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Our First 25 Years Began by Serving Others
In 1984, an Atlanta company did the unthinkable. At a time when most Americans had yet to hear that the AIDS virus existed and was spreading rapidly, NewsRx decided to distribute an international publication that would inform and educate people interested in the subject, especially researchers and practitioners in the health and medical field. It was a bold step, and although there were detractors, many others supported it. Confident that the publication would find an audience, NewsRx began research and information gathering, developed a core group of subscribers and launched the first issue of AIDS Weekly in 1985.
Initially, the publication covered all aspects of the disease from social to medical, and it was distributed to a diverse international readership. At the time, there were no other publications reporting exclusively on the AIDS epidemic. AIDS Weekly was the first, and throughout its 25-year history, the most respected.
Getting started, however, was sometimes a rocky road. The controversies became national and international and even reached the pages of Newsweek magazine. At issue was the idea that a non-government entity was reporting on topics that included policy, research and statistics about the disease that some insiders at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) considered the exclusive mission of the government. But most staffers within the agency saw the wisdom of having an external publisher reporting information objectively, and a subsequent article in the Boston Globe touted AIDS Weekly as a necessary "watchdog" publication. Other positive articles then appeared in the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times, and another in USA Today characterized the publication as having a major impact in the area of AIDS awareness and investigative journalism.
While most of the content was gathered from the CDC at first, AIDS Weekly expanded its reach and began to monitor other agencies and organizations internationally. The goal was to be sure nothing went unreported, and if there were events or information that were still unfolding, the publication included "shorts" that explained as much as was known, with the promise that details would follows as soon as they were uncovered. To ensure that the publication was thorough, NewsRx staff plowed through health journals and conducted exhaustive research at Emory University's medical library. The company pioneered a form of reporting findings that became the model for writers at AIDS Weekly and subsequent NewsRx publications through the years.
In time, as AIDS Weekly became an industry standard, the company realized that the publication itself could be a model for sister publications reporting on other medical diseases and health issues. First to follow was Cancer Weekly, which made particularly good sense because the American Cancer Society national headquarters were directly across the street from the CDC. Then came Vaccine Weekly, and then a series of medical-oriented titles that ultimately totalled about a hundred. NewsRx became an internationally-recognized publisher of medical periodicals and a respected leader in the industry.
Through the years, NewsRx lived by the principle that important medical and health information belongs to the public, and it supported organizations who shared that belief. One is AIDS Education Global Information Systems (AEGIS), a worldwide clearinghouse of AIDS information, which used a significant amount of content gathered from AIDS Weekly staff researchers as it became the world's largest database on the subject. As a result, NewsRx became an important partner in the AEGIS Millennium Collection at the United Nations, which is part of UNESCO's Memory of the World program.
We've Proved Our Value at NewsRx
NewsRx gained momentum through the 1980s and 1990s as the company expanded its publishing services to include a far-reaching variety of health and medical topics. As new topics of interest emerged, the company led the industry in covering them, just as it had with AIDS Weekly. Following that model, NewsRx employed writers to conduct their own information gathering to produce content that would keep the growing readership informed and enlightened. By the dawning of the new millennium, NewsRx titles had reached a hundred and covered almost every conceivable health and medical topic.
The New York Times news service calls the company "the world's largest producer of weekly health information." The Chicago Tribune says the company is "pioneering." Electronic Information Report says NewsRx is "a sensation in the digital ehealth content market," and Professional Publishing Report says NewsRx is an "editorial powerhouse." USA Today calls the company's information"the most comprehensive." The Wall Street Journal says it is "extensive;" Newsweek says it is "the latest." Forbes calls it "significant," and US News & World Report says it is "news you can use." Finally, DrugFacts says, "NewsRx.com has been trusted and respected as an information source by pharmaceutical and biotech companies, hospital and medical centers, government agencies and universities for almost two decades."
We Expanded with VerticalNews
In the early part of the 2000s, NewsRx then decided to move outside medical and health into science and other topics. The result was VerticalNews, an initiative through which the company emphasized distribution of valuable information on a global scale while it improved its packaging. The goal was to deliver content that was easy to read quickly, electronically as well as in print, with titles that accurately defined the content. The formula has worked well, and to its subscribers, VerticalNews content has become a “morning brief,” with summaries of everything that happened in the world related to specific topics relevant to their fields of endeavour.
Other news organizations, too, are talking about VerticalNews. Here’s what their web sites say about VerticalNews content: from Reuters, “VerticalNews has titles in almost every content area;” from USA Today, “...promote[s] international understanding;” from Forbes, “offer[s] readers both a broad overview and an insider’s knowledge;” and from CNBC, “readers stay on top of the technology that is important to them and makes their business successful.”
Today, the company’s VerticalNews distribution reaches a global audience that spans more than 50 countries.
A Hundred Encyclopedias a Year at encyK
Essentially, an encyclopedia is a collection of articles on a variety of topics arranged in alphabetical order, and it is an ideal tool for gaining knowledge and current awareness. To quote Denis Diderot, the 17th century philosopher, writer and inventor of the encyclopedia, “The purpose of an encyclopedia is to collect knowledge disseminated around the globe,” adding, “… all things must be examined, debated, investigated without exception and without regard to anyone’s feelings.”
Diderot’s definition also explains the philosophy behind the development of EncyK, which provides more than a hundred encyclopedias a year. Each encyclopedia is updated from the previous year, and content is arranged in a traditional encyclopaedic format to provide a current, dynamic awareness reference on a host of topics. The encyK products are distributed exclusively through an arrangement with Amazon.com, whose vision has always been to be earth’s most customer centric company by building an online presence where people can come to find and discover anything and everything. Launched in 1995 as an online bookstore, Amazon.com was one of the first e-commerce companies and today the company markets NewsRx encyK product lines in countries around the world.
Many organizations prefer to restrict the use of database information to a particular location and allow their staff in-house electronic accessibility to content through their intranet. NewsRx and VerticalNews provides site licenses that essentially operate as a database publisher, using a network model for storing information with links to other stored information. Using a complex proprietary software system to manage the licenses, it provides users with downloadable reports that reveal the types of information most popular with people in a given organization. The reports are a valuable assessment tool for determining how best to expand or adapt programs at renewal times.
User names and passwords allow NewsRx and VerticalNews computers to recognize licensed users for faster and deeper research than that provided through search engines. Typical NewsRx site license users include colleges and universities such as the Ivy League’s University of Pennsylvania, hospitals such as Mackay Memorial Hospital in Taiwan, or government agencies such as the National Health Research Institute, also in Taiwan. Corporate users include Novartis (Basel, Switzerland) and Sanofi-Aventis (Paris), two of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies.
NewsRx and VerticalNews employ a significant number of proprietary software technologies which focus on automating every aspect of publishing from writing and editing to layout and distribution. One of its most innovative software packages created at NewsRx is AIJ, which stands for Artificial Intelligence Journalist. Artificial Intelligence is a branch of computer science that allows machines to participate in the concepts of knowledge and communication.
NewsRx is the only company with true artificial intelligence software designed for the publishing industry. The system has developed and grown from the beginnings of the company and has taken a full 25 years to create. It also involves robotics and machine learning, as well as algorithms, logic, and automated reasoning. AIJ is truly considered an emerging technology developing from the original philosophy on artificial intelligence: “Can machines actually think?”
Among the advantages of AIJ to users is accelerating the time from event to distribution. For example, AIJ can perform many of the routine tasks of a reporter, a graphic designer, an electronic publisher, and in some cases, even more advanced tasks. As a result, NewsRx is known for being the first to distribute news and information on most topics, and the first to have the ability to cover all the events that take place in the world each week in a particular field or area of interest.
Since the late 1980s, NewsRx has recognized the importance of electronic media for reporting critical information to decision makers. As a result we have partnered with the world’s largest content providers.
- News Corporation/Dow Jones… NewsRx content is available from two important divisions, Dow Jones Client Solutions and Dow Jones Factiva. Dow Jones has been a partner for 20 years.
- Thomson Reuters… Reuters has been a partner for 20 years and Thomson for 10 years. In 2008, these two combined. Our products are available at Thomson Reuters West, which includes Westlaw, and at Thomson Reuters Scientific.
- Reed Elsevier’s LexisNexis… NewsRx has been a LexisNexis partner for more than 10 years and is available on most of their products for legal, corporate, government and academic communities, with VerticalNews available as well.
- Cambridge Information Group… NewsRx content is available at several large divisions of CIG including ProQuest, Dialog and Datastar.
- Acquire NewsEdge… News Edge is a division of Acquire Media and NewsRx has partnered with NewsEdge since the 1990’s.
- InfoDesk… InfoDesk makes NewsRx content available to desktops and websites as well as other business applications including site licenses, and is known for making content delivery easy for the end user.
- Gale, a unit of Cengage Learning… a NewsRx partner since the 1990s. With VerticalNews content as well, Gale serves the world's information and education needs through its large content pools.
- Amazon.com…the NewsRx partner for encyK products, Amazon markets our encyclopedias in countries around the world.
Ivy Admissions Research (IAR)
Ivy Admissions Research is NewsRx’s educational research division. IAR provides research and produces custom printed reports matching students with elite universities. This includes comprehensive custom reports with full details and instruction focusing on a student match for back-gate admissions, which include lesser known merit-based undergraduate degree pathways. These may include non-traditional admissions pathways to the Ivy League colleges including Harvard, Penn, Columbia, Brown, MIT, as well as the Oxbridge colleges, Oxford and Cambridge in the UK.
Sharing ownership with NewsRx and located in the NewsRx headquarters,
IAR is also involved in several multi-year research projects focused on identifying fair and equitable undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate admissions pathways to elite universities for any student from any socioeconomic background or country.
Our Home in Vinings and Our Future
The corporate headquarters for Home Depot, RJR Nabisco, Printpack, The Weather Channel, Berkshire Hathaway’s Russell Athletics, Interface and others, Vinings, Georgia—near Atlanta--is also home to NewsRx. Located at Two Paces West, a 17-story office building in Vinings, NewsRx is dedicated to expanding its services and continuing its innovation, a commitment symbolized in the original artwork by Steve Kaufman titled “John Lennon – Imagine.”
This homage to the Beatles hangs in the NewsRx conference room and summarizes the company’s philosophy: The future is whatever we can imagine. Someone once said “NewsRx gets ahead of history and brings the future to us today,” and at NewsRx our desire is to always bring the future into the present through enlightened imagination.