Daily Mirror Blocks NewsNow; Will It Start Paying Its Own Sources?

from the hypocrites dept

We've already described how ridiculously hypocritical it is for various newspapers to block UK aggregator service NewsNow from linking to their articles in its paid subscription service, but apparently it's a difficult concept for some to grasp. The UK's Daily Mirror has now started blocking access to NewsNow's crawlers, claiming that its only problem is the fact that NewsNow makes money off subscriptions. If it wasn't making any money, the paper wouldn't have a problem.

Ok, quick question time. Does the Daily Mirror make money off of subscriptions? Oh, they do? And do they pay their sources on which they build their articles? No? Then doesn't that make the Daily Mirror a huge hypocrite? Why, yes, it does.

NewsNow makes money selling a subscription service, absolutely. But it's not doing it by misusing anyone's content. It's pointing subscribers to where they can go directly to the source. It's providing a service to give The Daily Mirror more relevant traffic. At no cost to The Daily Mirror. And they want to block that? Meanwhile, The Daily Mirror makes its money by writing about individuals and companies and the news they create. And it doesn't pay them anything either. In fact, many companies are happy to be written up (it's called PR). In the case of NewsNow, it's effectively providing PR for The Daily Mirror, and The Daily Mirror's management appears too incompetent to realize this.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    The Anti-Mike (profile), Jan 27th, 2010 @ 9:34pm

    Another horrible reach by Mike

    Mike, wow, what a reach.

    Does the Daily Mirror pay it's "sources"? Well, if they are using Reuters or AP, I suspect they are. Do they pay politicians to have press conferences or pay the police to give statements? I don't think so.

    The reach is simple: The Mirror creates original content. NewsNow does not. The Mirror doesn't just photocopy other newspapers and run the story.

    Stories like this show you as desperate to try to discredit "old media", I think mostly because you see that news aggregation services are hitting a wall. That sort of kicks the crap out of the "information for FREE!" model, no?

     

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  2.  
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    Doctor Strange, Jan 27th, 2010 @ 10:09pm

    Re: Another horrible reach by Mike

    Ok, quick question time. Does the Daily Mirror make money off of subscriptions? Oh, they do? And do they pay their sources on which they build their articles? No? Then doesn't that make the Daily Mirror a huge hypocrite? Why, yes, it does.

    Wait, what? Now if they were taking and using those sources' content without the source's permission, then they might be hypocrites. If the source said, "you know what, $25 for an interview" and then the Daily Mirror said "hm, OK" and then did the interview, didn't pay, and ran the story anyway, then that might be hypocrisy.

    Maybe they will discover the universal way to avoid any accusations of hypocrisy: just don't have any standards at all.

     

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  3.  
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    Mr Big Content, Jan 27th, 2010 @ 10:52pm

    There’s Hypocrisy, And There’s Hypocrisy

    “Hypocrisy” as a concept should really only be applied to the bad guys, not the good guys. What you have here is some new snot-nosed upstart that no-one has ever heard of, offering up its own cruel and unusual business model, versus an established content provider dependent on long-accepted ways of making money. It’s not fair to judge them by the same rules.

    Competition is all very well, but new players shouldn’t be allowed to radically change the rules of the game like this. It’s a recipe for driving away the older players, who have so much valuable expertise on how the game should be played, and nobody wants that, do they?

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 27th, 2010 @ 11:03pm

    Re: There�s Hypocrisy, And There�s Hypocrisy

    But everything worked out so well in the 20th century! It's still the 20th century, right?

     

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  5.  
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    Tek'a R (profile), Jan 27th, 2010 @ 11:36pm

    Re: Improve methods of the Web Site Ranking

    Delicious Spam
    Or
    Translated from finnish by a chinese speaking monk with an english dictionary missing half the pages.

    Remember kids, The Needle is to bring to the maximum flow volume.

     

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  6.  
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    The Anti-Mike (profile), Jan 28th, 2010 @ 12:01am

    Re: There�s Hypocrisy, And There�s Hypocrisy

    It's not a recipe for driving away older players, as much as it's cutting your nose off to spite your face.

    What happens if the "old players" stop producing the content? What will NewsNow have? I think they will have a nice empty website.

    The hypocrisy is Mike thinking that a pure aggregator site should somehow be able to dictate to a content site their business models.

    Further, it is also very hypocritical to on one hand invite news sources to block out google (robots.txt) and then peeing all over the Mirror for blocking someone out. It's their choice, NewsNow doesn't get to make that choice for them.

     

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  7.  
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    Pinkmatic, Jan 28th, 2010 @ 12:05am

    “Hypocrisy” as a concept should really only be applied to the bad guys, not the good guy

     

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  8.  
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    Nick, Jan 28th, 2010 @ 1:11am

    The Mirror is a bit of a joke in the UK, more of a rag mag than a serious newspaper.

    Though I appreciate it may not be the point, i doubt it will make much differance. Those that use the internet for News probably do not read the Mirror... and those that read the mirror probably do not use the the internet for news...

     

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  9.  
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    Michael Lockyear (profile), Jan 28th, 2010 @ 1:22am

    Newsnow stopped linking to the Mirror over a month ago. Anyone notice?

     

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  10.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Jan 28th, 2010 @ 2:16am

    Re: Re: Another horrible reach by Mike

    Wait, what? Now if they were taking and using those sources' content without the source's permission, then they might be hypocrites.

    But NewsNow does not take the Daily Mirror's content either.

    It provides the *headline* and a link. That's all.

    So, since NewsNow isn't "taking and using" anyone else's content, how does your comment make any sense?

     

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  11.  
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    Jim Culshaw, Jan 28th, 2010 @ 2:17am

    Mike,

    you're a freakin' idiot.
    don't you bother researching any facts before you go spouting off? if this is the future of journalism god help us.

    I'm no fan of the Mirror, but they are a big important paper in the UK. Sell about 1.5million copies a day. Big on politics, news, showbiz and sport. In fact, it's pertinent to note they just had a reporter killed in Afghanistan while embedded with US troops. So to write them off as a "bit of a joke" - comment by "nick" - is just ignorant.

    They do not charge for content online, but pay for everything they use. Fees to Press Association and Reuters for instance.
    In the paper, they are one of the top payers for content in UK newspapers.

    Don't write silly things to make yourself sound clever. You're only making yourself look like an ignorant hick.

    Have a nice day!
    Jim

     

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  12.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Jan 28th, 2010 @ 2:32am

    Re:

    you're a freakin' idiot.

    Ok. If you say so... I love the comments that start out with an insult. They always offer so much value.

    don't you bother researching any facts before you go spouting off? if this is the future of journalism god help us.


    Yes, I do research, but I'm not a journalist and have never claimed to be and most certainly do not represent the future of journalism, so no one needs to be helped, with divine intervention or without, so feel free to calm down.

    I'm no fan of the Mirror, but they are a big important paper in the UK. Sell about 1.5million copies a day. Big on politics, news, showbiz and sport. In fact, it's pertinent to note they just had a reporter killed in Afghanistan while embedded with US troops

    I'm not sure what that has to do with anything. Just because they're big they can't do something stupid?

    So to write them off as a "bit of a joke" - comment by "nick" - is just ignorant.


    Wait, I thought I was the idiot? Why are you blaming me for a comment by Nick?

    They do not charge for content online, but pay for everything they use. Fees to Press Association and Reuters for instance.

    I was not talking about their use of Reuters content. I was talking about the SOURCES they REPORT ON. The people in the stories. Those people are getting press coverage, and the Daily Mirror is making money off of them.

    Let's take an example.

    Here, for example, is a story about the Apple iPad:

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/technology/2010/01/27/apple-ipad-unveiled-verdict-on-the-touch screen-tablet-computer-115875-21999602/

    Did they pay Apple to write that story? Of course not. That wouldn't make any sense. But the Daily Mirror does get people to pay for subscriptions:

    http://www.ocsmedia.net/subscribe.aspx?title_code=DM

    Those who pay for those subscriptions get pointed to Apple, and the fact that they have an iPad for sale. That helps Apple. But the Daily Mirror makes money selling subscriptions in which it benefits from this news (for which it did not pay Apple).

    Now, let's look at NewsNow. It sells subscriptions to its service. And the users of that service are pointed to information -- such as stories on the Daily Mirror site. NewsNow does not provide the information. It provides a link and a headline, sending people to The Daily Mirror site.

    Do you really not see the parallel. Just as the Daily Mirror makes money by selling subscription so people can find out what Apple and many, many others are doing, NewsNow is selling subscriptions to find out what the Daily Mirror and many, many others are doing.

    In the paper, they are one of the top payers for content in UK newspapers.


    Again, that is meaningless.

    Don't write silly things to make yourself sound clever. You're only making yourself look like an ignorant hick.


    I did not write a silly thing, and I did not try to sound clever. I pointed out why the Daily Mirror is being hypocritical. You appear to have misread my comment and believe that because the Daily Mirror is big, no complaints are allowed. I'm afraid I disagree with you.

     

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  13.  
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    The Anti-Mike (profile), Jan 28th, 2010 @ 4:53am

    Re: Re:

    I was not talking about their use of Reuters content. I was talking about the SOURCES they REPORT ON. The people in the stories. Those people are getting press coverage, and the Daily Mirror is making money off of them.

    Mike, this is why I think you are reaching so damn far on this one, it's almost beyond understanding. Your logic fails so badly it's rather difficult to explain in simple terms why you are so far off. I actually read the post 3 times looking for a hidden punchline, and found none.

    All I can say is that this sort of logic is why I can doubt much of your more mainstream thinking. The logical jump to get you from one place to another is astonishing.

    You keep telling companies that don't want to be indexed or deep linked to use robots.txt or whatever. Is this not exactly what they are doing, denying newsnow access as is their right, whatever their logic?

    You appear to be ranting because they did basically what you said they should do.

     

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  14.  
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    martyburns, Jan 28th, 2010 @ 5:37am

    Re: Re: Re:

    You can stop your site from being indexed, sure- that is your right. But just because it's your right doesn't mean it IS right, or not hypocritical. They are not mutually exclusive.

     

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  15.  
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    Sneeje (profile), Jan 28th, 2010 @ 5:54am

    Re: Re: There�s Hypocrisy, And There�s Hypocrisy

    >>What happens if the "old players" stop producing content?

    What happens if the sky suddenly turns purple? Or if smurfs suddenly start appearing in reality?

    As long as there is a demand for news, there will be a source for it, and a business model for providing it profitably. It might not be the model you like though, because economics will ensure the model is the one that has the optimal cost to meet the demand.

    Same thing goes for the music industry. If all of the labels die and music is no longer widely available for sale, people will still be making music and eventually finding ways to make money off of it.

    Saying anything else is a strawman.

     

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  16.  
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    Ha, Jan 28th, 2010 @ 6:05am

    Re: Re: Re:

    I find it quite amusing that the anti mike takes issue with the logic of another.

     

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  17.  
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    Marcus Carab (profile), Jan 28th, 2010 @ 6:29am

    Re: Another horrible reach by Mike

    You seem to think that creating content is the only way to create value. Clearly NewsNow creates value with its aggregation, otherwise nobody would use its free service, let alone pay for subscriptions.

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2010 @ 8:20am

    Re: Re: Re:

    @TAM: Why do you keep complaining that Mike's logic is wrong but you never say why?

    Mike gives examples to state why he believes his argument is correct, all you seem to do is disagree but provide no counter examples... if you assume that's enough to sway people that you are correct, good luck with that.

    Personally, I'd rather listen to a well thought-out argument based on sound premises, not a bunch of "your logic is wrong so I must be right" nonsense.

     

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  19.  
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    The Anti-Mike (profile), Jan 28th, 2010 @ 8:46am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    What's to counter example? Mike is making a huge logical jump that isn't supported in the slightest, how can you counter that?

    I am not saying "my way is right", only that his logic is entirely flawed. There is no "right" way to explain his logic, because there is no connection between the points, except perhaps a couple of words used in common. It's an argument that maybe a grade 2 student might make as to why he didn't share a toy or something. There is no logical comeback to this one.

    To quote the revered Monty Python:

    Professional Logician monologue
    Good evening.

    The last scene was interesting from the point of view of a professional logician because it contained a number of logical fallacies; that is, invalid propositional constructions and syllogistic forms, of the type so often committed by my wife. "All wood burns," states Sir Bedevere. "Therefore," he concludes, "all that burns is wood." This is, of course, pure bullshit. Universal affirmatives can only be partially converted: all of Alma Cogan is dead, but only some of the class of dead people are Alma Cogan. "Oh yes," one would think.


    http://www.cse.unsw.edu.au/~norman/Jokes-file/LogicProfessor.html

     

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  20.  
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    ChrisB (profile), Jan 28th, 2010 @ 9:03am

    Re: Another horrible reach by Mike

    > That sort of kicks the crap out of the "information for
    > FREE!" model, no?

    Content has always been free. Your $2 pays for the paper, not the ink.

     

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  21.  
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    Marcus Carab (profile), Jan 28th, 2010 @ 9:19am

    Re: Re: Another horrible reach by Mike

    Correction: your $2 pays for the paper, ink, press operators, distribution centers and delivery boys. It does not pay for the content.

     

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  22.  
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    Marcus Carab (profile), Jan 28th, 2010 @ 9:20am

    Re: Re: Re: Another horrible reach by Mike

    plus, self-correction: your $2 actually doesn't come anywhere close to covering the bill for those things, either.

     

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  23.  
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    The Groove Tiger (profile), Jan 28th, 2010 @ 9:31am

    Re: Re: There�s Hypocrisy, And There�s Hypocrisy

    What happens if tanners stop producing leather? What will shoemakers have? I think they would have a nice empty shoe store.

     

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  24.  
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    taoareyou (profile), Jan 28th, 2010 @ 10:24am

    The Way I See It

    Company A
    Sells subscriptions
    Has content which is based on other sources
    Links to these sources for further information
    Does not pay these sources for doing so

    Company B
    Sells subscriptions
    Has content which is based on other sources
    Links to these sources for further information
    Does not pay these sources for doing so

    On the surface these seem quite the same. However the sources of Company B, which compromise its content, are based on compiled content of Company A (in part). Once Company B links to Company A's content, there is no further work involved really, they rely on Company A to generate a regular stream.

    Company A actively has to work at sifting through news stories to select its content. So although there is similarity in the general model, the process is distinctly different.

    Although I can certainly see where a link to a story can be considered free PR, we must consider how many people only read the headlines and never follow those links.

    If Company A would rather prevent Company B from using their work as a content stream, it shouldn't be an issue. Company A's sources are a myriad of individual events. Company B's source is Company A (among others).

    Company A must consider, how much traffic do we receive from Company B (which they can know for certain) compared to the possible loss of traffic due to Company B. proividing headlines that are read without clickthru to Company A's content (which they cannot know for certain so must estimate based on factors of their choice).

    Depending on Company A's research, it may or may not be a smart decision, but blocking Company B from piggy-backing on Company A's research is not hypocritical. Generally, Company A's sources would not be saying "don't report on us, we prefer to report on ourselves". However, Company B's sourceis basically saying this.

    If Company A's content was based strictly on press releases sent to it by other companies, with no writers, editors, etc., that would be hypocritical. Simply linking to many others content streams is not the same as directly reporting on events.

     

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  25.  
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    Um, huh?, Jan 28th, 2010 @ 1:39pm

    Re: Re: Re: Another horrible reach by Mike

    Wouldn't the headline be considered content? If they're using the headline on the site, and use revenue generating ads, then they're technically making money off of someone else's headlines.

    I do think this is free publicity and directs traffic to content creators website, but it is the content creators discretion. They are shooting themselves in the foot, but it's their gun and their foot.

     

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  26.  
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    Sneeje (profile), Jan 28th, 2010 @ 1:42pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Mmmmm.... minty!

     

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  27.  
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    Marcus Carab (profile), Jan 28th, 2010 @ 3:25pm

    Re: Re: There�s Hypocrisy, And There�s Hypocrisy

    What happens if the "old players" stop producing the content? What will NewsNow have? I think they will have a nice empty website.

    No, they will have a bunch of talented, unemployed journalists to hire. And if they don't do it, someone else will. Journalism is people dummy.

     

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