Google news worseningI'm sorry to say it, but the default English version of Google News just looks like a bunch of press releases to me.
The clustering technology weighs stories heaviest when they get the most press in the most places. But when a story gets released by press release or press conference, it automatically ends up on a lot of websites. It actually makes blogs a better filter ... who would write a diary entry about some posturing rhetoric by the Secretary of State? Very few people. But the newspapers cover it fully, widely ... and badly.
I feel that Google Maps is more interesting, and has more potential to be real, and I'm starting to write about it here. If you mapped Google News to Google Maps (why has no one done this yet?) you'd start to see the problem: the news is being generated in just a few places by the same few people, and is therefore a long way from real news.
The problem isn't just geographical, though. Important news is often happening in DC or NYC, and we just don't hear about it. It's happening in congress or at the UN. And there are no press conferences, except by a handful of activists.
Still, if the Maps were real enough, with good enough conflated data, it would become harder & harder for elite laws & regulations to take hold. There has to be a way for the true state of the world to shine through the publicity madness.