A content publisher asked about getting his publishing site included in Google News. In the Google News Help thread Googler, Inbal, said that you don't always need to have three digits in the URL to be in Google News.
In the past, there was a strong Google News requirement to have three digits in the URL. It was how Google's News spider worked. But now, with the addition of Google Sitemaps, you no longer need digits in the URL.
The three-digit-number requirement is waived if you submit a Google News sitemap in order to alert our crawler to your news articles in your Blog. This tool will enable you to optimize the inclusion of your content without having to change the structure of your URLs. You can find more information about creating a News sitemap in our Publisher Help Center:
Good news for new publishers looking to keep their URLs keyword specific. This isn't brand new, but it is relatively new to Google News.
Forum discussion at Google News Help