Chris Porter FreePint Topic Series "News, And Beyond" - What Is In the Pipeline?
Jinfo Blog

Thursday, 16th October 2014

By Chris Porter


FreePint's major new Topic Series: News, and Beyond is now under way. A wide range of coverage is lined up, looking at latest trends for both current awareness and research solutions and taking into account the differing perspectives of buyers, vendors and service users. Series co-producer Chris Porter peers down the coverage pipeline and discerns some key themes.


FreePint Topic Series: News, and BeyondA Familiar World, Or...

You might think that the world of business news is a pretty settled one.

Yes, new suppliers emerge from time to time; and long-established firms occasionally transit through big-company ownership, often to emerge the other side a few years later as independent companies again.

Areas of vendor focus occasionally shift between the general and the particular; or extra business lines are bolted on by established vendors in high-growth areas - the recently concluded FreePint Topic Series on risk and compliance needs and tools, What You Need to Know Your Customer has a fair few examples of that.

And of course economic shocks can give a shake-up to the market, as happened with the financial crisis of 2008-9. And user needs evolve, and technologies change - mobile access, intranet access, even internet delivery were all new once.

But, by and large, a lot of the supplier names - and a lot of the people - remain familiar and the world of business news for the enterprise shows a large degree of continuity and a pretty gradual pace of change.

And yet, and yet... a lot can happen in a year.

A World Changed For Ever?

As FreePint was running its Topic Series Beyond Aggregation towards the tail-end of 2013, Dow Jones was endeavouring to migrate its Factiva customers to the new "all-in-one" Dow Jones offering, DJX. While that process has been reversed, it has left its mark on the entire news aggregation market, both for research and for current awareness.

Faced with the prospect of a completely different pricing and access model, many buyers were suddenly forced to reconsider their options - and once this process began, it led in all sorts of interesting directions.

Dow Jones of course later moved very vigorously to restore the status quo, reassure its customer base and get back on with the process of investing in and enhancing Factiva. Some customers settled down with Dow Jones again; others made either partial or wholesale changes; but pretty much everyone must have at least considered the possibility of doing things slightly, or very, differently.

The continuing effect of this is very evident in one of the opening articles in the News, and Beyond series. In a lively and insightful Q&A with Northern Light, the CEO of this market research, business information and enterprise search company, David Seuss, tells FreePint that "clients are now open to all kinds of new ideas…The marketplace has really opened up for business news."

FreePint believes that Northern Light's experience reflects a more general pattern. Buyers and users of information services appear increasingly willing to rely on the news coverage - maybe part-proprietary/specialised and part-aggregated, part-licensed and part free-web - embedded in a role-specific application, rather than subscribing separately to a role-based tool and a specialised news research database.

This series will dig further into this phenomenon, investigating a variety of use cases. We expect to be looking, for example, at how Thomson Reuters is currently integrating its aggregated "NewsRoom" content with Reuters news and other coverage to meet the needs of particular user groups.

Thomson Reuters generally aims to be the number one or number two vendor in each of the information markets in which it operates; so if it is getting this news integration piece right, that could have interesting implications for a considerable number of information buyers and users - and, of course, competing vendors.

News, and Beyond - What to Expect

As well as shifts in the news research market, FreePint is also taking a close look at trends in current awareness, and series co-producer Shimrit Janes is putting together a terrific package of pieces on key themes of the day in this area.

In addition to the items mentioned above, coverage in the series is currently expected to include, among many other things:

  • How to define and think about current awareness
  • Tips on do-it-yourself approaches, including key trends and challenges
  • Key issues relating to copyright
  • Q&As with vendors of enabling technologies
  • An in-depth product review of news awareness, research and management tool
  • A new review of the LexisNexis Publisher current awareness service
  • An investigation of some of the issues and challenges in researching news for "off the beaten track" countries.

Alongside the series, FreePint is of course currently running its long-established Survey on News Needs and Preferences. Now in its seventh year, the survey always sheds fascinating light on the state of the industry, for buyers, users and vendors alike. If you have not already taken part in the 2014 survey, you can read more about it and participate here.

In addition to the many planned articles and reviews, FreePint Subscribers can also benefit from relevant Communities of Practice sessions and consulting. To keep up with all that is on offer, make sure that you have registered for the series.

As ever, if there are any other topics which would be of interest to you for this series, please contact us at or

This Blog item is part of the FreePint Topic Series: News, and Beyond.

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