Google and the News

Google’s Larry Page, via Claire Cain Miller at the New York Times:

I see this as our responsibility to some extent, trying to improve media. If you ask anyone about how that information’s going to be propagated, what you’re going to focus on, I think it could work a lot better than it does now.

We as an Internet community, we have a responsibility to make those things work a lot better and get people focused on what are the real issues, what should you be thinking about. And I think we as a whole are not doing a good job of that at all.

I think most people’s response[1. Well, at least people who care about such things. Most people don’t think about where news comes from, I don’t think.] to this would be something along this line:

Why should a corporation like Google control the news I see? I don’t like that.

Of course, almost all news comes from big corporations. Fox,[2. Don’t even get me started.] AOL, NBC, Gannett and countless others are all giant corporations. As such, they have — whether or not they admit it — competing interests between delivering the news and making piles and piles of cash.

If Google were to use its weight to lean the news it delivers one way or another, I wouldn’t be happy. But it wouldn’t be anything new.