google news and press releases

an article in the register about google news incorporating press releases into its listings has gotten a little attention. i don't really find much fault with the listing of correctly-attributed press releases. it certainly better than seeing an unattributed (or misattributed) press release on a news site. (here's the original press release from the riaa.)

misattributing a press release (in the register's examples, google news apparently attributed some to yahoo! news) is a pretty big problem. but obviously it is hardly a problem unique to google news. (and clicking through to the actual story makes it a little less of a problem, assuming yahoo! news identifies the piece as a press release.)

it's interesting to think about the intersection of this issue with that of coordinated letters-to-the-editor campaigns. (after all, isn't that just the affiliate-marketed version of a press release? how different is that from areas being blanketed by herbalife signs?)

a common refrain i've heard from anyone i've known who has been interviewed for an article that appeared in print is how they were misquoted, or quoted out of context. as i remember, every single one has then gone on to say how it has made them read other news much more critically. the same goes for people who have witnessed an event, or simply know a lot about a topic of a particular article. i think reading news with a very critical eye is a very good thing. google news is a great tool to use in order to triangulate the truth, and i think its inclusion of (correctly attributed) press releases simply adds to that.

(via jd lasica and jeremy zawodny, where i left related comments.)


the riaa is just getting completely out of hand. this is borderline fascism. the atrocious greed of the american corporate will eventually destroy itself.

» guess who! » april 7, 2003 8:51am


» charlie » april 22, 2003 10:36am

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