Google said the new arrangement with the Associated Press and three other news agencies finally gives proper recognition to journalists and publishers “who work hard to break the news.” While hurting those who do not produce original content, the move also helps other original news sites such as Reuters.com.
“Creators of original content should benefit from this,” Josh Cohen, product manager for Google News, told the “Financial Times.” “The goal for Google News is to have as many different perspectives as possible.” The fact that many sites use the same wire copy has meant that “sometimes when you’ll have five ‘different’ articles from different sources, they end up being from the same source.”
Television stations that that support and depend on material from the Associated Press for their Web sites may not be pleased with the new arrangement. “This may result in certain publishers losing traffic for their news wire stories, but it will allow more room for their original content,” Cohen told “Editor and Publisher.”
Producing more original content may not be what the new organizations that pay annual fees to the AP had in mind. In fact, the 161-year-old nonprofit cooperative owned by news organizations is now in the position of competing with its own members.
In “The future of news” blog, Steve Boriss said that the AP, through its Google contract, is “biting the hand that feeds and owns it.” He said that with an AP wire now on every personal computer, members “are funding their own destruction.”
AP members, wrote Boriss, “would be better off sitting in their newsrooms, launching their word processors, typing in ‘according to the Associated Press,’ then copying and pasting from Google News, modifying the content every once in awhile to avoid copyright litigation.”
Cory Bergman, writing on the “Lost Remote” Web site, said the AP-Google contract raises the complex issue of how local creators of information are to be compensated fairly based on the value and popularity of their original work. “As news continues to commoditize, original enterprise stories (which cost more to produce) will become increasingly valuable and demand a new approach to distribution,” he said.