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If Google suddenly had real competition in search, how would news publishers’ world change?

The tech giant’s ongoing antitrust trial raises the possibility of the federal government, Apple, or both giving Google its first meaningful search competition in decades.


Now this is what I’m talking about! While Joshua Benton’s early analysis of the Trial of Google notes that any meaningful change as a result of the trial is years away at the very minimum, the fact is that there are numerous paths gradually opening up that would shake the foundations of the search engine industry. For news publishers, that’s a very exciting possibility:

“My point isn’t that Apple would be a better tech overlord. It’s that competition is a good thing, even if it’s coming from two of the richest corporations in the history of humanity. Ideas move from unthinkable to, well, thinkable. Search is a critical — for many, the critical — supplier of audience to news publishers, and the rules for how it works are frozen because of one player’s market dominance.”

There’s a lot more in the article worth exploring, particularly how the rapid rise of AI is also jimmying the cracks open for publishers to gain a stronger foothold in conversations with platforms. And that can only be good for both newspaper and the consumers they serve — so here we go. Let’s shake up the board and see where the pieces land.


The Messenger signs a deal to “eliminate bias” and flag “clickbait” with AI

What counts as clickbait? Merriam-Webster’s definition is “something (such as a headline) designed to make readers want to click on a hyperlink especially when the link leads to content of dubious value or interest.”

You can’t eliminate bias, so this is a flawed premise from the start. Even organisations that make a concerted effort to be objective still display bias, whether that’s conscious or unconscious. It can’t be done. Which makes it all the more ludicrous that a site as spurious as The Messenger has signed a partnership with AI tool Seekr to try to flag it. The whole thing’s a joke.

From our community forum: What’s the best way to introduce kids to news? We’ve had recommendations for BBC Newsround and The Week Junior but do you know of any other sources? Join the discussion.


‘Collaboration over competition’ is the way forward for public interest media

Report for the World is encouraging newsrooms in the global south to work together on shared opportunities around audience engagement and revenue generation

We love collaborations here at Media Voices. There’s something very wholesome about naturally cutthroat journalists putting ego aside to focus on what matters: informing the public. So it’s great to see Report for the World urging more newsrooms to do just that.


Sun and Mail publishers hatch plan to combine print operations

The companies believe the plan could help ensure a “long-term sustainable future” for the UK newspaper ecosystem

Faced with the rising cost of… well, everything to do with print production and dramatic falls in print circulation, News UK and DMG Media are suggesting that they combine their print operations. As Charlotte Tobitt points out this would need clearing by the UK’s competition authority — but really it’s just an exercise in stretching out the tail of print decline both publishers are dealing with.

More from Media Voices


What kind of idiots still make magazines?

Joanna Cummings and Peter Houston discuss new B2B print title The Grub Street Journal, from inception to monetisation, challenges and more.


Why John Ryley is dead wrong about ad boycotts threatening democracy

John Ryley, former head of Sky News, said during a speech that brands that boycott GB News are “a threat to democracy”. He’s wrong.


Mx3 and Media Voices join forces to launch new AI event for publishers

Media Makers Meet (Mx3) and Media Voices are collaborating on a new event focused on developments and opportunities in AI for publishers and media leaders.

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