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The Robert Thomson quote machine was in full force during the obligatory Web 2.0 Summit look at the future of journalism. Federated Media’s John Battelle moderated the often chippy session featuring WSJ top editor Robert Thomson; Huffington Post CEO Eric Hippeau; New York Times digital head Martin Nisenholtz; and designated scapegoat/Google (NSDQ: GOOG) exec Marissa Mayer. Here are a few markers so you can fast forward to certain points but the 40-minute discussion embedded below doesn’t seem endless unlike many conversations about the same subject:
— 6 minutes in: Mayer responds to Thomson’s concerns about Google’s affect on journalism. Thomson: “Marissa unintentionally encourages promiscuity.” (This includes some back-and-forth about font size. Seriously.)
— 11:30 in: Battelle brings up the “essential rub” with Google and HuffPo: aggregation. Nisenholtz doesn’t have a problem with linking but stresses: “I’m not comfortable with theft of copyright and I think the Huffington Post is guilty of that on way too many occasions. … But I am cool with Google indexing our stuff and Google sending us free traffic.” (Hippeau didn’t really get the chance to respond in real time but issued a strong denial later.) Nisenholtz then tries to move conversation away from distractions.
— 22:00 in: Hippeau says Craigslist was more of a destroyer of newspapers than anything else. “It’s not Craig Newmark’s fault,” Nisenholtz replies. “Nobody has the right to exist in business. It’s that simple.”
— 30:30 in: Making it pay.