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Posted on on June 25th, 2010
by Pincas Jawetz (


Freedom of The Media in a ‘News-for-Free’ Age.

Josh Cohen, Google News

Google News & The Race Down the Information Highway. In this week’s newsletter, we bring you an interview with two of our panellists Josh Cohen, Senior Business Product Manager at Google News and Susan Pointer, Director of Public Policy & Government Relations for Southern and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa at Google. Cohen will be featuring on our “Found News? The New Platforms for Delivering Information” panel.

Susan Pointer, Google

We asked him and Pointer about Google News’ and Google’s role in the media as well as its commitment to freedom of information.

Here are a few of the highlights:

Cohen, on the perceived clash between Google News and newspaper publishers:

It’s a misunderstanding of how Google News works. We absolutely do not see publishers as competitors to what we’re trying to do. To the contrary, it’s very much a symbiotic relationship. We help people discover the information that all these sites produce… where they have the opportunity to monetise it.

…We absolutely honour and respect copyright. We never show, whether it’s on news or a web search, anything more than a snippet, the first sentence or in many cases the headline – and a link to the source itself.


Pointer, on Google’s role in censorship:

We believe that more access to information is better than less access to information… Access to information is a good thing. Freedom to express oneself and exchange ideas and content is a good thing.

That obviously doesn’t come without limits.


What do you think?

Is Google a help or a hindrance to newspapers? Is it aiding or stifling freedom of expression?  Read the rest of our feature here, and share your views through Twitter, Facebook and our comments page.

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