Big Tech versus Big Media.

It is not as exciting as the meeting at the OK Corral. There is no shooting. And the only people shouting are the news media. They want Big Tech to stop stealing their work product. If our copyright laws where easier to enforce, it would not have even been a problem.

But the dumbest idea to come out of all of this wrangling is having government solve the problem. You would expect the news media to know that it takes government years to keep its promises. Overnight solutions usually end up being tossed back by the courts.

And if the government did solve the problem between the media and the Internet exploiters, would the news media then be nice to the government?

We should stop dreaming now and keep government and the news media each in their own kennel. Do you really think the Australian government meant to get into the middle of a war zone between Google-FaceBook and Australian news media?

What is without question here is that the Internet interlopers are stealing from the news media to create a false news creation of their own. It is usually a mishmash of real news headers, veiled advertisements and Hollywood blather.

If the Internet guys and girls had ever studied the work of 20th Century psychologist Daniel Starch on newspaper readership, they would know that, for many of the readers, that header was their take-away for that news item. Remember that the header or first paragraph of newspaper stories is most likely to include the “Who, what, why, when and how” of newspaper tradition. Starch found a smaller percentage of the readers read half or more of the news story. And as many news media are using paywalls to pull in some extra revenue, it often just annoys the potential reader when clicking on the news item to find a paywall blocking them from reading is annoying.

For this argument to be resolved, everyone has to understand that legitimate news costs money. You need reporters dogging your politicians, watching your police and fire departments, studying what is happening in businesses and reporting from around your country. This costs money to observe, write and either print or broadcast and in the Internet. Internet people cannot just steal this expensive commodity for their own use to attract customers.


Copyright 2021 © Peter Lowry

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