Google News, Google’s news indexing engine, has received a lot of criticism and praise alike largely because it’s a powerful way of driving traffic to news websites.
Rupert Murdoch recently accused Google of stealing content from the News Corp. news outlets and even went as far as threatening to pull all News Corp.’s content from all Google indexes. Although protecting their revenue stream is important for big corporations like News Corp., it is a big mistake to think that the free availability of news content is damaging. Internet news directories like Google News offer student news publications an opportunity to tap new markets and reach new audiences.
I believe that exposure is very valuable for any news organization, and that as a news organization you have to be wherever your audience is. As college newspapers, we are usually serving a relatively small geographic area with our news organizations. But does this mean that only people in this particular area would be interested in what we report? Of course not! Now that almost any college newspaper has an online presence, it is time to start reaching out beyond these geographically confined areas and reach new audiences that we otherwise could access.