At this point, the paywall issue has been skewed, by much reporting out there, in to a facile Murdoch-vs-Google (NSDQ: GOOG) face-off. Now Google is fighting a potentially lingering perception that it doesn’t play fair with news…
Google News manager Josh Cohen gave an interview to Guardian.co.uk and, of all papers, the WSJ gives CEO Eric Schmidt op-ed space to go on another defensive: “With dwindling revenue and diminished resources, frustrated newspaper executives are looking for someone to blame… The claim that we’re making big profits on the back of newspapers misrepresents the reality … The revenue generated from the ads shown alongside news search queries is a tiny fraction of our search revenue.
And on the attack: “It’s understandable to look to find someone else to blame. But as Rupert Murdoch has said, it is complacency caused by past monopolies, not technology, that has been the real threat to the news industry.”
Of course, Schmidt doesn’t pass up the opportunity to make his usual case that Google can help news publishers: “We send online news publishers a billion clicks a month from Google News and more than three billion extra visits from our other services, such as Web Search and iGoogle. That is 100,000 opportunities a minute to win loyal readers and generate revenue