I was just checking out the latest Google Labs release: In Quotes. As described on their FAQ:
The “In Quotes” feature allows you to find quotes from stories linked to from Google News. These quotations are a valuable resource for understanding where people in the news stand on various issues. Much of the published reporting about people is based on the interpretation of a journalist. Direct quotes, on the other hand, are concrete units of information that describe how newsmakers represent themselves. Google News compiles these quotations from online news stories and sorts them into browsable groups based on who is being quoted.
Here’s a screenshot to give you a feeling for the application:
This reminds me of an idea I once discussed with Craig Newmark after hearing a talk by Miles Efron about using cocitation information to estimate the political orientation of web documents. I’d just heard of Craig’s interest in community journalism, and I thought he might be persuaded to consider a new way of automatically presenting news as neutral happenings (perhaps obtained through passage retrieval algorithms on the news stream) through a variety of ideological lenses. I’m not sure that very many people would be want to hear points of view in conflict with their own, but this is precisely what I feel people need to hear. The conversation never led to anything concrete, but it’s still something I muse about.