Next, you define a topic, by setting any number of keywords and phrases that retrieved items need to have, the type of news you want, how often you want it, and your email. That's it -seriously. You'll have to confirm your email, but I've created Google news alerts in about 45 seconds, tops.
Once your account is verified, you have access not only to Google's news tracker, but a ton of other cool stuff; including Google Groups, Answers, and Web APIs. Go ahead and sign in and further personalize your news tracking. The online interface and instructions make this process easy.
Google will now send you news alerts that you have chosen to your email inbox, at the rate you want, from once a day, once a week, or as the news happens. Google has access to literally thousands of news sources, and I've found that when I'm needing more of a variety of sources on one subject, they manage to deliver.