Google backs away from newspaper buyout

Google boss Eric Schmidt said the company backed away because the newspaper ad model is obsolete

The idea of Google looking into buying a newspaper and then backing off would be funny, if it weren't a case of the killer returning to the scene of the crime. And trying to marry one of the survivors.

Sure, the Internet may have doomed newspapers right from the start, but double body blows inflicted by Google and Craigslist to newspaper ad revenue certainly haven't helped.

Google's interest in the news business is natural enough, given the amount of news its search engine consumes. Having won the ad war, Google's purchase of a major newspaper might have helped undue some of the damage inflicted on media outlets many consider necessary to uncover the excesses of government and protect democracy around the world.

Alas, it is not to be.

This strikes me as a bit like one of those WWII u-boat movies where, having sunk the Liberty ship, the Germans pick-up survivors. Except they never did that and neither, seemingly, will Google.

Google boss Eric Schmidt said the company backed away because the newspaper ad model is obsolete, newspapers remain too expensive and/or are too debt-burdened, and employing real reporters would cross the line between Google being a technology company and a content company.

Of course, what Google really is--based on where it makes money--is a media company that makes money off other people's content and is mostly unwilling to share revenue with content providers.

The traffic it generates for news sites is compensation enough, Google contends, even as those sites find it ever more difficult to hire reporters for covering serious news.

Schmidt told the Financial Times that Google will work to help newspapers by improving the technology available to them, better allowing them to connect with (and monetize) readers. The suggestion is the technology will not be available to all newspapers, just those Google considers worth saving, including the Washington Post.

David Coursey left the daily newspaper business even before the Internet exploded into our lives. He tweets as dcoursey and can be reached via www.coursey.com/content.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags newspapersgooge

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

David Coursey

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?