Google's Moral Obligation To Newspapers: Help Both Sides Be Better Off
from the it's-called-capitalism dept
Almost exactly a year ago, we wrote about a reporter insisting that Google had some sort of moral obligation to help prop up journalism. As we noted at the time, this seemed ridiculous. Journalism’s problem wasn’t Google, but an unwillingness to adapt in a changing marketplace. In fact, it seemed as though Google should be looked on as a friend. It helped drive traffic to newspaper websites while also providing a very efficient ad platform for monetizing. Yet, the reporter seemed to think that because Google was raking in billions and newspapers (while still incredibly profitable) were seeing their markets shrink, Google should simply hand over money out of a moral obligation to fund journalism.
So, at first I was surprised to see reports coming out that Google CEO Eric Schmidt had gone on record claiming that Google does, in fact, have a moral obligation to help journalism — but as you read the details, you see that he means in exactly the way we were talking about. He means that the moral obligation isn’t to give them money, but to give them the tools by which they can make more money. I still don’t see that as a “moral obligation,” but simply good business for everyone involved (including consumers of the news).