Perhaps The Problem With Journalists Is They're Taught By Professors Who Think Google Is To Blame For Newspaper Decline
from the just-a-thought dept
Back in May we wrote about a journalism professor from Berkeley named Neil Henry claiming that it was it was Google’s social responsibility to give money to journalists because Google News was putting newspapers out of business (which was followed by an equally bizarre claim from another journalist that this claim didn’t go far enough and newspapers should actually sue Google). The problems with this statement are obvious. First, it’s not Google that’s killing journalism. If anything, Google has helped drive much more traffic to many websites of various newspapers. That’s good for those newspapers. Second, Google doesn’t host any content at all. It’s not competing with newspapers, it’s simply acting as a guide so people can find the news on those newspapers’ websites. It would be the same thing as blaming a newspaper for harming the movie business because it has movie listings. After all, that provides “choice” to readers who can pick which movie they want (just like Google provides a choice about which news site people can pick to read news stories). Finally, Google doesn’t even have any ads on its Google News pages — showing that Google isn’t even making any money on the site that these journalists claim is making so much money.
We pointed out much of this, as did many other sites. As a journalist and a journalism professor, you would think that perhaps Mr. Henry would have bothered to read up on this and understand why his claims don’t make sense — and then either apologize and change his opinion or, at least, respond to the criticism. Instead, as an anonymous reader points out, he’s simply repeating the bizarre claim that Google has a social responsibility to give money to journalists, while talking about how his former students are losing jobs. It must be emotional to have your students losing jobs, but perhaps it has more to do with learning from a journalism professor who doesn’t seem to understand how the thing he’s criticizing actually works (and then ignores everyone who points out his incorrect statements).