WAN-IFRA

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Google partners with French journalism school

Google partners with French journalism school

Although Google has occasionally rubbed the press the wrong way in the past, it is now launching a new partnership with a French journalism school to encourage digital journalism.

In the U.S., Google's relationship with the press has previously been strained. The company aggregates news stories from around the world on its Google News feature. The press has taken issue with it before, such as the incident two years ago when Google was under scrutiny for profiting from content produced by news editors, magazine publishers, and the Associated Press.

Forbes.com Chief Executive Jim Spanfeller claimed that Google's business model is "parasitic", a statement refuted by the company's Marissa Mayer. She testified in front of the U.S. senate in May 2009, arguing that the company provided a valuable service to newspapers by guiding consumers to the news stories they sought.

Google has had run-ins with French press as well. In 2005, Agence-France Presse filed a copyright case against Google News for publishing what it claims was "unauthorized" APF material. The suit ended in a settlement in 2007 with both sides announcing a new partnership.

Recently, Google has made moves to foster a more positive relationship with the French press. On May 26, 2011, Google announced that it is partnering up with Science Po's journalism school. The partnership includes scholarships and the creation of a technology-focused "Innovation in Journalism" prize awarded to a student in one of the 13 recognized French journalism schools.

The partnership is also meant to emphasize Internet use in journalism. An engineer from Google will teach master students SEO (Search Engine Optimization) techniques, which increase journalists' visibility on digital mediums.

The head of Google France explains that the partnership will "promote and help digital journalism". The move could prove to be positive, allowing French newspapers to adapt to digital innovation. Newspapers everywhere are rethinking their digital business models and the French press has struggled to adapt as print sales flag. Some French publishers have even adapted a "digital kiosque" as an alternative to Google News. However, the partnership has also been viewed with skepticism. Zorgloob.com likened the new partnership with the journalism school to Google's plans to open a European Cultural Center in Paris to appease the French government. Regardless of perceptions of the decision, Google's new partnership is an undeniable step in the digitization of the French press.

Paid Content, CNet News, Zorgloob.com, CNMJ, NYTimes


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Author

Florence Pichon

Date

2011-06-06 14:29

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