Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Comparing News Articles from Around the World

I was just reading the EdTech listserv to which I belong (how's that for fancy writing? ;-).
A teacher was asking about how she could use Google to compare news perspectives from different newspapers around the world.

I was fortunate enough to have attended Alan November's presentation at the ITEC conference in Des Moines last month where he explained how you can do this. After a little experimentation, I was able to reconstruct these steps for finding news articles that are written in specific countries about specific topics.

Let's assume that you want to compare news articles about the President-elect Barack Obama. You want to see what they are saying about him in Poland. You can go to google.pl to use the Polish Google but it will only direct you back to the articles here in the US.

The best way to find articles published in Poland is to search only the Web addresses that end in .pl (Polish domain):
  1. Begin by selecting the Advanced Search option on Google.
  2. In the "Search within a site or domain:", enter .pl (this will limit it to URLs in Poland).
  3. In case you don't speak Polish, select English or your native language in the Language section.
  4. Enter Obama in the Search box at the top and you will have a huge list of Polish-published articles that are written in your native language.
Here is a link to an advanced search page that would achieve this.

This could also be used to compare articles on a specific topic that were published in the Los Angeles Times (latimes.com) or the New York Times (nytimes.com).

This could be a powerful tool for learning about the world peoples' opinions on thing that happen in the U.S. and elsewhere.

I am interested in whether you have ever used this in your classes? If so, how did it go? If not, how do you envision yourself as using this strategy?

photo: flickr.com/cikku

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