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Google's attempts to save journalism

People in the journalism world have been panicking about the dire straits the industry is in right now. The Atlantic has a great article by the esteemed James Fallows called "How to Save the News." It's the latest in a long run of these kind of articles, in part because a lot of those writers are by nature close to the subject matter, but it's important not just for journalists but to all of us who want to be informed about our world.

One point the article draws out is that Google has been a big part of what's killed journalism, making it easy for people to find the exact information they want without wading through a newspaper or magazine. "Everyone knows that Google is killing the news business. Few people know how hard Google is trying to bring it back to life."

Some of the minds at Google believe that good journalism is good for Google, as it means they have more interesting content to link to. Google's CEO Eric Schmidt wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal about how Google can help newspapers, and Google has set up ways to deliver more money to news organizations.

I thought this was the most interesting quote in the piece, from the Google executive who put together Google News: "I believe the news industry is finding that it will not be able to sustain producing highly similar articles." I know I appreciate it when a news organization does something a little different, and I like to think that we try to do something a little different at KPCC.

Check out the full article at the Atlantic.

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