Guardian Asks UK Gov't To Investigate Google News For Not Contributing To Journalism?
from the wrong-target dept
The reasoning is a bit convoluted, but, basically The Guardian says that since the online ad market is tough right now, it can't make enough money on the traffic that Google sends it. So stop accepting traffic from Google, right? No, it can't do that, because then competitors like the BBC would sweep up all of the traffic.
Is it just me, or does this reasoning suggest that The Guardian should be asking the government not to investigate Google News, but the BBC for representing unfair competition? The Guardian's reasoning here is a bit tortured. It seems to be saying it can't compete with other sources due to Google News... even though those other sources have the exact same issue (getting traffic from Google News). It's only real complaint is that the BBC offers its content for free online -- and (though it doesn't appear to explicitly call this out), the BBC is publicly funded and doesn't have to focus on ad revenue like The Guardian does. So why isn't the complaint against the BBC instead of Google News?
The Guardian always struck me as a pretty good paper, but the logic here is hard to understand. If it doesn't want the traffic, fine, don't take it (though, most people recognize that would be a mistake). If the problem is that it can't monetize the content effectively, then that's a business model problem for The Guardian -- not Google News. Finally, if the problem is (as it appears) competition from the BBC, then take it up with the BBC or those who fund it, but don't misplace the blame on Google News.