Reporting, distribution tools from Google

youtube_reporterscenterSo it isn’t enough for Google to put newspapers out of business; now it’s targeting j-schools.

Seriously … there’s some quite good, basic reporting advice in the new YouTube Reporters’ Center. My favourites of the bunch are the Associated Press’s: How to Pitch a News Story — 2:11 of jam-packed practical advice — and NPR’s Scott Simon breezily delivering the fundamentals of audio presentation in How to Tell a Story.

Still, it’s full evidence of the tortured state of the news industry. Six days ago Dow Jones Chief Executive Les Hinton called Google a “digital vampire.” Two months ago Associated Press chairman Dean Singleton vowed the company would pursue “legal and legislative remedies” against those he said were unfairly “misappropriating” its content. And he bluntly suggested Google was the main enabler. Now, here are some of the best minds of mainstream journalism using a Google product to advise amateurs on how to do it for free.

Google also today invited news publishers to host their videos on YouTube and participate in an advertising revenue share program via its YouTube Partner Program. CEO Eric Schmidt has promised to release more tools to help the ailing news industry and this move appears to build on comments he made in a speech to the Newspaper Association of America on April 7, 2009:

The fundamental issue is that the Internet distribution model doesn’t work on scarcity — it works on ubiquity. What we have to do is find models that involve very broad distribution and that you (news organizations) make money all along the way. We of course are in the advertising business. And we think that money will be there. We think there is a way to do it with even more targeting and even more immersive kinds of advertising models.

So Google continues to dangle a bigger and bigger carrot in front of news publishers. Take the leap, it says, free your content — the real money is in targeted advertising.

I believe Google is right about that. But it might be years before we find out.

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