Lloyd Shepherd hits the nail on the head. If Google News is going to start hosting original news content, in the form of comments from people involved, then it has moved from being a search engine for published news, to being a news publishing rival. I always felt that news publishers’ anger at Google News was misplaced. Far from building a business on other people’s content, Google News (surely?) acts as a generator of extra traffic for those very news publishers. But this changes things quite dramatically.
Or rather, it won’t. I just don’t see how it can possibly work. ‘Email us your rebuttals, and include some kind of identification method’? I’d have thought Google’s efforts would have been better directed at some kind of ‘related blog posting’ function. Maybe I could register my name with Google News, and when it sees me mentioned in a news story, it could check my blog for a relevant posting. (A bit like Technorati, but with proactive rather than reactive indexing, maybe?) I wouldn’t have thought it would be too difficult to find corresponding keywords.
It wouldn’t have to be blogs, necessarily. It could include press releases, speeches, transcripts, etc etc. Anything which counts as primary source material. So for example, any time you saw David Miliband quoted, you’d hit the Foreign Office ‘latest news’ page, and see what you could find. Any time something is quoted from the Commons, you’d scan the (almost real-time) Hansard transcript. Doesn’t that keep everyone happy?