No More Free Lunch at Café Yahoo!
Organizations that are willing to spend the most will achieve the most prominent positions on the news pages, remaining in place until they are outbid by competitors. Although there will be no revenue payoff for news stories that rank high up the pages and gets lots of clicks, the program is certain to touch off a "share of mind" battle among news organizations--and, for the first time, allow the man on the street to tell his story without interference from editors.
Historically, professional journalists who were trained to separate wheat from chaff and remain utterly objective have decided what constitutes news stories and which ones deserve the most prominent "play" in newspapers, newscasts, and increasingly, online. That is, when they are not making up news stories, because it is easier than gathering the facts--and with some creative flare, can lead to prestigious journalism prizes. The Yahoo! "News Search" program essentially eliminates editors as gatekeepers to what constitutes news.
"This is a glorious day in the history of our cherished freedom of the press," said a spokesperson for The Center for Media and Public Affairs, who asked to remain anonymous for being forced to make such a ridiculous comment. "Until now, the news has been controlled by pointy-headed, nattering nabobs of negativism encouraged by an effete corps of impudent snobs who characterize themselves as intellectuals. A legacy no doubt of their Ivy League educations."
The Yahoo!announcement had an immediate negative impact on Business Wire and PR Newswire, two services that businesses often used to send out press releases that were presumed to be read by journalists. Funds earmarked for the wire services were diverted to the bidding process. "Just as well," said a longtime AP reporter. "We only looked at those things when we went to the bathroom and couldn't find a copy of Vanity Fair."
Here is a look at the top stories from various Yahoo! news pages the day after the "News Search" program launched:
OREOS DECLARED FREE OF CARBOHYDRATES - Nabisco, makers of Oreo cookies, today announced that, contrary to findings by the FDA and the World Health Organization,..
MEN'S FITNESS CIRCULATION SOARS TO 12.5 MILLION - American Media today announced that its Men's Fitness title is not only NOT a pale imitation of Men's Health, but in fact it now has a circulation of..
GIRLS SMARTER THAN BOYS - A study today released by Wellesley College is said to provide the first incontrovertible evidence that..
DARIEN WELCOMES HOOTERS - Phredrike Faff, owner of 26 franchise operations in the Northeast, today announced the opening of a Hooters Restaurant in the sleepy bedroom community of Darien, CT..
DARIEN FIRES CHAMBER OF COMMERCE HEAD - The Darien, CT Chamber of Commerce today announced that it has "job eliminated" its president..
AOL REVENUES PUSH TIME WARNER STOCK HIGHER - Time Warner today announced that its America Online division was performing beyond all expectations and that Wall Street had finally taken notice as the parent company's stock price soared..
CALIFORNIA MAN ALMOST FINISHES TRIATHLON - Before "hitting the wall" in the 14th mile of the marathon run, Adam Guild was well on his way..
GEORGE STEINBRENNER VOTED BEST BOSS IN BIG LEAGUES - The New York Yankees released the results of a poll today that confirmed that..
PEEWEE GOALIE TURNS AWAY 12 SHOTS - the son of billionaire George Soros yesterday turned away 12 shots on goal in a 23-4 loss to the..