First off, before someone brings it up in the comments, I'll point out that the following post refers to the views of various columnists at the SF Chronicle, rather than any sort of discussion among those who have any real impact on the SF Chronicle's strategy. However, it is quite amusing to see the "stages of Google grief" showing up on the editorial pages of the struggling San Francisco newspaper who has had to rid itself of hundreds of reporters lately. Back in March, columnist David Lazarus (who apparently is no longer at the paper) vented his frustration about the internet by suggesting that newspapers get rid of free content entirely
, with the goal of blocking off so-called moochers like Google News (despite the fact that, yes, Google News actually sends the Chronicle more readers). Then, in May came the bizarre suggestion on the SF Chron editorial pages that Google had a social or moral obligation to simply hand money over to newspapers
. That got lots of people laughing, so now, yet another columnist at the Chron has adjusted the thinking to suggest that rather than just hand over money, Google should buy some newspapers
, but then just leave them alone, noting that Google would probably make for a better newspaper boss than Rupert Murdoch. This seems to be sort of the full circle Google of thinking here. First, denial that Google is an opportunity to actually drive more business to newspapers. Then, anger at Google and a plan to block it off. Then there's the bargaining/begging phase where they suggest Google simply owes them money. Next comes depression (represented by all the layoffs) and finally acceptance that Google as a buyer could be the savior for newspapers.