A quick note. I see Google has almost finished building its computer program to do all of the work that journalists do.
It's called a digital journalism tool, and the keywords here are digital and tool. (You can bet Google will never tell journalism organizations that's what it's called).
And once again, journalists and journalism organizations are helping Google take away their jobs.
How do I know this - Google is offering journalists and journalism students a 10-week fellowship for $7,500 and $1,000 in travel funds. The price someone is willing to pay journalists for their labor is a key economic signal - it tells the journalists exactly how much they are worth to the company that is paying them.
That means at this moment the labor of each journalist in the entire world is worth about $8,500 for 10 weeks of work.
Google only makes $0.02 a search, so the journalism foundations listed in Google's press release are subsidizing the fellowships. (I'm not linking because the last thing I want to do is help Google).
That is because at $0.02 a search each journalist has to generate 425,000 searches before the work they do is worth any money. So this means Google is about 400,000 searches x the number of journalists funded by the fellowship away from rolling out its digital journalism tool.
That tool is being built to compete with computers at other new media companies that have also been programmed to do the same jobs that journalists do.
What are they competing for? To drive traffic to websites where new media companies use another set of computer programs to sell advertising using what are called digital advertising tools. Once again, the keywords are digital and advertising.
No humans involved, just computers and computer programs.
So I also suspect the foundations financing this venture have offered to do it again next summer, and Google will eventually say sure, but not right away. Google will keep saying sure as long as the foundations ask because they will be helping Google refine its digital journalism tool and make it better and better and faster and faster at doing a job that used to be done by people.
Meanwhile, journalists at all the newspapers that just abandoned their print editions are about to find themselves competing against computers to drive traffic to their websites and sell advertising. And when people compete against machines, machines always win.