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BBC online news to host links to other news providers

LONDON - BBC News Online is to roll out links to other news providers alongside its own stories, with a long-term view of improving media literacy and affirming its trusted news reputation on the web.

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The move will also mean that users gain more detailed information and the chance to compare sources or check out a different perspective on the same story.

BBC Newstracker will use web search technology to track content from other news websites that relates to particular BBC stories.

The service provides BBC News Online with around 4,000 feeds from English-language news websites from all over the world.

The system takes the stories and compares their text with the text of the BBC report.

Where it finds a match, it can provide a link directly from the BBC website to the external site.

The BBC says that the service is being rolled out on an increasing number of stories over the next few weeks and will become a regular feature on the site.

Richard Deverell, BBC head of news interactive, said: "BBC Newstracker addresses a clear user need: we know that audiences, particularly younger audiences, want and seek out a wider range of news sources."

He said that the new links will provide users with an opportunity to read BBC content in the context of what other news providers are saying.

He added: "We hope this emphasis on choice will increase media literacy among our users, improving the educational value of our service, as well as affirming's reputation as a trusted guide to the web."

Earlier this year, the BBC launched a news alert service available to BBC UK News and BBC World Service website users. Alerts are sent to PC audiences via a BBC News-branded dialogue box containing a headline, summary text and link to the BBC's website. Users can also opt-in to receive information on current affairs programmes such as 'Panorama' and 'Money Box'.

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