Web news conglomeration?

If you typed in ‘xerox’ today in Google News, you would have found a dozen or more news articles with the same headline (I’ll give a spoiler and tell you that it’s related to cutting jobs). And if you would have clicked through the links and read the various articles, you would have noticed that all of them are almost exactly the same – ad literam. It seems that most editors of on-line news media (or the on-line versions of the printed press) resort to copy/pasting of whatever they’re getting in from the news agencies (Associated Press in our example). This makes sense, since these media sites will be evaluated by how actual they are – a great power of the web is that publishing something only needs seconds – however, the (obvious) weakness of this is that content and depth are usually lost – CNN and Yahoo are champions of this: try finding out the details of any story and in the end you will likely have to resort to calling people and/or waiting untill you can buy the NY Times or so the next morning. Serious under-use of the potential of the web: the online (pay) site of De Standaard (Belgian news paper) for instance shows how it should be done: for a subscription fee (not needed if you just want to browse headlines and breaking news etc), you can not only read all the articles, which are regularly updated, but also download pdf’s of the printed paper and search in the archives. There are things about it I don’t particularly like (the ad’s, the overall slowness of the site) but that doesn’t outweigh the benefits.


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