Subscribing to news threads

There is, in my opinion, something quite fundamental missing from online news services. Maybe it’s there and I’m not aware of it. Or maybe it genuinely is missing.

I’d like to register an interest in a news story. And I’d like to be actively kept abreast of developments in that news story.

There are certain stories that have a timeline, most notably those involving the judicial system. Someone is killed, someone is arrested in connection with that murder, they’re released and bailed, a second person is later arrested and charged, there is a trial, a conviction etc.

And people are declared ill, their illness progresses, either positively or otherwise, and each key moment carries a news story.

I’d like to be able to subscribe to a news thread in which I’m interested. And I’d like to be pushed updates to that news thread, whether those updates are days, weeks, months or years later. I’d rather not rely on actively pulling the news on the day on which the story evolves.

The feature would rely on the news outlet (likely the BBC) deciding whether a story was related to an earlier news story. But I trust them to do this. I trust them to link together the Jimmy Savile–related investigations, those of the Huhne–Pryce story, the horsemeat saga, the phone hacking fiasco etc.

Does this service exist? And if not, should it?

On a related topic, there are some stories that simply end prematurely. The news breaks, but there is no follow-up. It’s more prevalent in the lower-profile local news. But it’s frustrating to say the least.

One notable example in my life was the cycling accident that occurred near Clapham Common on 10 October. Save my own blogpost, there was only one story of the accident at the time, in the Wandsworth Guardian. It spoke of the possibility that the cyclist might lose the use of her arm as a result of the injuries she suffered.

I would very much like to read of her progress.

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