Analyzing The Google News Bias
from the is-bias-bad? dept
The questions about how Google News picks sources and articles has gone on for quite some time. It's been known for some time that Google favors some sources, perhaps based on the patent that recently came to light (which was applied for quite some time ago). However, last fall, there were accusations that Google News was biased to the right side of the political spectrum which got plenty of people talking in the blog world. Apparently, it convinced one master's student to do his thesis on this question, and he's just published an article about his results. It turns out that stories on Google News tend to show more bias than stories on Yahoo News... but that's almost entirely explained because Google News is much more likely to include some blogs in its News index. Meanwhile, of course, there's been another argument in the blogworld about Google excluding blogs from the News index -- so it seems like Google can't win here. They include blogs, and they get accused of bias. They keep out blogs, and they get accused of playing favorites with the old media sources. Of course, it brings up the question of the differences between opinion and news. The two are quite different, but often get confused. Perhaps it's time to revisit Sam Whitmore's idea for a Zagat's style rating system for news sources. Though, of course, that will only lead to other complaints. Anything that touches on politics is pretty much going to guarantee that -- so perhaps any source that gets very extreme ratings can be put in a separate category for "controversial" sites. Those would probably get all the attention anyway.