One thing has changed in the 13 months since the following book excerpt was written: Google loosened some of its services and software cross-integration, presumably in response to antitrust problems in Europe. The company is in the process of divesting some Google+ assets, for example. But in other respects, integration is tight as ever, particularly around mobile, which in 2015 dominates U.S. Google search—and nine other countries, including Japan.
That introduction is important context for reading today’s serialization of my ebook Responsible Reporting: Field Guide for Bloggers, Journalists, and Other Online News Gatherers. The third and fourth chapters carry forward an incredibly important, but often misunderstood, theme: The Google economy’s devastating impact on news gathering, and eroding ethical standards around it. I am not anti-Google, being myself a huge consumer of the company’s services. Nevertheless, criticism stands.