MediaShift's interview with Google News creator

By Steve Safran Comment

The founder of Google News wants publishers to know he’s on their side. LR Pal Mark Glaser has written a piece at MediaShift called “Google News to Publishers: Let’s Make Love Not War,” and in the story are interview withs Google News creator Krishna Bharat and senior business product manager of Google News Josh Cohen. Bharat says he created Google News after Sept. 11, when he found it difficult to find a way to get coverage about the same topic from different sources. “To find the same coverage about the Taliban I would have to go to the L.A. Times site and [go to all these sites],” Bharat told MediaShift. “It seemed fundamentally inefficient. That’s not the way the web was supposed to work. The web was supposed to have a link structure that helped you find content.”

As far as the rhetoric being thrown at Google News, Cohen says he thinks things can be smoothed by educating publishers about his company’s tools. “There is no single cause for all the challenges publishers are facing right now,” Cohen told MediaShift. “We see ourselves as partners that can work with publishers. There are a number of ways we can and do help the publishers, and I think we’d rather see ourselves sitting down on the same side of things to see what’s going to work.”

Google News is also open to indexing stories behind pay walls. “If (the publishers) want to put the content behind a pay wall, you still need to find the content in order to get subscribers, and we’re happy to play a role in that,” said Bharat. “Google would still want to link to the content or a preview of it and still drive traffic, which means we’d still have to know where the content lives, and there are technical challenges there.”

Watch this and four other good video interviews by going to MediaShift.

Earlier: Study finds 44% of Google News visitors just scan headlines