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Google and Facebook support tabloid newspapers

Posted August. 23, 2017 08:50,   

Updated August. 23, 2017 09:03


Ancient Rome government in the 1st century BC disclosed public official appointment and court rulings, etc. on a message board called Acta Diurna. These transcription were sent to major places in Rome, which is considered the origin of newspapers. A modern tabloid newspaper originated from Johann Carolus printing news of various places in the Roman Empire at Strasbourg in 1605. The world's first daily newspaper is Leipziger Zeitung founded in 1660 at Leipzig in Germany. Ever since then, tabloid newspapers have been responsible for daily news.

Tabloids dominated news distribution for more than 300 years but they were replaced by the Internet portal sites in the 1990s. Newspaper companies are producing news, but news consumption has mainly been done through online. More recently, social media have jumped on the bandwagon. The two powers in the U.S. online ad market are Google and Facebook. The two companies take up 60 percent of this market estimated at around 83 billion dollars.

In Korea, Naver and Daum Kakao dominate the roads to news garnering huge ad revenue. Around 55 percent of news consumers use Naver and 22.4 percent use Daum to read news. Naver and Daum earn 350 billion won (384 million dollars) annually through news service. It is like craftsmen making good products but merchants making all the money. Under-qualified online news media are also increasing spreading fake news. A false impression has even set in that news contents are free.

Bloomberg said Monday that Google and Facebook are making broad efforts to support news media struggling due to shrinking ad market. This is not unrelated to U.S. media demanding for fair profit distribution on Google and Facebook, but it has more to do with the result of fundamental agony on the future of the news business. Bloomberg said that if news media struggle leading to a decline in the quality of content being supplied, the number of users would decline. Korean portal site operators should ponder on the fact that they are attracting news providers recklessly leading to quality decline.

Sung-Won Joo swon@donga.com