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Google CEO: 'Moral' Duty to Help Papers

In a departure from his usual tough-love stance toward traditional media, Google CEO Eric Schmidt says his company is not a newspaper killer, and that Google has a “moral responsibility” to help newspapers survive. In an extensive interview, Schmidt said Google is often blamed for the Internet as a whole, which has changed reading habits to the detriment of print media’s profits. But Schmidt says he wants to experiment with new ways of presenting news that could help print institutions better transition to the Web, and survive. Schmidt also talks about the importance of investigative and local government journalism to democracy, and laments that there are fewer and fewer journalists on these beats as newspapers cut back. “But what happened to the guy who’s investigating the misdeeds of the CFO in the mayor’s office? And again, I’m talking about the stuff you can’t do in an hour. The gumshoe kind, walking around talking to people. There are very few of those people,” he says.