.)


> We use our personal emails to set up the accounts.

I would object to that. Personal and business don't mix.


Likely, there are people that have never used email either.


Well, there are no people who have used Slack who have never used email, because you need email to sign up for Slack.


I'm very likely a minority but I only hear about Slack when I'm browsing HN.


In my case from Bloomberg when the stock takes a hit.


> Email is being replaced by Slack

I don't know about this one. For example, I'm not going to invite every one of our clients to our Slack as a single-channel guest, nor am I going to be joining their Slack workspaces (if any of them even have one - most of them are in the Microsoft ecosystem). I'm also not going to do that with every vendor I'm in contact with, and so on — email is much more convenient. That being said, most of our internal communication within the company is on Slack, but that's a small slice of what emails are used for.


I'm not suggesting that it's replacing every use-case for email. But likely 90+% of internal communication within companies that use it. I've experienced this both in my previous large corp (20K+) job as well as my startup (<10).

The main difference is that Slack lacks a unique global id, so you can't add a user in Figma based on it's Slack ID unless you have a Figma / Slack integration. Email still rules for these use-cases - which is exactly why open-standards (such as email, RSS, etc.) are better than proprietary APIs that repeat the same use-cases over and over.


I'd say Slack replaces IRC chats, and, along the way, they transformed a niche tool into one more easily adopted by businesses. Instant messaging tools always cannibalize email conversations.


Microsoft are leveraging their monopoly in the office world to force teams onto the world, rather than things like Slack, Trello, etc.


>Microsoft are leveraging their monopoly in the office world to force teams onto the world

I'm by no means a MS fanboy but I find your comment odd...

How are they doing this exactly? I'm genuinely curious where you're coming from...

Teams is bundled into O365 but you can use Slack, Mattermost or whatever other product you want.


Lagre companies are paying for O365 because you have to have office.

Then why should they spend another $100-300/year/user for a tool that on paper does what things like Slack does.

I'd expect zoom to go the same way in the next 12-18 months too.


> Users happily consume the content the platform feeds to them, without much say in it.

You get posts from people/pages you subscribe to in your feeds. I don't see how this is true unless you're just talking about Facebook's non-chronological order. Twitter's nothing like that anyway.


> I don't see how this is true unless you're just talking about Facebook's non-chronological order.

It's more than just non-chronological. FB buries many link posts. Specific friends can disappear from your feed for months. FB still has the echo chamber issues it had pre 2016 election, just with fact checking notations sometimes. For many people, FB is where they get their world news at this point, and that's a very skewed way to get your news.


Twitter has defaulted to a non-chronological feed for a while now. Check your "Show best Tweets first" setting.


I submitted a support ticket on Jun 20, and received a reply this morning:

‘Hello,

Thank you for reaching out. Please be informed that we've already discontinued RSS Feed on Reuters.com. If you require the service, we suggest that you contact our Sales Team on the link provided below:

https://agency.reuters.com/en/contact-us.html

Kind regards,

The Reuters.com Team’


I got the same reply, word for word, for a similar inquiry.


There should be a way to integrate RSS with a payment model. People should be free to get content they want in any app of their choice based and still be able to pay for it.


Hidden RSS Urls already exist. Publishers are just lazy to implement it.


There is. It's called Basic Auth and probably every HTTP library supports that.


There are ways. Lots of podcasts etc are RSS and behind paywalls. Agree we should make it easier and companies are starting to pop up that empower and enable the distributed internet rather than destroying it, even as spotify is making major moves in the other direction.


Interesting that their FeedBurner CNAME[0] is still set.

[0] http://feeds.reuters.com/


For sure whomever is in charge of their DNS found out about this the same time we did.


Is there an alternate source for this? It's how I got my news up until it shut down.


Shameless plug -- but I built this web app, aggregates a bunch of different sources: https://journali.sm


Why does it seem like there's only cnn, nyt and abc in the feed? Can we get articles from all sides of the spectrum? I'd like to see RT, fox, aljazeera and some edgy stuff I don't even know about


Using third-party aggregators like this only adds a middle man to a process which can be easily done by yourself using something like Nextcloud News on a personal server - a SBC like a Raspberry Pi or something similar is enough for this task (and others). You get to choose exactly which sources you want to add, from The Daily Beast to The Daily Wire, from Breitbart to HuffPo, take your pick and add them. You might have to do some work to find a feed link or rig up a scraper for those sites which don't offer one but this is worth the effort.

One of the big advantages of running your own aggregator is that you get to see part of the editorial process - article titles are being changed, often from 'honest' to 'biased' or 'bland', articles are first put up but dropped a few minutes later, etc. You get to see how different outlets report on the same issue without any potential filtering by a middle man.


There are categories on the sidebar that you can switch between, and you can also create a (free) account and choose which sources/categories you want in a custom feed.


Your site suggests it's based in San Marino, but it doesn't seem to cover any Italian news, nor does it seem to cover global news

Your motto is "Just what's happening in the world."

Scrolling down your (never ending) front page shows a single item of global significance - The highest number of coronavirus cases were reported to WHO in a single day yesterday



If you are building a site aimed at global residents (I assume you aren't aiming it as San Marino residents), then that should be the first page.

You have a "U.S. / National" link. It has no stories from my country, it's "Just U.S".

"Sports" is mainly American sports, which have niche following globally.

I'm afraid if I encountered this site I'd just put it down as just another America-centric aggregator making money off the backs of actual journalists

If you want to target american audiences that's fine, just don't claim you're global.


Another news site's sadly


CNN offers several RSS feeds: https://www.cnn.com/services/rss/


CNN is highly editorialized and borders infotainment.

I too am struggling to find good sources of professional journalism.


Depends on what your after really. In my case subscribing to a nation-wide newspaper feels like a good solution. Or is it an RSS feed specifically that you want?


Is it wrong that I miss Pointcast? It was before RSS, and would download full articles (including images and ads, etc) for use when you wanted to read it.


Pointcast, boy that brings back some memories.


AP and Reuters have excellent twitter feeds.


To extend that a bit, using something like RSS-Bridge[0] you can turn a Twitter feed into an RSS feed.

[0] https://github.com/RSS-Bridge/rss-bridge


Truly a great recommendation! I switched to tt-rss years ago when Google Reader was discontinued, but as more services discontinue their RSS feeds it has been consistently losing value.

I'd looked for something like rss-bridge ages ago, around the time I moved to tt-rss, but it didn't seem to exist (or wasn't popular enough to find). Your mention caused me to give things another look, and now my tt-rss is rapidly filling back up with content. Thanks!


Is there an alternate source for this? It's how I got my news up until it shut down.

You could always pay for the news you consume.


I’m a huge proponent for paid news, but that’s a bit of a strawman argument. Reuters hasn’t made their rss paid, or removed all of their free news content.

It is sad that we’re losing a uniquely powerful mechanism for consuming news because we can’t find a business model that supports it. People Who consumed RSS news can’t just pay and get an equivalent experience. RSS allows filtering and combining news sources in ways that make them much more valuable, and can’t be reproduced just by paying for a single subscription to a publisher.


I tire of this suggestion. It made sense to me, so a few years I started subscribing to several newspapers, digitally.

Suddenly I was getting paper newspapers all the time. This became a safety / security concern because when I would travel, the newspapers would pile up. Nevermind the sheer amount of waste. Since I didn't actually ask for delivery, I had no mechanism to put my deliveries on hold. I contacted the various newspapers 3-8 different times to ask them to stop. Eventually they all only stopped when I cancelled my digital subscription and told them that was the reason.

I also wasn't very happy with the news I was paying to get. Even though I was paying, it was still riddled with ads, and heavy on the click-bait. I would find an article with a compelling subject, but felt the writing lacked substance. So I would go look up similar articles from other sources, and have to read 5 or 6 before I felt I had a good sense of enough of the facts to judge any of the articles by. There was never 1 outlet I could pay for that I consistently felt had a well-rounded, factual statement of a story. I'm not paying for 5 or 6 newspapers and doing that much work for every story I read, sorry. If only for my emotional health, I'll choose to remain ignorant at that point.

This was mostly local papers. I would be willing to try a couple of national papers if they didn't have similar problems, but as far as I can tell, they do - but at least it's less severe.

I probably should support some international news sources as they are a lot better in this regard (like Reuters, Al Jazeera, BBC) but I don't think I've ever been prompted to subscribe. I just checked Reuter's website and I don't even see the option. Is that even the business model with these sources? But that's all beside the point.

If I pay, will I get an RSS feed? No.


RSS has nothing to do with payment for content.


Is rss provided if you have an account? Otherwise it doesn't answer the question.


I am paying for The Economist, and they still track me through 10 trackers (last time I checked) and resell me.


I just noticed today that City Lab as part of their move to Bloomberg also doesn't appear to have a working Atom or RSS feed anymore :( I contacted customer support and told them it worked on the old site but now appears to be gone. I've had a surprising amount of success with this on news sites and magazines in the past, so hopefully they respond positively.


Reuters support responded and told me I'd have to pay them if I wanted RSS feeds back, apparently this is some sort of subscription feature now? I dunno, it made no sense. No response from City Lab.


The relelnless push to apps aka blocking ads & tracking marches on


That stinks. I was subscribed for my Kodi ticker feed. I've found that Reuters does the best job at putting actual information in the headline and not just using it as an opportunity for clickbait.

Fictional Example:

- CNN: Trump said what? Democrats outraged by latest tweet.

- Reuters: Trump tweets 'looting leads to shooting' in response to BLM Protests


That is moving in the opposite direction of the recent trend...

People are getting sick of silos and algorithmic timelines. Lot's my friends are moving back to RSS and feed aggregators, heck I'm building a RSS add-on.


AP also did this, I use their app but wish I could pay to get rid of the ads.


I was sad the day the RSS feed on Jordan Mechner's site stopped working. I think it was around the time Stripe published the PoP book.

We need more RSS feeds!


I wish there was an OAuth for RSS, so I could subscribe to private/paid feeds through reader apps I only partially trusted.


There actually is, kind of.

The IndieWeb[0] community has come up with a protocol called AutoAuth[1] that solves this exact problem.

It's only a rough draft at the moment and it is built upon the IndieAuth[2] protocol (which, in turn, is based on OAuth 2), but I think the way it works is highly fascinating.

Here[3] is a an overview of how it works.

[0]: https://indieweb.org/ [1]: https://indieweb.org/AutoAuth [2]: https://indieauth.spec.indieweb.org/ [3]: https://www.svenknebel.de/temp/autoauth.html


I've seen many sites that generate feed URLs with secret token appended as a query parameter. This token only gives an access to the feed, so this as safe as it gets, and requires no special support on reader app part.


why though?


No ads to be pushed in an RSS feed.


I see this argument pretty regularly, but I don't understand it. Of course you can run ads in RSS feeds; you can put whatever you want in an RSS feed.


Ads in Internet are the whole ecosystem, they are served based on info you provide in cookies, browser fingerprint and some javascript magic. There is non of that in RSS reader as it is separate from your daily browsing.


The ads I hear on podcasts and radio shows and read in newsletters might beg to differ.


adds in RSS offer much less tracking, spying, etc... of course they are still ads, but that's not the same animal at all.


I'm not contending that dumb ads are the same as ads on the web. I'm saying that the killing off of RSS feeds is not due to lack of ability to advertise.

If it were simply about only showing "smart ads", Reuters could just continue to publish headlines and links without content in their RSS feeds, but they're not.


So - putting my Dr. Evil hat on - what about if on your homepage the link to the rss feed has a unique identifier, the same way the alert emails people send out tend to have a unique identifier in every url so you can track what email was successful for which user.

It doesn't help with auto discovering rss tools, but it does handle the person who right clicks and copies the url of the feed to put in their feed reader.


Entirely depends on what you post in the feed. Only a link to an ad driven website? Text directly from the advertisement company?


I'm perfectly happy with just getting headlines and a link which is what I get from most sources. If I want to see the content, I'll go to the page. Of course, I'm going to block the ads there too, and that might be true of most RSS users. Maybe sites are just figuring out the "RSS User" demographic is one they'd rather not target.


Maybe this'll work for you. You can use this tool to generate an RSS feed from their Twitter account

http://fetchrss.com/twitter


Ask average Joe what's an RSS feed and you'll know. Supporting effectively dead technology doesn't make financial sense for any company.


RSS isn't dead, it's just not popular (never has been). Teletype wasn't popular either, still it was essential to some. And while teletype clearly requires costly specialized hardware, RSS doesn't.


If you'd asked me a half hour ago I would definitely have said RSS' lack of movement was due to it being tired and shagged out after a long squawk, but then this Reuters thing happened and I can categorically assure any one who would like to know that RSS is not dead, it's just pining for the fjords.


Whilst it’s true that fewer and fewer consumers use RSS, it’s still a very powerful way for aggregators to source stories and drive readers to the original publisher. Think about it more as an api for building a “shopfront” for your news stories and the fact that most publishers still provide RSS makes much more sense.


Ask average joe what IMAP is? People don't need to understand the technology they use. Anybody who can use an email client can also use a feed reader.


You can do that question for anything. TCP, HTTP, DNS ...


For those you, can show people that they do use it. For RSS, they don't use it.

I love RSS as much as most of older tech geeks, but I'm fully aware it's as relevant nowadays as usenet, and don't expect non-geeky surfaces to support it.


No one wants 255556 notifications/news per day.


RSS has nothing to do with notifications. In many ways it is actually the antithesis to them.


I'm not sure you're familiar with RSS. By default, you don't receive notifications for each item, nor do you have to explicitly mark them as read or scroll through their contents.


I used to include their RSS feeds on radfi.com and now I have to find a replacement for them.


That's a pity, I use RSS to forward feeds from many news sites to my telegram.


Wouldn’t it be possible to create a third-party site scraper that could generate custom RSS feeds independently of the company?

About the only barrier would be paywalls, IMO.


They tweet all their articles, right? No need to scrape their site, if you're only looking for headlines. This tool will generate an RSS feed from their Twitter account http://fetchrss.com/twitter

You won't get the article content but it'll give you enough information to find out if you're interested in the article and then read it on their site.

https://twitter.com/Reuters


There are several options; fetchRSS, RSS-Bridge, etc.

I personally have RSS-Bridge running on my local webserver, and use it for Twitter feeds, Instagram, Facebook, etc.


Yes, and even with paywalls, as long as the source has login details it can still be done (although this would probably be illegal).

Anecdotal evidence: I work in a tour operator and we publish our products on tripadvisor and getyourguide which are two very popular places to advertise these products and that provide an extranet to suppliers where they can login to create and manage products, availability, etc. A few years ago before they had developed APIs or had only private APIs for the "big guys" and wouldn't really pay any attention to small shops' requests, I managed to use Puppeteer [0] [1] (a node.js library to manage headless Chrome) to dynamically update our products into their extranet. It's very powerful and with some tinkering you can automate pretty much any behavior, including authentication and xhr interactions inside their platform (although this will require a bit of studying their requests using the browsers developer tools). It's a great tool.

[0] https://github.com/puppeteer/puppeteer

[1] https://pptr.dev


Page Not Found


Yeah, that's the problem.


Well, that's the point.




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