A Note on Sources and RSS Feeds

On the right hand side of the blog are links to the websites, mainly, of various foreign ministries. Some of these maintain RSS feeds; others do not. Some that seem to offer RSS (like Turkey's ministry of foreign affairs) haven't been properly maintained. Others, like Israel's foreign affairs ministry, have  a large number of RSS feeds but nothing that consolidates political and diplomatic messages (I chose a somewhat offbeat feed featuring summaries of the Hebrew press, but will probably add a few others). Some foreign ministries (like Australia's) apparently think that RSS is unnecessary and they can rely on Facebook and Twitter. Alas, those do not work for this format. There are other peculiarities. The feed from Canada's ministry of foreign affairs shows the text of the article, but it is not hyperlinked, so you just get the headline. (Dunno how to fix it. Will try one of these days, I promise.)

Not all the sites represented here are maintained by governments. Important sources also include international institutions (such as the International Court of Justice and various components of the United Nations) and important non-governmental organizations like Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International. 

The foreign offices without RSS feeds in English will congregate at the bottom of the list because they are not regularly updated. Those links will take you to the English language versions of those foreign ministry sites (e.g. for China, Iran, Pakistan, Japan, Brazil, and Australia).

The US State Department also maintains a rather large number of feeds; I have limited those to the Secretary of State's remarks and several of the regional bureaus.

I note that the Open Society Institute sponsors an outstanding website covering all aspects of South Africa's foreign relations. We have picked up a few of their feeds, but not all. A similar such venture is needed for Latin America, the Middle East, Central Asia, and other regions; I can't quite believe that the Soros people, having invented something so manifestly useful in one region, should not have emulated it elsewhere; hopefully that idea is brewing somewhere within the Open Society Institute.

Incredibly, it is extremely difficult if not impossible to find the speeches of a great many foreign ministers and other high governmental officials in English translation. At a recent peace conference on Syria, the Syrian foreign minister gave a long speech on the conflict in his country. There were some news reports of the speech, and a couple of juicy quotes, but I could not find the actual text in English translation (I googled away for about 45 minutes before giving up).

I am happy to entertain suggestions for additions to the sources, especially to sites with RSS feeds that aggregate foreign opinion. Please write to me at dhendrickson@coloradocollege.edu if you have suggestions on that score.

--David Hendrickson
March 27, 2014

No comments:

Post a Comment