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One problem with Google News

By Paul McNamara on Thu, 03/29/07 - 10:53am.

My homepage is Google News. Use it all the time, every day.

But here's one huge problem with a news aggregator that (reportedly) relies solely on software to make editorial judgments: You get headlines such as this one -- "4 locals among Circuit City layoffs" -- listed as the second most important business story of the moment. First paragraph:

Four workers at the Fort Collins Circuit City store, 4414 S. College Ave., were laid off Wednesday as part of a corporate-wide plan to cut 3,400 higher paid workers and replace them with lower-paid new hires.

Now please don't think I'm picking on the Coloradoan here; I spent half my life working for a local newspaper and "the local angle," as we like to call little nuggets such as those four layoff  victims, is what local journalism is all about.

But Google News isn't a local news outlet.

Oh, sure, I can and did scan down to find a version of the same story written from a national perspective, but need to do that demonstrates once again why human editors get the big bucks.