news-please - an integrated web crawler and information extractor for news that just works

fhamborg fhamborg Last update: Sep 25, 2023


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news-please is an open source, easy-to-use news crawler that extracts structured information from almost any news website. It can recursively follow internal hyperlinks and read RSS feeds to fetch both most recent and also old, archived articles. You only need to provide the root URL of the news website to crawl it completely. news-please combines the power of multiple state-of-the-art libraries and tools, such as scrapy, Newspaper, and readability.

news-please also features a library mode, which allows Python developers to use the crawling and extraction functionality within their own program. Moreover, news-please allows to conveniently crawl and extract articles from the (very) large news archive at

If you want to contribute to news-please, please first read here.


03/23/2021: If you're interested in sentiment classification in news articles, check out our large-scale dataset for target-dependent sentiment classification. We also publish an easy-to-use neural model that achieves state-of-the-art performance. Visit the project here.

06/01/2018: If you're interested in news analysis, you might also want to check out our new project, Giveme5W1H - a tool that extracts phrases answering the journalistic five W and one H questions to describe an article's main event, i.e., who did what, when, where, why, and how.

Extracted information

news-please extracts the following attributes from news articles. An examplary json file as extracted by news-please can be found here.

  • headline
  • lead paragraph
  • main text
  • main image
  • name(s) of author(s)
  • publication date
  • language


  • works out of the box: install with pip, add URLs of your pages, run :-)
  • run news-please conveniently using its CLI mode
  • use it as a library within your own software
  • extract articles from's news archive

Modes and use cases

news-please supports three main use cases, which are explained in more detail in the following.

CLI mode

  • stores extracted results in JSON files, PostgreSQL, ElasticSearch, or your own storage
  • simple but extensive configuration (if you want to tweak the results)
  • revisions: crawl articles multiple times and track changes

Library mode

  • crawl and extract information given a list of article URLs
  • to use news-please within your own Python code

News archive from

  • provides an extensive, free-to-use archive of news articles from small and major publishers world wide
  • news-please enables users to conveniently download and extract articles from
  • you can optionally define filter criteria, such as news publisher(s) or the date period, within which articles need to be published
  • clone the news-please repository, adapt the config section in newsplease/examples/, and execute python3 -m newsplease.examples.commoncrawl

Getting started

It's super easy, we promise!


news-please runs on Python 3.5+.

$ pip3 install news-please

Use within your own code (as a library)

You can access the core functionality of news-please, i.e. extraction of semi-structured information from one or more news articles, in your own code by using news-please in library mode. If you want to use news-please's full website extraction (given only the root URL) or continuous crawling mode (using RSS), you'll need to use the CLI mode, which is described later.

from newsplease import NewsPlease
article = NewsPlease.from_url('')

A sample of an extracted article can be found here (as a JSON file).

If you want to crawl multiple articles at a time, optionally with a timeout in seconds

NewsPlease.from_urls([url1, url2, ...], timeout=6)

or if you have a file containing all URLs (each line containing a single URL)


or if you have raw HTML data (you can also provide the original URL to increase the accuracy of extracting the publishing date)

NewsPlease.from_html(html, url=None)

or if you have a WARC file (also check out our commoncrawl workflow, which provides convenient methods to filter commoncrawl's archive for specific news outlets and dates)


In library mode, news-please will attempt to download and extract information from each URL. The previously described functions are blocking, i.e., will return once news-please has attempted all URLs. The resulting list contains all successfully extracted articles.

Finally, you can process the extracted information contained in the article object(s). For example, to export into a JSON format, you may use:

import json

with open("article.json", "w") as file:
    json.dump(article.get_serializable_dict(), file)

Run the crawler (via the CLI)

$ news-please

news-please will then start crawling a few examples pages. To terminate the process press CTRL+C. news-please will then shut down within 5-60 seconds. You can also press CTRL+C twice, which will immediately kill the process (not recommended, though).

The results are stored by default in JSON files in the data folder. In the default configuration, news-please also stores the original HTML files.

Crawl other pages

Most likely, you will not want to crawl from the websites provided in our example configuration. Simply head over to the sitelist.hjson file and add the root URLs of the news outlets' web pages of your choice. news-please also can extract the most recent events from the GDELT project, see here.


news-please also supports export to ElasticSearch. Using Elasticsearch will also enable the versioning feature. First, enable it in the config.cfg at the config directory, which is by default ~/news-please/config but can also be changed with the -c parameter to a custom location. In case the directory does not exist, a default directory will be created at the specified location.



That's it! Except, if your Elasticsearch database is not located at http://localhost:9200, uses a different username/password or CA-certificate authentication. In these cases, you will also need to change the following.


host = localhost
port = 9200    


# Credentials used  for authentication (supports CA-certificates):

use_ca_certificates = False           # True if authentification needs to be performed
ca_cert_path = '/path/to/cacert.pem'  
client_cert_path = '/path/to/client_cert.pem'  
client_key_path = '/path/to/client_key.pem'  
username = 'root'  
secret = 'password'


news-please allows for storing of articles to a PostgreSQL database, including the versioning feature. To export to PostgreSQL, open the corresponding config file (config_lib.cfg for library mode and config.cfg for CLI mode) and add the PostgresqlStorage module to the pipeline and adjust the database credentials:


# Postgresql-Connection required for saving meta-informations
host = localhost
port = 5432
database = 'news-please'
user = 'user'
password = 'password'

If you plan to use news-please and its export to PostgreSQL in a production environment, we recommend to uninstall the psycopg2-binary package and install psycopg2. We use the former since it does not require a C compiler in order to be installed. See here, for more information on differences between psycopg2 and psycopg2-binary and how to setup a production environment.

What's next?

We have collected a bunch of useful information for both users and developers. As a user, you will most likely only deal with two files: sitelist.hjson (to define sites to be crawled) and config.cfg (probably only rarely, in case you want to tweak the configuration).

Support (also, how to open an issue)

You can find more information on usage and development in our wiki! Before contacting us, please check out the wiki. If you still have questions on how to use news-please, please create a new issue on GitHub. Please understand that we are not able to provide individual support via email. We think that help is more valuable if it is shared publicly so that more people can benefit from it. However, if you still require individual support, e.g., due to confidentiality of your project, we may be able to provide you with private consultation. Contact us for information about pricing and further details.


For bug reports, we ask you to use the Bug report template. Make sure you're using the latest version of news-please, since we cannot give support for older versions. As described earlier, we cannot give support for issues or questions sent by email.


Your donations are greatly appreciated! They will free us up to work on this project more, to take on tasks such as adding new features, bug-fix support, and addressing further concerns with the library.


This project would not have been possible without the contributions of the following students (ordered alphabetically):

  • Moritz Bock
  • Michael Fried
  • Jonathan Hassler
  • Markus Klatt
  • Kevin Kress
  • Sören Lachnit
  • Marvin Pafla
  • Franziska Schlor
  • Matt Sharinghousen
  • Claudio Spener
  • Moritz Steinmaier

We also thank all other contributors, which you can find on the contributors page!

How to cite

If you are using news-please, please cite our paper (ResearchGate, Mendeley):

  author     = {Hamborg, Felix and Meuschke, Norman and Breitinger, Corinna and Gipp, Bela},
  title      = {news-please: A Generic News Crawler and Extractor},
  year       = {2017},
  booktitle  = {Proceedings of the 15th International Symposium of Information Science},
  location   = {Berlin},
  doi        = {10.5281/zenodo.4120316},
  pages      = {218--223},
  month      = {March}

You can find more information on this and other news projects on our website.


Do you want to contribute? Great, we are always happy for any support on this project! We are particularly looking for pull requests that fix bugs. We also welcome pull requests that contribute your own ideas.

By contributing to this project, you agree that your contributions will be licensed under the project's license.

Pull requests

We love contributions by our users! If you plan to submit a pull request, please open an issue first and desribe the issue you want to fix or what you want to improve and how! This way, we can discuss whether your idea could be added to news-please in the first place and, if so, how it could best be implemented in order to fit into architecture and coding style. In the issue, please state that you're planning to implement the described features.

Custom features

Unfortunately, we do not have resources to implement features requested by users. Instead, we recommend that you implement features you need and if you'd like open a pull request here so that the community can benefit from your improvements, too.


Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License"); you may not use news-please except in compliance with the License. A copy of the License is included in the project, see the file LICENSE.txt.

Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS, WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, either express or implied. See the License for the specific language governing permissions and limitations under the License. The news-please logo is courtesy of Mario Hamborg.

Copyright 2016-2023 The news-please team

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