As those who’ve read Slaw for a while might know, I’ve been critical in the past about the way the news media treat law. Simply put, law does not figure in their analysis of things that make the world go round. This is easy — and distressing — to see by looking at the way in which news media categorize their content. The Globe and Mail, for example, doesn’t include “Law” or “Justice” in any of its major menu headings, and only by looking at the website’s site map can we find “Law” among the 175 possibilities as a third level category under Business / Industry News — and this for a page that gets published once a week. The situation is pretty much the same for the other mainstream news sources in Canada, so far as I can tell.
At any rate, I’ve tried over the years to extract legal news from the daily flow of mainstream reporting, and I’ve had poor success given my limited ability to work the tools that grab and filter feeds. Google News worked for a while; as did Yahoo Pipes; but neither was reliable. I’ve taken another stab at the thing recently and have come up with Legal Stream, a “river” of legal or law-related news from the major sources.
What you should know about Legal Stream:
- it’s not curated; for curated legal news I recommend Wise Law Blog’s 140 Law — Legal Headlines; Legal Stream is filtered from the mainstream through the use of keywords;
- irrelevant and immaterial stuff gets into the stream; filtering by keywords at the simple level I’m on means that junk gets in;
- the stream updates every fifteen minutes; you may have to reload the page in order to refresh the stream;
- no item is older than 2 days;
- the age and source of each item is stated below the excerpt;
- items are presented chronologically by publication date and time, most recent first;
- a maximum of 30 items will appear in the stream at any one time;
- you can subscribe to Legal Stream via RSS (but not email — anyway, not sure that yesterday’s up to the minute news makes sense in a next day email);
- if the items are lame, blame the media.
I’d be happy as always to hear your suggestions as to sources or, indeed, as to any other aspect of the project.