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GoogleCreep: From News Aggregator to News Channel? 9/5/08

Posted by Steve Boriss in GoogleNews.
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News outlets were told they had nothing to fear from GoogleNews. Google would simply aggregate their stories and drive traffic to their sites — not create its own, competitive, original news content. But this convention season, that line is becoming a blur.

When GoogleNews provided live streaming coverage of the Republican convention this week, wasn’t that original content that competed directly for viewers who might have otherwise turned to TV news outlets? Or was that not considered competitive because it was offered in CSPAN style, sans reporters? In any event, each GoogleNews step away from being a news aggregator is a step toward becoming a news competitor. And, there are no steps news outlets can take to stop it.

France Surrenders to Google 4/7/07

Posted by Steve Boriss in AFP, France, France24, Google, GoogleNews.
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Paris-based wire service Agence France-Presse (AFP) has reportedly settled a $17.5 million lawsuit with Google, which can now post AFP’s articles on Google News (Hat Tip: David Strom). The terms were not disclosed, which is too bad because we can all use a good laugh. Make no mistake about it — AFP is not the independent news organization it pretends to be, but an arm of the French government. One-third of its Board Members are government employees and the government is its largest subscriber. In these past few years as French President, Jacque Chirac has been on a failed quest to regain France’s relevance on the world stage. His efforts included attempts to place France in control of the EU, grandstanding at the UN, plans to launch a European competitor to Google, development of a so-far unsuccessful Airbus commercial jet that is bigger than a Boeing 747, and most recently a new French TV/Internet international news channel called “France24” to compete with CNN. It is inconceiveable that in the remaining days of his less-than-glorious reign Chirac would want news from a French perspective blacked-out by Google.