In Depth

Navigating News Feeds

Services Becoming More Environmental

Some networks—BBC comes to mind—have such a strong news presence that their trucks seem to show up automatically in even the most remote areas of the world whenever there’s a newsworthy occurrence.

For everyone else, there’s Thomson Reuters or Associated Press. Or Bloomberg, or Scripps Howard. There’s also Cybercast News Service (CNS), Catholic News Service, Iraqi News Agency and even the Student News Daily. Strategic News Service covers the computing and communications industries. ABC News, CBS News, Fox News, CNN and MSNBC all have prominent online coverage; CNN Newsource provides coverage for other media as well.

So far, nobody covers environmental news exclusively, although most of the major services provide links, clips or text of environmental issues, some of them quite extensive. For general print journalism and wire services, subscribers usually get an edited story they can print or a link they can add to their Web sites.

For television, news services such as Reuters and AP provide raw footage that is edited at local stations for the evening news.

Nart Bouran, the London-based Reuters director of television, said the agency has “over 80 news bureaus, which means a strong journalistic presence. In Beijing, we have a couple of hundred people. In a small area it might be only five.”

When viewers flip through channels to get a clearer picture of a presidential address, a wildfire or a train wreck, the same feed is generally being provided by one news service, he said.

Broadcast news services are “wholesalers of video,” he said. “No journalists are on camera. It’s raw footage with natural sound. The customer gets a video, gets who shot it and what restrictions apply, as well as live footage.”

Like most of the larger news services, Reuters also provides print and wire services for newspapers, along with text, graphics and photo services for networks as large as NBC, BBC and Fox, and for places as small as “anywhere that has a TV station.”

“We’ve been having more and more demand to cover more stories on global warming,” Mr. Bouran said, “and requests to cover inventions to deal with environmental problems and to find out what other people are doing [about those problems].”

The Associated Press also has a huge library both for Internet and broadcast use, offering 500,000 clip reels in its online database. The library includes a large number of clip reels on the environment: There are 418 clips of polar bears, for instance, of which 328 relate specifically to the environment.