Started in 1973 as the Africa News Service, AllAfrica Global Media continues today as the world’s largest provider of full-text electronic news and information on Africa. The allAfrica.com Web site, available in its current form since 1999, builds on a legacy of partnership with African news agencies and periodicals to make content on African life, politics, and culture more accessible in the United States.
The strength of allAfrica.com is the breadth of content provided. The site contains more than 900,000 current and past articles pulled from the Africa News Services archive dating back to 1996. However, only articles from the last five years are available freely on the site. Older content, along with advanced keyword searching is reserved for subscribers. Roughtly 1,000 articles are posted each day in English and french. Users must click the “Site Francais” link to access most articles in French. Content is aggregated from more than 125 African news providers, and more than 130 government and nongovernmental organizations in Africa, Europe, and North America. African sources include government-controlled, oppositioin, commercial, and independent papers.
The “content providers” link on the hompage lists “active” and “archived” (discontinued) sources. Original pieces from allAfrica.com staff writers and guest contributors are also available.
Content can be located in three different ways from the homepage. Current major headlines, some with pictures, appear centrally on the homepage. Links to other current top headlines appear above and below these major stories. Keyword searching is available via a small, single box near the top. Powered by Google, allAfrica.com states that searches yield articles from the last five years. Content can also be found using two category pull-down menus labeled coutry/region and topics. Users can select from more than 80 topics or 54 topics and fire regions.
-Jason Schultz, University of California Berkeley, C&RL News, November 2008
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