google news app icon on phone
(Image: Adobe)

Just where journalism fits into the
internet-enabled attention economy has become clearer with the announcement by
Google that it is joining Facebook in trialling payments to publishers for
using stories in specialist news products.

In today’s announcement, Google says it is focussing on supporting local and regional publishers including in Australia with “a richer experience” beyond the traditional search snippets. That’s the sector most knocked around by the collapse of advertising, particularly during the COVID-19 shock.

The Google plan (like the Facebook announcement
earlier this month) suggests that in an internet dominated by the two big
platforms, news and journalism will have its own (paid for) space. But will the
audience follow?