Fort Worth, TX (WiredPRNews.com)—Internet giant Google hopes to make decades of published newspaper material available to everyone by digitizing the archives and making them available online.
According to a New York Times.com article by Miguel Helft, published on September 9, 2008, Google has been scanning the microfilm of some publications, like the New York Times, the Washington Post and Time magazine so they can be searched via Google News. Google will place ads next to the search results and will share the revenue with the participating newspapers.
The digitization efforts, which Google pays for, can eventually deliver much needed revenue to newspapers around the country. A June 29, 2008 AP article by Seth Sutel, which appeared in Yahoo.com’s Finance News, showed that major newspapers have slashed a significant number of employees this year. These newspapers, according to the article, are the Hartford Courant, the Baltimore Sun, the Palm Beach Post, The Detroit Free Press, the Boston Herald and the Detroit News.
Ironically, the meteoric rise of free online sites that deliver news and local classifieds have contributed to the financial troubles of hard copy publications, according to the Associated Press article. It cited Craigslist.com, which delivers free clickable classified ads, and autotrader.com as competitors that have done the most damage.
Classified ad revenue, according to the AP article, dropped nearly 25% in one year. Overall ad revenue, which is where newspapers make 90% of their money, was down 12%.
Google isn’t the only one digitizing newspaper archives, according to The New York Times.com article. A joint effort between the Library of Congress and the National Endowment for the Humanities has been making a digital archive of some papers, dating from the 1830s to the 1920s.