Thursday, October 29, 2009

The waves of news

I am currently addicted to a new website called YourVersion. Basically, they are a news aggregator. You pick your areas of interest and they select for you the most recent pieces of news about the topic (notice I haven't said 'keyword', so I'm not sure how the search process works). The interface is pretty smooth and simple and, for my purposes, it serves me well.

Before that, I was regularly using Google News Alert, which works very well, but only comes in my mailbox once a day (slowly I began to need my fix more frequent than that).

Anyway, after a few months browsing the news in this 'aggregated' format, I started to notice an interesting trend: news spread in a circular way. Normally one newspaper or blog breaks the new and from then on everything is basically cut and paste, with little value added. So, for instance, when someone at Hulu says that they are going to start charging for content, one blog breaks the news, and all the subsequent articles just quote the first.

In reality, this is just a new manifestation of a trend that has already been in place for many years. In the late nineties, early 2000s, all articles were (authorized) copies of the original Associated Press or Reuters article. Now they are just a copy of something different - and probably non-authorized.

No comments:

Post a Comment