by Mike Masnick
Fri, Aug 17th 2007 7:19pm
While the SF Chronicle may have gone through the stages of Google grief, it appears the LA Times is still very much in the denial stage. In fact, it's such extreme denial, that it's reaching near-satire levels. Robert Niles at OJR points us to an editorial in the LA Times saying that "many publishers" believe that Google and the internet are "a greater threat... than Osama bin Laden." Niles does a good job walking through how ridiculous that statement is, including pointing out that the LA Times refuses to name a single publisher who actually believes that. However, as has been pointed out many, many times, Google is not a threat to newspapers. It's only helping them. It's funny that, on the rest of the internet, tremendous money is spent on "search engine marketing" and "search engine optimization" to get better ranked in Google. Yet, when Google ranks newspapers well, suddenly, it's worse than terrorists. You would think that a newspaper with professional reporters would actually bother to get the facts and understand this -- but apparently that's too much to ask. The editorial goes on to complain about Google's new news commenting feature, because how dare Google actually provide people involved in a story a chance to tell their side? Apparently, all information needs to be guarded by some gatekeepers who don't even seem to understand how Google works. Of course, since the LA Times wants to keep those in the story quiet, you can't comment on the article. However, if I were Google, I'd add a response to this... on Google News, to demonstrate why that comment feature makes so much sense.
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