Why Searching With Bing & Twitter Will Save Journalism

If you Google the “demise of journalism,” some 718,000 results will appear detailing the transition of consumers to the Internet, the decline of advertising revenue, the hacking of newsroom editorial staffs, the artificial knowledge of crowd-sourced information, and the collective threat to intellectualism and civic responsibility. Usually fingers are pointed at culprits from spineless newspaper publishers to free community classifieds on Craigslist to aggregator sites like The Drudge Report and The Huffington Post. What doesn’t get enough attention in these conversations, however, is the component that will have the greatest impact on whether the imperative concept of “news judgment” survives the New Media Revolution: search engine optimization.

Last Wednesday marked a major milestone in the future of journalism when two critical events shook up the status quo in the world of search. First, Microsoft and Yahoo! announced a partnership deal that will make the former’s new search engine, Bing, the official search function for all Yahoo! sites. Second, and more subtly, Twitter launched a redesign of its home page that prominently features search functionality, encouraging users to “share and discover what’s happening right now, anywhere in the world” in its new tag line. The emergence of Bing and Twitter mark the first formidable competitors to Google, which until now has monopolized the market on search, and thus the diversity of thought in journalism’s Internet era.

Read the full article at CauseCast.org, where it was originally posted.

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Joe Flood

I didn’t want to register on CauseCast but this is what I would’ve said:

How exactly does having a monopoly on search impede diversity of thought on the internet? I don’t get it. If the internet is known for anything, it’s for the wild diversity of opinion, totally unfiltered.

And are we really reliant on Google’s algorithm for what we read? There’s a million different ways we get news these days – twitter, digg, facebook, forwarded emails, newsletters, favorite blogs and so on.

But I do agree that we should try out different search engines just, well, because it’s good to check out other options.

Maegan Carberry

Strange; you shouldn’t have to register to read on CauseCast.

Here’s a bit of the explanation you missed, although I’m not at liberty to re-post the whole thing:

If thoughtful citizens used to seek out essential news prioritized for them by experienced editors on the front page of a paper or the home page of a web site or the lead segment of a broadcast, that process has now become more haphazard. The Internet’s artificial intelligence does that for us, with and without our input. As personally-compiled RSS feeds, Twitter feeds, selective link surfing and search queries have replaced the traditional entry points to consuming news, the onus of deciding what’s important now falls on the individual himself, or in many cases is thrown to the wisdom of the crowd on Digg and Google trends. This means we’ve all become reliant on Google’s algorithm that pulls up search results and determines a story’s popularity, and if our favorite, most reliable news outlets aren’t up to snuff on 2009’s hottest SEO tactics we’re likely not going to encounter their important work. It will be lost, buried on the 50th page of search results behind whatever messages an expert in metadata (the keyword language the algorithm speaks) has designed for us.

Donna L. Quesinberry

That is why after conducting a search I go to the last page of relevant entry first and work back to the front.

Something that is remiss in the journalism discussion on the Internet is that many of the “blogs” we reference as “nuggets of data” or for “information mining” are more and more often written by ghostwriters.

If you review Guru, Elance, Sologig and other writer service sites you’ll find that hundreds of advertisements for writers for blogs and folks from India, Australia, Estonia, Romania, and varied in sundry locales in the Americas respond and write them at astronomically devalued rates. The writers are asked to deploy SEO and keyword intensity as the greater proclivities than the act of writing itself. If they enhance rankings on the Net – they are given kudos in the writer sites and then garner more work. The only criteria they need to pass is Copy Scape so that there is no issue with rights and the blogs won’t raise a red flag; however, facts come from facts (typically) and there are no citations in blogs.

Surprisingly, many of these third party “expert” blogs are where folks get the “juice” in modern journalism – if you can call it that. Only instead of it being “Bob’s juice,” it is Rahul from Istanbul’s juice. And, we were all amazed that Bob wrote a daily blog with such intensity while performing his other 9 – 5 efforts. Just how does he get it all done?
Blogs with ghostwriters should have ghostwriter with credit clauses out of necessity – so that when we reference their data – it is really their’s and not Lorin from Finland writing on the ITIL practices in the United States..

Fact is – good old fact-checking – is essential especially today. Much of the Internet is bastardized media we are just gulping up as the real thing.

About the commenter:
Ms. Quesinberry, President DonnaInk Publications (DP), a small, sole proprietor, woman-owned business with over 19 years of professional expertise featuring high 90th percentiles relative to acquisitions and procurement. Donna is a published technical non-fiction | fiction author; university courseware developer | instructor; and recognized poetess. Donna has interviewed on CNBC and is a single mother of five adult children.