Recently a colleague post an interesting question to which I do have an answer. "Is there and alternative to Cision or Burrelle's for National Print Media Monitorig Service?"
The short answer is Yes & No. Let me quickly try an explain the current climate in the print news monitoring. You have Cision which does nation, but not all papers, only large markets, or only dailies, and key weeklies. Similarly you have Burelle's which also the same thing, in addition they have teamed up with the publishers and now get something that is not quite an Internet feed, and not quite the same as the printed article... it is something different. Then you have the small independent clipping bureaus like me, Magnolia Clipping Service (magnoliaclips.com), Universal Information, and Louisiana News Clips. Yes we can somewhat fulfill a national order through the network, but Burelle's owns some of the state clipping services, like Minnesota, and a few others. Then you have states that do not have an independent clipping service. These states like Tennessee, have press association that have internal clipping services. The problem with those services are that they do not read all of the papers, only the papers that belong to the press association. So technically through a network of press clipping services you could place your order with each. By doing this you would get the most thorough coverage currently available. Then you would then have to have the compile those clips once sent to you. Since there are a number of services, the quality, cost, and service levels would differ from one company to another.
The alternative to print monitoring, is a digital online internet news monitoring service. Vocus, Cyberalert, Custom-Scoop, and Meltwater excel at getting the online clips from newspaper and TV websites. What they miss, and fail to disclose is that not everything is on the internet. Last time I checked in early 2007, only 40% of the papers in my market had websites. When I compared the actual content from the paper, less that 40% of the content made the websites. As important and easy to use as these services are there is huge amount of print that is being missed from these services.