When big media demanded special treatment from Google in March, Internet pundits, media execs, and bloggers responded.
Some defended Google’s right to ignore the request, thinking if big media wants higher search engine rankings, they should optimize their content like the rest of the world. The general consensus from this side of the fence was “Have a more ridiculous sense of entitlement,” a sentiment originally expressed by Wpromote’s resident master of all things tech, Kevin Wallace.
The outcome of is yet to be determined. The impact on search will be substantial.
And yet, there are some out there who blame big media’s struggle to survive not on the Internet, but on the failure of journalists and media executives to do their jobs well and provide relevant content. Walter Pincus is one of those people.
In his recent essay, “Newspaper Narcissism” featured in the Columbia Journalism Review, Pincus pinpoints the industry’s search for glory as the main reason behind its decline. Pincus explains:
Editors have paid more attention to what gains them prestige among their journalistic peers than on subjects more related to the everyday lives of readers. For example, education affects everyone, yet I cannot name an outstanding American journalist on this subject. Food is an important subject, yet regular newspaper coverage of agriculture and the products we eat is almost nonexistent unless cases of food poisoning turn up. Did journalists adequately warn of the dangers of subprime mortgages? I don’t think so.
Pincus brings up some heavy points. Does anyone in big media serve the public anymore or is it all about serving their pocketbooks? And what if Google does agree to all of big media’s demands? Wouldn’t Google be perpetuating the very thing the media industry is trying to avoid?
What do you think? Would help from Google do more harm than good for the public and the state of journalism itself? Post your thoughts below.