by Mike Masnick
Wed, Aug 8th 2007 4:26pm
There's an old saying about the press, that whenever you're involved in a news story, you can almost guarantee that the press coverage will get the story wrong. It's amazing how true this is -- but it appears that Google News is trying to do something about it. It's launching a new service that will let those who are involved in a particular news story comment on the news coverage on Google News. That is, if there's a story about you, you'll have the opportunity to add your own perspective (or counter any points you disagree with in the news coverage) and have it shown on Google News linked to the relevant news stories. It's an interesting idea, though it has a number of hurdles to overcome. First of all, Google just set themselves up to be besieged by people who want to comment on a story who aren't actually participants (or by people pretending to be part of the story). The hassle of figuring out who's really part of the story isn't going to be easy. In fact, it seems like it would almost definitely be more costly than whatever benefit this might bring. On top of this, Danny Sullivan lays out a number of problems with this idea in the link above, starting with the fact that people already have the ability to post their own thoughts on their own sites. Wouldn't it simply make a lot more sense if Google and its magical algorithm did a better job of associating such responses to the news stories? Still, in an age where Congress still thinks the Fairness Doctrine is needed, here's yet another example of how technology is making sure that everyone has ample opportunity to get "their side" out on any particular story.
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