Here’s an idea for Mr. Murdoch

November 24, 2009

BoomTown’s Kara Swisher wrote a great piece discussing the Murdoch vs. Google showdown.  She makes the observation that:

There is a lot more money to be made in searching for content than in making it.

If that’s true (is it really?) Murdoch shouldn’t be playing Google and Bing off each other.  He should work to build the search engine for the newspaper industry.  If he really wants to play this out, he shouldn’t run to Bing.  He (rather, the industry) should build his (its) own.

The search property (perhaps called http://NewsAllOver.com) would be jointly owned by the largest news providers (AP, Gannett, Tribune, New York Times, etc.).  Hulu, from the television world, could be the model (in terms of ownership).

All participating news organizations would block other search engines from indexing them.  Consumers would quickly come to realize that NewsAllOver.com is the place to search for news.

Of course, the news industry has tried similar things in the past that have not played out well (e.g., Classified Ventures).  Perhaps, at this point in the decline of the Western Print Empire, there might be more motivation to try.

The rules for participation, ownership structure, etc. would all need to be worked out.

Why not?  Seems more rational than banking on Bing.

Update 11/25: Belo and Dean Singleton (MediaNews) might join in on the Google blocking thing.

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