Posted in: Media Industry

Isn’t it nice to know that news editors think we’re useless asshats

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The biggest part of the argument that newspapers are putting forth for pulling out of Google’s search index is that Google is profiting by stealing their content. Now I won’t bother repeating ad nauseam just how stupid and wrong this point of view is suffice it to say that they are now building off of that claim with a new slam against the search giant.

Both Jeff Jarvis from BuzzMachine and Danny Sullivan on his personal blog Daggle point to this new argument against the value that Google says they get from the millions of people they send to newspapers. The argument being that all those millions of people being sent to the newspaper sites are “worthless”

“We can’t monetize those readers,” the hapless publishers whine. What’s the problem with these readers? “They read just one article and then leave,” is one complaint. “We can’t sell enough ads,” is another. - Jeff Jarvis

That’s a hell of an attitude to have but Danny frames the whole thing with this great analogy

Let’s say a newspaper executive opens a store. They put some story headlines up in their shop window.

Now one of those old fashioned newskids comes along. You know, the type that you’d see in movies selling papers on the street. Let’s call the kid Google.

Google reads the headlines and then scampers off down the street, shouting out to people things like “Senate’s debating health care!” or “1 out of 4 homeowners are in the red!”

Some of these people are interested. They ask this Google kid for more information, and Google sends them back to the news store.

At the store, the news exec owner greets visitors by asking them what the hell they want. Perplexed, they visitors say they heard about these stories and wanted to know more. The exec shouts at them. “Get the hell out of my store, you freeloader! This is for members-only. We don’t need riff-raff like you in here.” – Danny Sullivan

As Jeff says it’s time for these newspapers to finally quit whining and actually try and come up with innovative solutions. Solutions that don’t involve treating me and others like we are the scourge of the earth. With attitudes like that it is no wonder they are heading down the road to self-annihilation.

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