LA Times: Publishers Think Google Is Worse Than Osama bin Laden

from the no,-really? dept

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.

Filed Under: denial, newspapers
Companies: google, la times


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  1. identicon
    DML, 19 Aug 2007 @ 3:18pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Can you all read?

    Hmm. What you read as blatant sensationalism is a pretty standard use of an ellipse to shorten a quoted sentence to highlight the key points. It wasn't used for sensationalism at all.

    You guys usually run a fair operation here, but you're wrong on this one. Your write-up implies that the LA Times is in some sort of "denial" about Google when in fact, the opinion piece supports TechDirt's position on the Google/Newspaper thing. From the article:

    There are no ads on Google News, just links to stories on websites run by newspapers, magazines and other news outlets. Those links prompt people to spend more time on the news media's sites, potentially increasing their ad sales.

    Also, the use of elipses absolutely changes the meaning of the quote. The actual article quote:

    Many publishers consider the Internet, and Google in particular, a greater threat to their livelihoods than Osama bin Laden.

    Now the "publishers" might still be wrong, but removing that italicized portion changes the entire nature of the quote. Your ellipsed version almost implies that Google employees are going to run around with bombs strapped to their chests. And yes to imply such a thing would be ridiculous.

    The editorial writer was merely saying that publishers believe that Google threatens to make them obsolete and out of a job, which is a far saner (though possibly still wrong).


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