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How Google Can Help Newspapers

After Rupert Murdoch said that the Google News aggregation service amounts to theft, Google CEO Eric Schmidt is firing back in a Wall Street Journal editorial that says, essentially, "It doesn't have to be that way." Schmidt defended Google for delivering about 100,000 clicks per minute to news services, each one an opportunity for news services to win a loyal customer. He also points out that, with the exception of services that Google has a content sharing arrangement with, Google News publishes only the headline and a few lines from a news story, then forces the reader to click through. He corrects the assumption that Google is "making big profits on the back of newspapers." Ads run along side the news, he says, constitute "a tiny fraction of our search revenue." Furthermore, Schmidt has a vision. He says that Google and the news industry ought to be collaborating to create the news experience of the future: an electronic device that loads instantaneously, pulls stories from multiple sources, and pays those sources either via monthly subscription fees, or pennies per article charged to the user's account. Stories and ads would be tailored to the user, allowing advertisers to target users and driving up ad revenue. Apparently, the future is now: Google and three dozen news partners are already testing Google Fast Flip.