Brazilian Newspapers Say No to Google News

The country's National Association of Newspapers has recommended to its members they leave the service — and all 154 complied.

The decade-old Google News may be a foregone conclusion in the U.S., but in Brazil, it’s still a point of pressure.

The service reduces the chances that [users] will look at the entire story in our websites.

Following the recommendation of Brazil’s National Association of Newspapers (ANJ), 154 papers representing 90 percent of the country’s newspaper circulation have dropped ties to Google News, claiming the service hurt their long-term growth.

“By providing the first few lines of our stories to internet users, the service reduces the chances that they will look at the entire story in our websites,” said the group’s president, Carlos Fernando Lindenberg Neto.

Part of the reason for the negative reaction? Ongoing tension between ANJ and Google News. ANJ agreed to have its members join the service in 2010 but allowed for only a single line of story text to show up on Google News, which does not compensate news organizations for rights to their headlines. ANJ concluded, after the two-year experiment, that the service did not drive extra traffic to their sites but instead pushed it away.

Google defends its service and says it shouldn’t have to pay for the content it uses. “Google News channels a billion clicks to news sites around the world,” Google’s Public Policy Director Marcel Leonardi told the BBC.

The University of Texas’ Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas, however, notes a workaround. If a Brazilian newspaper company has a internet portal that’s a separate product from the newspaper’s site, the portal will continue to show up on Google News and may even list the news from the newspaper.

This isn’t the first time Google News has come under fire from the news industry. In 2010, the Associated Press dropped its contract with Google, though it returned weeks later.

And just last week, France considered a law allowing media outlets to charge search engines for content — leading Google to threaten to ban any media outlets that do so.

Do you think Brazil’s ANJ is taking the right stance in this situation? Let us know in the comments.

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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