I live in the United States and I have to say cable news here is painful to watch. Most of the stories are irrelevant Hollywood fluff, and the rest is almost entirely talking-head gibberish.
In the past, we’ve offered a variety of alternative ways to keep in touch with the news online, the most recent recommendation being the iPhone NPR app.
If you’d like to get a video supplement to your reading and listening, however, online video aggregator 1Cast offers a cross-section of videos from sources all over the world. And, like everything we profile here, it’s free to use.
To use 1Cast on your desktop computer just point your browser to 1Cast.com. You’ll then be presented with a variety of current world news story thumbnails.
Click any of these stories to watch them. It’s that simple. Because 1Cast gets content from a wide variety of sources, you never know which source the video you get will come from – though it will be clearly labeled once the video loads. If you don’t like the way the first source covers the story, you can simply skip to the next.
Brilliant, right? The different sources vary widely in terms of style: some feature just raw footage, some feature talking-head commentary, and some offer more traditional television reportage. They also vary widely in terms of editorial content. 1Cast allows you to watch as many or as little takes on a story as you like – giving you a variety of perspectives in the process.
Unlike some aggregators of video news, 1Cast is completely legal. Through a series of partnerships with content providers 1Cast is able to provide video from a wide variety of sources, and new ones are always popping up.
The content sources range from respected international outlets – including world news headlines from Al Jazeera, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation – to American business networks, including CNBC, Bloomberg and Fox Business News – to the wire services many television channels get their coverage from in the first place – Reuters, the Associated Press and Agence France-Presse.
If you only want to see a particular network’s take on the stories of the day, all you need to do is click that network’s icon at the top of 1Cast’s homepage. You’ll then be shown that network’s most recent videos.
1Cast isn’t just for computers: it works on phones. You can download an App for the iPhone and Android-based phones including the Droid and the new Nexus One. 1Cast reportedly gets a good chunk of its traffic from its cell phone apps, which allow commuters to catch up on the news while riding the train or bus.
Prefer watching your videos on your television? Well, if you’re set up with Boxee you’ve already got the perfect platform to browse 1Cast with your remote. Just add the 1Cast App, available in the Boxee App Library for free.
The 1Cast App allows you to watch all the top world news headlines of the day in a single click, a perfect routine to watch news on your schedule. I personally do this with my coffee every morning. Alternatively you can watch all the news offered by a particular network or watch the stories recommend by 1Cast’s staff. However you use this app, expect a wide variety of views brought to your television screen in rapid succession.
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If you’re looking to get your news online, for free and from a variety of sources, consider 1Cast your perfect one-stop-shop. The variety of networks means you’ll get a balanced point of view. The variety of platforms means you can access it from anywhere. Check it out now.
Sadly 1Cast only works in the United States of America, though there are ways around this. Aibek wrote a very good article highlighting how to bypass Hulu’s geoblocking using Hotspot shield; follow his steps and you should be able to use 1Cast anywhere. Alternatively, if you already have a favorite proxy for bypassing geoblocking, share it below in the comments and let us know if it works with 1Cast.