The Google VS Newspaper Dilemma

Josh Chandler · January 9, 2009 · Short URL:

Eric Schmidt, of to Newspaper Industry: “It’s not our fault people are moving online

In an interview with Fortune Magazine yesterday, Eric Schmidt CEO of search engine described the current newspaper industry crisis almost as I understood his explanation as an irrevocable transfer from contained printed newspaper articles to an online community of  people who “love reading, discussing it, adding to it, annotating it “.

Google’s own news aggregator was launched back in February 2002 with over 4000 news sources being collected from publishers, this provided something of a quantam leap for the company who had previously only collected 150 news sources, it began to raise many questions amongst newspaper publishers in 2007 over how Google was “indexing their headlines and offer users a synopsis of their stories without paying them a dime”.

And yet still, I believe we are seeing Google’s defiance continue to be a little more cooperative towards the newspaper industry, Eric Schmidt’s simple assumption that Google showing compassion to helping the newspapers is going to make things all better, is a slightly offbeat remark which I don’t believe will strike well with the publishers concerned, he even tells Fortune Magazine how Google is helping to offer newspapers great monetization options.

Of course these monetization options are naturally from Google, and whilst newspapers continue to write great online content which brings in millions of viewers every month, these monetization options just help Google become that little bit richer, they have lost all sense of purpose by saying they can help newspapers by getting more money off the news articles, and Eric Schmidt appears to continue the article by covering up the tracks of being very blatant about helping to make Google richer by saying

“I wish I had a brilliant idea, but I don’t. These little things help, but they don’t fundamentally solve the problem.”

The main question I pose is where does Google’s belief in the world’s information being free come into play here, as much as I believe Google has helped harness a  lot of information well in it’s educational archive and Book search, I still think that this model in Google News is slightly off balance, and that Google don’t really seem to care about newspapers in the long run, as much as where and when those advertising dollars are going to arrive in Google’s backpocket, now I acknowledge as well that this money is shared with publishers and it wouldn’t make Google super rich, but I think they need to be more fair to newspapers who are trying to transition online, obviously trying to cover the losses they are making from the decline of newspaper sales.

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