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News Formats: Online
Plain Text

News content is available in at least eight formats. This is a guide to those formats with pros and cons and examples for each one.

Online, Plain Text

Format: Plain text, no graphics. Plain text is usually framed by an HTML interface.
Examples: Aggregators include Factiva, LexisNexis Academic, Access World News (aka NewsBank), ProQuest (Ethnic NewsWatch, Alt-PressWatch), World News Connection (1994-2013), and Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS) Daily Reports, 1974-1996.
Content: Mainline newspapers, specialized/ethnic newspapers, international newspapers, mostly back to 1980, some coverage back to 1960s. Partial content. Included content is fully indexed.
Pros: The full text of the included content is searchable; wide range of content; good currency; networked; institutional subscriptions are relatively inexpensive for the content covered.
Cons: Changing content; not an archival medium; loss of original formatting; loss of graphic, audio, and visual information; loss of content (no advertising included, Tasini exclusions, multiple daily editions).
Access rating: Good. Networked.
Preservation rating: Highly variable; archived content can be withdrawn by individual newspaper publishers at any time.
Notes: Currently the dominant mode of access that the library provides users via paid subscriptions in terms of breadth and depth of content.

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