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Old Media kidding themselves. Virtually every mainstream outlet is in the news aggregation business, just like New Media. 4/1/08

Posted by Steve Boriss in NewsAggregators, Pew.

The Pew Center’s Tom Rosenstiel tries to draw a distinction between news provided by Old Media on one hand, and Google, AOL, Yahoo, and bloggers on the other. In an interview for On The Media, he said “Google has not really gone into the news-gathering business, nor has AOL, or even Yahoo, which has toyed with it. What they’re offering is wire copy from the AP and aggregating the New York Times and the Washington Post. And so, blogging, posting comments and all kinds of other activities are now part of my news consumption, but that discussion still seems to begin with my reading the news of what happened yesterday.”

Well, he certainly makes a good argument for the AP, NY Times, and Washington Post (Big 3) being in the “news-gathering” business. But given that these entities set and coordinate the “national conversation,” doesn’t that mean that the TV networks, local TV, and all other newspapers are nothing but “aggregators” on the top stories, too? Former CBS reporter Bernard Goldberg has said that “If the New York Times went on strike tomorrow morning, they’d have to cancel the CBS, NBC, and ABC evening newscasts tomorrow night.” And what metro newspaper doesn’t follow the lead of the Big 3? Every paper relies heavily on some combination of the AP, NY Times, and Washington Post wire services. And every local TV station follows the lead of their metro paper. If being in the “news-gathering” business is the key to Old Media’s survival, they better get started gathering original and compelling news.


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