I’ve written on the automated triangulation of news that underpins Google’s news page. It’s a page that I find hugely valuable for watching news break across a really diverse range of sources.
But right now when I look at the NZ Google page – they have one just for us Kiwis – the lead story says that Terri Schiavo’s parents are still fighting to have the feeding tube reinserted – old news. Right beneath that lead story is a piece about the Pope taking a turn for the worse – current news. That’s because those are the stories are being clicked. In all fairness to Google they do indicate the age of the news. And packaged in the Schiavo story is the sad news of her death. Which, despite being more current isn’t the lead.
So sometimes the wisdom of crowds doesn’t always result in the delivery of breaking news – it’s inconsistent. This reinforces a point Stephen Shankland made to me awhile back that we shouldn’t confuse sites that triangulate news with those that break news.
And thinking about my post below – this points to something I am willing to pay for in a news site. Insightful reporting on breaking news with professional editorial management. Hasn’t that always been the business that sets the great news sites apart from the rest. Witness the success of News.com and The Register.