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Google News to allow source comments

Are you a subject or a participant in a news story that has a beef? Perhaps you were misquoted.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

Are you a subject or a participant in a news story that has a beef? Perhaps you were misquoted. Perhaps the reporter was clueless. Perhaps you just wanted to add more context.

Well Google News has a deal for you.

Google is taking its Google News experiment and adding personal comments from folks that are included in a story. These comments would then ride shotgun with a story. Google News won't edit, but will be marked comments so readers know it's an individual not a story.

While there are some negatives to this approach--Steve Rubel notes that things will get more complicated for Google News, which now has to verify these comments--overall it's a grand idea.

Google says:

We're hoping that by adding this feature, we can help enhance the news experience for readers, testing the hypothesis that -- whether they're penguin researchers or presidential candidates-- a personal view can sometimes add a whole new dimension to the story.

This little experiment goes a bit farther than just adding a dimension to a story. It's an accuracy check on journalists. A source with a beef can now use Google News to deliver a message. Sure beats a letter to the editor three days after the story ran.

I'll be curious to see how Google works out the kinks of comment submissions, verification and whether Google News becomes a PR outlet.

In the end, Google News could wind up as a journalism watchdog of sorts as sources comment unfiltered. Go figure. 

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