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Google’s Fascinating News Experiment

I have long wondered if or when Google would get into the media business directly, buying up a newspaper company or three. My friends at Google always reply with the same mantra: We are a search company, not a content company. Okay.

Regardless, it’s undeniable that Google has greatly affected how journalism is consumed in this country and, consequently but to a lesser degree, how journalism is created. Journalism is a market like any other, and it responds to market forces.

Consider now this really fascinating idea that Google is rolling out: a feature that allows the subjects of news articles to comment on the published article.

This makes sense, doesn’t it? The writer has his/her say by writing the article; the everyday reader gets to weigh in via the comments section; and now the subject gets to reply in a highlighted comment section.

If this becomes widely implemented (no guarantee), I think it will shake up a lot of people, mostly for the better. I always try to glean feedback from the subject of an article that I write, and I generally find it valuable. I can’t think of a good reason why the subject shouldn’t be allowed to speak up in a forum that everybody, and not just the writer, can see.

(Hat tip: Sam Diaz, via Romenesko.)