One of the biggest challenges I face as a blogger isn’t that I lack access to news sources; the internet puts ample information at my fingertips. It seems as though it would be a simple matter to subscribe to the RSS news feeds of your preferred sources and you’d be home free. The reality is that it’s not that simple – especially if you’re blogging local issues where the quality and flexibility of the feeds vary widely from source to source. It’s a real frustration, not to mention a time waster, to sort through mountains of information to find the significant stories as you’re force fed recipes, gossip and high school sports.
Enter NewsFifty. Don’t be tempted to write it off as “just another Drudge knock off.” For starters, they recently unveiled a new look that’s modern, clean and easy to read. I especially like the nifty ticker at the top that scrolls through top headlines from each of the 50 states but what really sets NewsFifty apart from other news aggregation sites is the map on the upper left-hand side. Click any state to view all the top headlines, as well as listings of news links and blogs, specific to that state. If NewsFifty is a handy resource for bloggers, it’s invaluable for busy people who don’t live and breathe news yet want desperately to stay informed and don’t have time to sit down in the evening and spend an hour or two leafing through the local paper.
NewsFifty doesn’t completely replace digging through local news sources, but it’s a good starting point. Check it out.