Why use the Net to get your news? After all, it is simple and pleasant to read the newspaper at the coffee table over a mug of hot coffee, or to turn on the TV and catch the headlines. But the Internet offers some advantages that makes it a unique tool for getting the news that you want. Many web sites are updated throughout the day (opposed to the paper's once a day), and many sites offer additional information that doesn't make it to the newspaper or television due to space and time constraints. And many web sites offer interactive discussion areas where you can read editorials from the experts and voice your own opinions on the topics that concern you.
Internet news won't replace your daily paper or the 6 o'clock TV report, but it can act as a unique supplement to traditional sources for news, politics, weather and sports information. With that in mind, here's a look at some of the best newsy Web sites.
=-=-= News =-=-=
The Nando Times (http://www.nando.net) is a fantastic online-only news source, offering just about everything you would expect in a paper newspaper. Its global news page (http://www.nando.net/nt/world) is a one-stop source of timely world news. Here you can immediately find continually updated news briefs and the biggest international stories. In addition, you can peruse Today's News to find dozens of articles on news from Europe, Japan, China, Central America, the Middle East, Africa, and every other region of the world. From this page you can jump to any other section of The Nando Times, including sports, politics, opinions, business, information technology, health and science, entertainment, and weather.
WashingtonPost.com (http://www.washingtonpost.com) is the Web edition of the widely-read newspaper based in Washington, D.C. WashingtonPost.com consists of three parts: The Post, which presents straightforward news stories in plain text; WashingtonPost.com sections, which feature articles enhanced with related information, discussions, and graphics; and Washington World, which contains news, sports, recreation, restaurant, economy, and entertainment information pertaining to the Washington, D.C. area. Readers around the United States explore the WashingtonPost.com sections to find business, interaction, international, national, sports, and style pages.
Mercury Center (http://www.sjmercury.com) is the online edition of the San Jose Mercury News, a newspaper based in Silicon Valley. Go directly to the Breaking News section to read new top stories from the United States and around the globe. In addition to typical newspaper sections, Mercury Center offers extensive news and feature articles specifically about Silicon Valley and the high-tech industry. There are also tons of useful services available here, including the Free Agent resume database, Family Cyberspace, and searchable San Jose Mercury News library.
USA Today, at http://www.usatoday.com, is a vast source of timely news information, features, and services. The home page displays the top news stories, highlight photographs, and a sports schedule marquee at the top. Although you can get any type of news here, the sports page is especially impressive. Here you can find news about professional, college, and amateur sports; top 25 men's and women's basketball rankings; updated scores; and information on ice hockey, gymnastics, soccer, and wrestling. Other equally valuable sections are News, Life, Money, and Weather.
C-SPAN Online Live (http://www.c-span.org) is the Web complement to the public service cable television channel. Here you can get live audio coverage of C-SPAN and C-SPAN 2 every weekday; go to Event of the Day to hear a top news story. This Web site also offers the Washington Journal, a guide to C-SPAN's coverage of Capitol Hill; Congress Today, a schedule of congressional events and directory of congress members' profiles; By the Book, which contains scheduling information on the Booknotes and About Books programs; and C-SPAN's Weekly Radio Journal.
=-=-= Weather =-=-=
The Weather Channel (http://www.weather.com) is another free resource partnered with a television station. The site provides specific up-to-the-minute weather news for any region around the United States and general information around the world. Here you can find conditions and forecasts, high-quality satellite images of various regions, and interesting information on meteorology and how various weather systems work. If you are concerned about how the weather will affect your plans, check out Weather & You to find complete data on travel weather, aviation reports, health news, and the skier's forecast.
If that's not enough weather for you, try AccuWeather (http://www.accuweather.com). The site features satellite weather photographs, a storm watch service, and weekly live weather discussions with a meteorologist.
=-=-= Sports =-=-=
The title says it all at "Fox Sports: In Your Face Sports Coverage" (http://www.iguide.com/sports/). The sports news and features here cover football, hockey, basketball, baseball, soccer, and horse racing. You can try your hand at trivia games for several sports: Two-Minute Drill (NFL), Cup Crusade (hockey), and Full Court Press (basketball). If you want to make your opinion known, fill out the Fans Speak Out surveys and join the bulletin board forums in each area. Soccer addicts won't want to skip Corner Kicks, weekly soccer notes; similarly, horse racing fans should read The Backstretch.
Sports Fan Online (http://www.sfan.com/home/) calls itself "Smart sports for smart fans." Here you can find fan-oriented information and news on professional sports leagues, including the NFL, NHL, MLB, and NCAA football and basketball. Audiophiles can visit Sportsfan Radio Network to listen to broadcasts by Pete Rose, John Madden, Pat O'Brien, and Bob Costas. If you're interested in the health and medical aspects of professional sports, check out the Jock Doc page. A cool feature of this site is the running scorecard which you can float on your computer desktop.
SI Online (http://pathfinder.com/si/) is the Web companion to the print magazine Sports Illustrated (SI). Here you can find Sports Ticker and Reuters Sports news on football, baseball, basketball, golf, hockey, and soccer, as well as other professional sports like auto racing, bowling, boxing, horse racing, tennis, and track & field. Some fun features include Fantasy Football, the Olympics Recap, Photo Gallery, This Day In Sports, and SI For Kids. You can also read amusing quotes in They Said It.
Finally, The Sports Network (http://www.sportsnetwork.com) is a real-time international sports information service. You won't find a lot of fancy graphics here; instead, The Sports Network aims to provide a no-nonsense online forum for discussions, debates, and controversy on a variety of professional sports. For up-to-the-minute news, go directly to the News Headlines, Fates and Fortunes, News Briefs, or Daynotes pages.
=*=*= SITES MENTIONED IN THIS ISSUE =*=*=
Nando Times: http://www.nando.net
Mercury Center: http://www.sjmercury.com
USA Today: http://www.usatoday.com
C-SPAN Online: http://www.c-span.org
The Weather Channel http://www.weather.com
Fox Sports: http://www.iguide.com/sports/
Sports Fan Online: http://www.sfan.com/home/
Sports Illustrated Online: http://pathfinder.com/si/
The Sports Network: http://www.sportsnetwork.com