back to article Google chief lectures newspapers

According to non-journalist, non-publisher, non-newsman Eric Schmidt, newspapers just don't understand their own business. As reported by the Guardian, Google's CEO has joined the chorus of Cassandras crying out that tree-based news delivery is doomed. "It's obvious to me that the majority of the circulation of a newspaper …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Bradford in the UK ...

    ... used to be a thriving wool town along with the surrounding countryside.

    When synthetic fibres appeared on the scene industry in Bradford did not adapt, did not re-skill or develop means to replace wool with synthetics should the need arise.

    It did, they didn't, Bradford and its surrounds depending upon wool industry to generate dosh rapidly become economic sinks ~ ghost towns.

    I don't think the tree based publishers will do the same will they?

  2. Robert Armstrong
    Black Helicopters

    Google's new tagline

    "There is no doubt that certain websites are best described as parasites or tech tapeworms in the intestines of the internet."

    Eric Schmidt is the perfect CEO for the parasitic Google plus he looks like a tapeworm with glasses. Coincidence? I think not!

  3. Jason

    Personalize them

    If they could personalize the news for me, give me the coupon deals I'm interested in and filter out all the stuff I have no interest in and make it affordable and available in whatever form I want (paper, pdf, web, mobile) MAYBE they have a chance.


  4. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    skilled newshounds ferreting out the truth?

    Try cut-and-paste artists reprinting prefab News releases as-is straight off the communication departments presses. No-one goes out and hunts down a story anymore. that would take effort and objectivity. Which were the first two things cut from the budget once things started to go south.

  5. Rab S

    what there customers want....

    now could that possably something to read when they don't have net access?

    fucking twat...

  6. Anonymous Coward

    He does know what he is talking about

    >It did, they didn't, Bradford and its surrounds depending upon wool industry to generate dosh rapidly become economic sinks ~ ghost towns.

    Because no one knows economic sinks like the Eric.

  7. Patrick Ernst

    The Reg?

    I'm not going to read this article online. I'll wait til the paper based "The Register" gets delivered to my door. or somthing like that...

  8. Mike Flugennock

    @ Patrick Ernst, re: The Reg?

    Dude. How old are you? Did you know there actually _was_ once a paper version of the Reg, handed out at some trade shows by some dude named, iirc, Tony Smith, who also wrote a column under the same name for this Mac digital design/arts mag I used to work with back in the '80s?

    C'mon. You remember the '80s. I try to forget them, myself.

  9. Frank

    The Old Days

    I used to spend very close to £18 a month buying the Independent newspaper, the 'real' paper one. Now, I don't buy it, I read the free online edition instead. This saves me £18 a month, which by happy coincidence is the cost of my 2Mb/s VM cable service, a good result for me of course.

    As internet take up and usage among the population increases, traditional newspapers simply cannot survive if they continue with their current business model on the retail/distribution side. As far as I know, newspapers are mainly financed by advertising (and a bit of retail sales). Google is financed by advertising so there will be either a big fight between Google and newspapers, or a big 'accomodation and agreement' between them. I think we can guess what happens to anybody who tries to do deals with Google and I think that this latest public spitting contest is the sound of drums.

    It would be a brave national newspaper that tried to exist using the online subscription model after people have become used to saving about £15 a month or whatever they used to spend.

  10. Chris Beach


    So the newspapers are saying: Google makes money from our online efforts, and we don't. Which really begs the question: Why then are the newspapers still publishing online? Why not scrap all that and save the money.

    Oh wait its that new fangled business practise where you depend 99% on a third party, and whinge when their business doesn't make you as much money as you'd like!

    Bunch of useless muppets!

  11. Chris Miller

    US != World

    This may be a plausible view if you've only been exposed to US newspapers. It's true that if you live around New York or LA you have access to reasonable papers, but there's no real national press (unless you count USA Today - I don't).

    Here in Blighty we have a choice of 4 national (somewhat) high-brow papers, to suit a range of political views. I buy a paper every day (partly because it's fair value and partly because it's a pain to read it on a PDA) and use PDA versions to check the others if there's a story I'm particularly interested in (or read George Monbiot if I think I'm feeling too cheerful).

    Local papers in the UK (with some honourable exceptions) have become advertising-driven free rags, worth every penny.

  12. blackworx


    That is all

  13. Anonymous Coward

    Socialism... and the death of the news papers who promoted it...

    ~~~ Thomson... said: "It's certainly true that readers have been socialised - wrongly I believe - that much content should be free."

    If the news papers were not so socialist in nature, the internet web sites would not be killing them off, since there would be no socialist beliefs. The left leaning news media had promoted socialism, after socialism was shown to be the bane of the Western World with socialists like the Nazi's, U.S.S.R., and other nations during World War 2.

    It seems like a fitting end.

  14. John McNeally

    Destroys them?

    "Both Google and Yahoo offer technologies like digital maps to newspapers and both syndicate their search engines to them, giving them a cut of resulting advertising revenue.

    In addition, Google has what it has called “multimillion-dollar” licensing deals with The Associated Press and other news agencies like Agence France-Presse. It created a program to sell print ads, which it recently canceled."

    "We’re not saying Google doesn’t deserve money for its magic. We’re just saying it should fairly share the wealth. What’s fair? Well, some percentage of gross revenues. As big as the Web business has become, it’s only in its infancy. Online advertising will continue to outpace ad spend overall, and content producers want to get on the ramp."

    I think that business that dont evolve must die. If you havent figured out a way to monetize your business isnt googles fault, try something different, evolve and yes listen to your users. For many years we just had information from top down. Democratization of the information with internet shifted the balance of the "old media" and now they dont have a clue what is going on...

    If you ask me how to monetize, I would say "I dont care". But I do know that instead of this finger pointing game their time would be better used in doing something more productive like, lets say, finding a fricking way of getting some money.

  15. Nigel Wright
    Thumb Down

    I like newspapers...

    ...they fill a niche that online will never fill and sometimes (quite often if you're mobile) online simply isn't an option, but picking up a newspaper at the corner shop is.

    Google are parasites when it comes to news. It's just a search engine after all, what serious reporting does it engage in? WTF do they know about news, journalism, writing etc?

  16. Alex

    ah, I get it

    the Internet is a series of Bradfords all joined up by a series of tubes, now if only those tubes could know everything there is to know about me then it could limit the things I see to the things that it thinks I want to see. wow

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Like hard copy of newspapers

    Personnally I like reading a hard copy of the newspaper. I can just sit around have a cup of coffee and read the paper. I don't particularly like reading too much info electronically, eventually it wears on your eyes (fatigue, etc)

  18. Frank

    re. AC 08:57

    socialised/socialist........can anybody be bothered to explain it to him/her? I know I can't.

  19. Mike Flugennock

    @AC 9th April 2009 08:57 GMT

    Let me guess... you followed this link from the Drudge Report.

    However "left" reporters may be at US newspapers, the actual corporations who own the papers are, for the most part, about as pro-corporate/capital/oligarchy as it gets.

    Seeing as how my boyhood dream was to either draw a syndicated comic strip or an editorial page cartoon -- Pat Oliphant was my big hero while I was a kid cartoonist on the high-school paper, before going on to get a design degree -- I do have some slightly mixed feelings about this (but _only_ slightly). I still don't think I'd miss US print newspapers all that much if they were to totally go down the shitter. For the past twenty years or more, they've proven pretty much useless at anything but regurgitating the official corporate/party line "news"; their investigative reporting hasn't been for shit/e, nor has their science reporting. Around the early '90s, it finally got so bad that the only thing I felt I could believe was the weather report and the sports page. As soon as I got halfway-regular Internet access, I started reading every raw feed from the wire services, and every dissident/activist Web site I could find -- especially outside the USA -- in order to get a wider range of opinion, and find out what the hell was really going on out there. For that, US print news media are pretty much useless; it's the same old oligarchy party line news, the same old pundits spewing the same old crap, the same old Chandra Levy/Elizabeth Smart/Laci Petersen/Missing Cute White Chick Of The Week frenzy, the same old celebrity bullshit.

    To add insult to injury, even the comics pages suck now. I don't know about the rest of my fellow Yanks, but the Washington Post prints the comics so goddamn' small you can hardly read them, and they've become increasingly lame and bland, especially since Bill Watterson ("Calvin & Hobbes") retired. They still run "The Boondocks", but I still don't bother with it in print when I can read it on the Web. The Washington Post has actually resorted to running old Peanuts strips (dished out by Schulz's old syndicate as "Classic Peanuts"). Good Grief.

    We still get the Washington Post at our house -- my wife pays for the subscription, though -- but I hardly so much as cast a glance at it. It might as well be Pravda (Cold War-vintage edition).

    Of course, what I'm really waiting for is for US television news to hit the crapper. They're even worse -- worse than worthless.

  20. Trevor Pott Gold badge

    @AC 08:57

    Unregulated Corporatism! (The eventual result of unrestrained capitalism. Yay! History!)

    Totally the way to go. All the way man!

    Go AT&...oh wait. Enro....damn. Sayta....shit. Banks. The banks have to be something I can believe in! Go banks! What, what you say? Corruption, greed, and shady practices resulted in a planetary financial meltdown? You mean to say that unregulated and unrestrained corporatism ends up apocalyptically bad for everyone but the tiny few in power? Well, who would ever have known?

    Let me try to put this into a perspective you can understand:

    Giving a bonus to a corporatist is like tipping a rapist.

    As for me, back to the coal mines...

    Have a nice day!

  21. Alan Swartz


    It is hard for me to see how Google is a parasite (pardon the grammar, I'm a Yank). All they do is provide links to the original news source. If they have ads and can make money for providing that service, great. Let the newspapers make money providing the news itself. If it can't be done with ads, then some other means should be thought of without blaming Google who only sends more traffic their way.

    Oh, I prefer to read my newspaper on my Kindle. It has the portability advantages without the inky mess.

  22. PjhN

    I want News that's NEW

    There's one simple reason why I don't buy paper newspapers, despite the fact that I do like reading a physical copy. I don't buy them because what's in them isn't NEW at all, compared to the online newsfeeds' reports. Frequently, when I have looked at a friend's newspaper in work, I'll be able to give them more information on it and the latest developments, since I'd read the headlines on my PC that morning. And yes, for free.

    But I don't care about saving that thirty pence or so, I just don't want to read today things I new yesterday already. In today's technological world, a printed edition just can't compete.

  23. Michael Davis

    Mike Flugennock

    "Missing Cute White Chick Of The Week frenzy" For that line, I salute you sir.

    If I were to lose my internet access today I still would not resort to papers or TV for my news, I would remain ignorant (just like I had resorted to papers or TV for news).

    Being a "yellow journalist" is not a badge of honor.

  24. David Halko
    Dead Vulture

    @Mike Flugennock: @AC 9th April 2009 08:57 GMT

    Anonymous says, "If the news papers were not so socialist in nature, the internet web sites would not be killing them off, since there would be no socialist beliefs. The left leaning news media had promoted socialism, after socialism was shown to be the bane of the Western World"

    Mike Flugennock says, "Let me guess... you followed this link from the Drudge Report."

    The Drudge Report is a leftward leaning web site.

    Why would someone complaining about leftward leaning media come from a posting on a leftward leaning internet site???

    That is very odd reasoning...

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Trevor Pott ~~~ Government Monopolies, Regulations, and Socialists

    Tevor ~~~ "Go AT&...oh wait."

    They were a government monopoly, not a free-market company.

    Tevor ~~~ "Enro....damn."

    Another example of big government in the United States. Regulated out of business.

    Trevor ~~~ "Banks. The banks have to be something I can believe in! Go banks!"

    Once again, the government under former President Jimmy Carter passed laws allowing for Socialist groups like ACORN to extort the banks into providing loans which people who would normally not qualify for loans. Ironic that it has taken about 30 years (the time of a typical U.S. mortgage loan) for the deck of cards to come falling down.

    Trevor ~~~ "What, what you say? Corruption, greed, and shady practices resulted in a planetary financial meltdown?"

    Yep. Corruption, greed, and shady practices due to socialists and communists. The same type of meltdown happened in the U.S.S.R.

    Trevor ~~~ "You mean to say that unregulated and unrestrained corporatism ends up apocalyptically bad for everyone but the tiny few in power? Well, who would ever have known?"

    Yep. A large group of socialists in positions of power always cause destruction.

    Trevor ~~~ "Giving a bonus to a corporatist is like tipping a rapist."

    Corporatists are little more than Socialists.

  26. Trevor
    Paris Hilton

    @AC 20:08

    Wow buddy, you got some pretty screwed up ideas of what socialism is.

    Obviously somewhere you got "capitalism," "anarchy" and "good thing" all cross-wired in your brain. While at the same time “socialism” “dictatorship” and “rape everyone” got all cross-wired too. See a shrink. Or maybe a political scientist trained somewhere other than a hard-core republican state.

    I weep for our species, that it has people in it that believe as you do. Until then, I am going to go enjoy living in a country that is at least partially sane. Thank you very much sir, honestly, a HUGE amount.

    Sometimes, I despair of my country, and its slow slide towards greedy corporatism, because of fool anarchists who think that without any government, they would be better off. (Oh yes, because without a government of some king, the dude with the biggest rock didn't start bashing people over the head until he FORMED a government. One nation squirming under his boot.) Oh, and in case you start bawwwwwing about how your anarcho-capitalist leanings are only Darwinistic and thus good, I would like to point out to you that you are very wrong. Homo Sapiens is a PACK ANIMAL, not a solitary uber-predator. Without the pack, we’re pretty pathetic. As soon as you have a pack, you have an alpha. As soon as you have an alpha, you have a form of government. Survival of he with the most friends bearing pointy sticks.

    No matter how far my nation and our unfortunate cousins to the south have slipped, (and continue to slip,) we're still better off than if we were run by you.

    Thank all the deities, random cosmic events, luck, skill, the giant marshmallow man, and Paris Hilton for that.


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