Saturday, February 19, 2005

Google News: fair & balanced in what way?

I was going to post this comment at Little Green Footballs in response to this discussion of Google News, but registration for new posters wasn't working. So I'll post it here...

I too have seen a pronounced lack of balance in the news links offered up by Google News. We can speculate about intentions on Google's part, but regardless there seems to me to be a clear tendentiousness in the stories shown. Consider the last election: a 51-49 split. Sounds like the country is pretty evenly divided pro/con the Bush administration, right? What we see on Google News does not reflect this at all, and when they select Wonkette as a news source but not LGF it doesn't seem a mystery as to why.

Now to be fair, if Google casts a wide net and includes the world press, then the balance of reporting would be skewed against the current US govenment. If so, then Google has decided to treat state-run media outlets of dictatorships as equivalent to a free press. That is saying something, shows a definite viewpoint, and I don't blame them for not saying it out loud.