Writing Prof Grouses About Google News Editors’ Picks

Do you pay much attention to the Editors’ Picks section on the right-hand side of the Google News page? Although for many this widget is likely just a quick, passing blur on the way to inputting search terms, San Diego writing prof Bob Dorn still thinks it’s worth mentioning how selective the showcasing is.

After a week spent monitoring the site about two hours per day, he makes a somewhat porous argument in the San Diego Free Press. In the sense that like the Oscars, there are only so many slots to be filled, so inevitably many deserving publications will always be left out of the EP honor roll:

Why are so many of the nation’s very best newspapers seldom allowed into the coverage on the left side of the [Google News] page, and why do they never appear in the Editor’s Picks section?

That small prestigious group of the excluded is made up of organizations such as the Los Angeles Times, winner of 41 Pulitzer prizes (only the NYT and WashPost have won more), the Chicago Tribune and the Boston Globe, which since 1941 has won 20 Pulitzers. Esquire and Vanity Fair, two magazines that have produced devilishly daring investigations, and The New Yorker and Harper’s and The Nation don’t appear in Google News. The Atlantic, during the week appeared just once during my monitoring of the site.

On the other hand, Dorn is right when he suggests that because he clicked a lot on The Guardian, it would make sense that his personal Editors’ Picks’ algorithm not include Daily Caller, Real Clear Politics and such. Read his full analysis here.