News Corp’s Content Aggregation Double Standard

    February 16, 2011
    Chris Crum

Rupert Murdoch and News Corp. have long conveyed a disgruntled outlook on news aggregation. It wasn’t that long ago when there were stories everywhere about the company blocking access to its content from news aggregation sites, and the never-ending verbal sparring with Google over the issue. 

Yet News Corp.-run Wall Street Journal has been aggregating content for years. Back in 2009 it expanded a partnership with OneSpot to aggregate stories from around the web from a special section of the Wall Street Journal – a partnership that is still going on today. 

Wall Street Journal OneSpot news aggregation

Why exactly is it ok for them to do, and not for others to do with their content again? In fact, they take it a step further than even Google, which has received the brunt of News Corp.’s criticism on the subject. 

Instead of clicking on the headline (which also includes a snippet of the article) and going to the original souce,  you go to another page on the Wall Street Journal site itself where you are again greeted with a headline and a larger snippet, where you can then click through to the original story. These pages have the Wall Street Journal’s internal ads on them, mind you. 

Wall Street Journal OneSpot news aggregation

The pages also include MSN PPC ads and links to share the content via Twitter, Digg, Facebook, Delicious, and Reddit. Those clicking these share buttons are sharing the WSJ page. Not the original content. 

How is that better than what Google News and other aggregators do?

By the way, these WSJ pages show up in search results too.