The facts do not owe their origin to an act of authorship.
Justice Sandra Day O’Connor (Feist v Rural Telephone, 1991)

But does the hunt, the research, the interviews? Or perhaps its organization into a story for the dissemination to a reading public? And can these be made exclusive? These questions have bubbled up as the newspaper industry wrestles with what the internet is doing to their business.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer’s Connie Schultz has argued fervently about the rights of authors and their newspapers to capitalize on their product. She came out against “the aggregators” as though they were a malfeasant band of marauders bent on destroying the institution of journalism and by extension democracy. Citing Daniel and David Marburger, she claimed, “parasitic aggregators reprint or rewrite newspaper stories, making the originator redundant and drawing ad revenue away from newspapers at rates the publishers can’t match.”

James Moroney, publisher and CEO of the Dallas Morning News takes a similar approach. He invokes the ‘hot news’ doctrine and asks congress to apply it to the internet. Says Moroney, “perhaps it is time for congress to establish a principle of ‘consent for content’ for breaking news–similar to the ‘hot news’ doctrine recognized by a few states.”

Copyright law sufficed to protect the written word, fixed in a medium, but these claims demand remedy for a larger issue. They aim to protect the investment required to collect the facts and write a story, when it might easily be re-written and distributed by another. But they ask for monopoly control of the story itself — indeed, ownership of the collection of facts and ideas that might make up a breaking story on government corruption, for example. Justice O’Connor, however, finishes with little support for these views: “The distinction is between one of creation and one of discovery.” And discovery is not subject to property rights.

The viewpoints of Moroney, Schultz and the Marburgers have their origin in the nature of print. Print leads to a confusion between controlling the medium and controlling the content – that is, the mistaken idea that breaking a story equates to owning it. The Supreme Court compounded the confusion in 1918 with its decision to augment copyright protection with “quasi-property rights” for the facts and events that make up a news story — the hot news doctrine. It was a legal solution for the disruptive impact of a new technology: newswires. News was paper, and these rights formalized the metaphor. They derived from the physical qualities of the paper, attached property rights to the news and would provide a legal basis from which to make, in this case, the AP’s news exclusive. Theoretically, the AP could then exclude people from learning of it or reprinting it without permission. They wouldn’t just report the news, they would own the news.

Now, these voices have called for protection from the impact of another technology — the internet. But it is the same mistake as was made in 1918 and illustrates the deep roots of today’s crisis. It’s not to say that news organizations can’t charge for the news; they can. But even when furnished with the property rights awarded in 1918, they can’t seem to stop the raw facts and events of the news from being shared, rewritten and reprinted. So thoroughly captured by the metaphor of paper and private property are these voices, however, that the same legal strategy behind the decision in 1918 seems tenable – as though just one more decision, or perhaps a piece of legislation, will stop up the flood of news long enough for those invested in its development to capitalize on it exclusively. But it won’t.

***

Print is special. The front page was the first home page, and it was a home page to a walled garden of physical content. There are no in-links or out-links. It comes every day and tops you off with the news. It’s a proprietary content delivery platform that can be updated every morning. And advertisers pay for distribution – to, as de Tocqueville observed, drop the same thought into a thousand minds at once.

Print leads to an important confusion. In a newspaper, news is paper. The paper is a metaphor for the news, and the metaphor assigns the physical qualities of the paper to the news. Because the publisher can control the consumption of news by controlling the print distribution, the news appears to be something that a publisher owns – something with property rights. A test for this is whether the news is exclusive. The physical metaphor for news makes the newspaper medium exclusive. The paper itself sits at the far end of a long chain of efforts to get the news to your door or the newsstand. Its a closed network for content. If you don’t buy one, find one or otherwise get one into your hands, you can’t read the news; you can’t obtain the facts. The newsprint, the distribution, the ink, the printing — all of this provides a basis for control and a basis for news to be exclusive. But it’s not the news that has property rights, it’s the newspaper – the print medium.

Newspapers in 19th century New York implicitly recognized the power of exclusive material, and they pursued it through yellow journalism. The news was often fictional or sensational or otherwise created. No one else was going to make up the same thing, and the exclusive gave the publisher a monopoly on the facts. These were not facts to share; they were facts to own. Bennet started it with the Herald, which was followed by Pulitzer’s The World in the 1880’s, and Hearst’s The Journal in the 1890’s. The Herald may have been known for its “good foreign service,” but it’s stock in trade was the monopoly power presented by yellow journalism – by owning the facts. The New York Times would stand apart by avoiding the fantasies that sustained them — sticking with the news. Someone had to.

Protecting a newspaper’s franchise would seem to mean protecting their ownership of the collection of facts that make up the story. The print marketplace would accomplish much of this on its own. The paper comes out, and it either has the scoop or it doesn’t. The paper that has it wins. But what if the paper had a way of getting the scoop from another newspaper before publication – a “tip” or a “re-write”? Enter the newswire, the Supreme Court, and the question of who owns the news.

***

Newswires come out of news cooperatives. These would start on a regional basis, with the likes of the Harbor News Association in 1848, which was founded by six daily newspaper publishers in New York. Their remit was to provide for the efficient collection of facts and stories for publication among their members. The shared newsroom concept was an early step away from vertical integration. It’s members could share stories and take on distribution themselves. Harbor News was later reorganized in 1857 under the name of the New York Associated Press. By the turn of the century, they had hundreds of members and were no longer regional. They were national. They were the Associated Press and would be joined by UPI in 1907 and Independent News Service (INS), a William Randolph Hearst property, in 1909.

The spread of telegraph communication made news cooperatives into newswires and would transform newsgathering and distribution. Newswires attained national or even international reach. That reach would connect them across timezones, so while one paper might be for sale on the street, another might be about to go to press. A newswire, fully connected, might arbitrage this and recount the news of the day from the efforts of another for the benefit of its members. The AP, for example, made a practice out of collecting news from London papers through “bulletin boards” and London headlines. It would then republish it through its member network in the US. Aggregating these “tips” built up their foreign service and would prove invaluable in their coverage of World War I.

The AP would go on to have a monopoly on cable service from Europe during World War I in 1916. Their sole competition, INS, had been cut off by the Allies, leaving the AP with exclusive access. Ordinarily, INS customers might shift over to the AP, but because it is a membership organization, the AP wouldn’t take new members unless four-fifths of their base approved. INS customers might want to join, but the AP wasn’t necessarily going to accept them. Samuel Untermeyer would later describe the AP next to INS in terms that might be reserved for a country club being compared to the YMCA: “The Associated Press has always taken the attitude that its members are the aristocrats of the newspaper world and that we are the upstarts.”

INS responded in kind. Just as the AP lifted stories from the London papers, INS would lift stories from AP papers. As papers were published and the news came out in the east coast, INS would light up the telegraph network with AP stories for its customers throughout the country. The time-zone differential allowed them to catch up to the AP and compete on the same footing, but with AP’s product. Frederick W. Lehmann, who argued against INS in the Supreme Court, described it: “Because electricity outruns the apparent movement of the sun, we can clip the news appearing in the New York morning paper and send it to any paper in the Mississippi Valley or to the west of that in ample time for publication in the regular and even in the first editions.” INS didn’t need access to the front. They just needed access to the AP.

The AP had its suspicions. Periodically, INS would insist that it had re-established communications with the front through the Allied Command. These claims would evanesce as various sources stepped forward and explained that INS still did not have access to the cables, but the AP couldn’t pin them down. That is, until Fred Agnew, a former INS employee approached the AP in 1916 and explained that it was standard practice for INS to collect AP stories from, among other avenues, bulletin boards, early editions, and in particular, through a bribed telegraph operator in Cleveland, only to republish them as their own. AP employees were providing INS with these “tips” from their advantageous position as telegraph operators for the AP in Cleveland. Indeed, INS would later counter that they had just as much “a right to employ” them as the AP. They were one among many sources by which INS had been collecting the news through the efforts of the AP.

The complaint reached the Supreme Court in 1918. The Court decided against INS and provided a presumed basis for a “quasi property” right of factual news and information: “it has all the attributes of property necessary for determining that a misappropriation of it by a competitor is unfair competition because [it is] contrary to good conscience.” The Court would go on to conclude, “Regarding the news, therefore, as but the material out of which both parties are seeking to make profits at the same time and in the same field, we hardly can fail to recognize that for this purpose, and as between them, it must be regarded as quasi property, irrespective of the rights of either as against the public.” The AP had enjoined INS and acquired property rights for the news.

Justice Pitney articulated the position with caution, and it appeared to reflect a risk the court was taking. Though identical to the AP’s own work in gathering news from Europe and European newspapers, it did not seem fair to allow INS’s more controversial newsgathering techniques in “the business of making [the news] known to the world.” Existing law did not provide property rights to the facts, but how could Justice Pitney adjudicate the matter of fairness? Lehmann’s closing arguments asked: “Has not the complainant some right of property in the daily news report it produces and a right which a court of equity will protect?” If Justice Pitney couldn’t recognize property rights, he would introduce them. Pitney delivered limited ownership rights to the AP “to the extent necessary to prevent that competitor from reaping the fruits of complainant’s efforts and expenditure.” These were qualified and applied only in the context of unfair competition, but there they were: property rights for the facts.

Justice Pitney’s decision would be known as the hot news doctrine. The doctrine rested on three arguments. First, the news has market value, just like any other form of property, therefore, it should be protected as such. If something has market-value, it looks like property, so we should treat it like property. Second, the news resulted from the blood, sweat and tears of the publisher and their staff, so they must deserve compensation for their efforts – the labor-theory of value. Markets aren’t perfect. If the market does not reward their efforts, there is something wrong with the market, which must be fixed. Third, Pitney found a utilitarian justification. If the Court did not protect the property-rights of the publisher, why would they invest the effort in gathering, filtering and publishing the news?

Justice Brandeis captured the disquiet with one word in his dissenting opinion: merely. He asked if INS should be enjoined from its practice “merely because the news had been originally gathered by the Associated Press and continued to be of value to some of its members.” He went on to say, “To appropriate and use for profit, knowledge and ideas produced by other men, without making compensation or even acknowledgment, may be inconsistent with a finer sense of propriety; but, with the exceptions indicated above, the law has heretofore sanctioned the practice.” After all, US copyright law places facts, data, systems, methods, ideas, theories, among other material in the public domain. Though the AP may not like it, Brandeis’ opinion suggests INS is within their rights to report the news, regardless of the source. We may consider it a breach of propriety, and it certainly doesn’t seem fair, but it is within the bounds of the law.

Justice Brandeis saw no role for the court in the AP’s complaint. If the AP required protection, they would need to seek recourse from the legislature. It’s not that he is necessarily unsympathetic to the AP’s predicament. Instead, he would argue that the laws did not exist yet. The telegraph had so dramatically affected the collection of the news that the court did not have the tools to decide for the AP. The issue of ownership of the news could not be adjudicated. It had to be legislated.

The Supreme Court delivered the decision for the AP, but it wasn’t easy. Copyright wasn’t relevant to the discussion. Copyright doesn’t cover facts, methods, ideas – the raw material of the news. It covers the story, fixed in a medium – the arrangement of words. The Court, instead, appealed to a sense of fairness and the ability to harvest the fruit of one’s work. Nonetheless, it’s not clear that Justice Pitney and the Court had the tools to award these rights, and it did not sit well with Justice Brandeis, who didn’t see a legal problem with INS’s practice.

***

What neither opinion addresses, however, is that it wasn’t the first time the court had faced the question of property rights for the news. Similar, isolated cases had been filed, but each had failed. Rear Admiral Peary’s 1909 trip to the North Pole captured the imagination of the reading public. The New York Times and London Times negotiated exclusive rights from the expedition to report on the story. Competitors, however, would invariably report the story second-hand. The New York Times sued to prevent them from doing so, but they failed to reach the outcome enjoyed by the AP.

Another case targeted the AP, and the AP occupied a startlingly similar position as INS. The London Times had sold the exclusive right to carry stories of the Boer War to the Tribune, but Melville Stone, the head of the AP at the time, had charged a regional correspondent in London with buying issues of the London Times, copying the stories and transmitting them to the network of AP-affiliated papers in the US. It was the same Melville Stone who had been exasperated by the McMullen brothers’ practice of copying stories from his paper in Chicago, the Times, and republishing them in later editions of their paper, the Post and Mail. Indeed, in 1876, Stone fabricated a “Sad Story of Distress in Servia [Serbia]” and embedded a quote in the “native tongue” that, when read backwards, said, “The McMullens will steal this sure.” Needless to say, Stone’s AP in 1900 was not above the same. The Chicago Tribune tried to enjoin the AP in 1900 from publishing the stories, but they failed, and the case was decided for the AP.

The difference between these examples and AP v INS was one of economics – the economics of the telegraph. The AP had solved for the market’s failure to provide a timely distribution system for the news through the immense investment required to build out the telegraph networks. The expense and required investment led to a natural monopoly, where, “the costs of production are such that it is less expensive for market demand to be met with one firm than with more than one.” But the economics of the telegraph would shift dramatically from 1900, when the AP beat back the Chicago Tribune’s complaints for having appropriated the content of the London Times. The cost of transmission would drop substantially by 1916, and the telegraph went from a primitive and expensive means by which to transmit the news to something pervasive, elaborate and inexpensive. The AP, no fan of property rights for the news before, realized it would need them to lock down its content.

The news began as a small part of what the AP sold its members. The AP sold transmission. Transmission provided timely access to news delivered across great distances, and smaller papers without a national or international desk would happily pay for the service to bring stories from Europe or the Washington or otherwise to their readers. Thomas Edison would later write of the AP’s network, “Uncle Sam has now a real arterial system and it is never going to harden.” Being a natural monopoly, the AP didn’t worry about competitors reprinting their stories. Members would have to pay and comply with the bylaws of the AP. If not, the transmission would be turned off. Indeed, as long as transmission prices were high, it wouldn’t matter who owned the content, only who owned the network.

By the early part of the 20th century, however, transmission costs began to decline substantially, and the competitive dynamic changed. The United Press, which initially launched in 1882, had been unable to survive the competitive pressures of the AP in the 19th century and was forced into bankruptcy in 1897. It’s members moved to the AP, but declining transmission costs would eventually erode the natural part of the monopoly and make room for competitors. The UPI launched in 1907 and would be followed by Hearst’s INS in 1909. The AP had been slow to lower its expenses and soon found that telegraphy was consuming 75% of its operating budget. Kent Cooper would join the AP in 1910 and cut costs dramatically through relentless negotiation and optimization.

The AP had taken additional steps to protect itself. The regional AP associations merged in 1900, were incorporated as the modern AP, a not-for-profit cooperative under New York state law, and Melville Stone became the general manager of the combined entity. The AP no longer had to coordinate with regional associations. It could direct them according to a strict set of by-laws that protected franchises and limited competition. Incumbent members, for example, were protected from the advances of competing papers. Should they request membership, the incumbent could veto it. Similarly, the AP could rely on information to pass from its vast membership, up to the AP newsroom, and back down to its member papers. In effect, it vertical integrated regional monopolies through a single, national news operation.

The AP had also organized itself as an information cartel. They negotiated exclusive access to government and agency sources, so they could control the raw material of the news. These comprised exclusive sources that provided their members an informational advantage. A false armistice, for example, was announce by Roy Howard of the United Press from France on November 7, 1918. New Yorkers were celebrating in the streets outside of 51 Chambers street while the AP refused to rebroadcast the same, much to the displeasure of the crowd. Special access to the State Department enabled them to report the mistake for what it was and proved the value of their sources. Later, the AP would have its comeuppance, with a similar report on the victory in Europe in World War Two. In the meantime, they boasted to be the Byline of Dependability. Others simply couldn’t report the news.

Investments in new technology also supported the AP’s position. In 1914, they piloted the teletype machine, which would convert keyboard inputs from on point to printed text at another. If technology increased their capabilities, it also made them faster – closer to real-time. 1916 demonstrated a play by play of the world series between the Red Sox and the Brooklyn Nationals in Braves Field in Boston to 700 papers. They closed the year with precinct by precinct reporting of the presidential election between President Woodrow Wilson and Charles Evans Hughes. The reporting required a reorganization of their telegraph lines and unprecedented coordination among its member papers. Later, on March 3, 1918, Melville Stone would be commended for 25 years of service and for “leading with unflagging courage and determination in the battle which freed the telegraphic news service of the nation from control and exploitation by selfish private interests.”

The natural part of the monopoly, however, was in decline. The AP found itself increasingly faced with pure competition from upstart newswires. Non-member papers found competing newswires to be ready substitutes for membership in the AP. Though they may not have been able to join the cooperative, they could publish competing stories – something to which AP members were unaccustomed. The AP continued to control many sources through its cartel, but the news is an information good, so once it was reported, it was easy to research, rewrite, and distribute. AP members no longer had exclusive content, so they couldn’t count on AP stories to bolster circulation and enhance monopolistic over pure competition. For the first time, the question of who owned the news would matter.

The AP sought property rights for the news to provide a bulwark against substitutes, but it was more than that. Pitney adjudicated the controversy according a principle of fairness in an attempt to protect the investments the AP had made in reporting. He and, before him, Justice Learned Hand in the Circuit Court assumed the AP was of equal standing as the INS or UPI or any other newswire, but it wasn’t. Given the reach and coordination of its membership, the advantage of its technology, and the exclusivity of its sources, the AP would benefit disproportionately from the decision. If it worked, it would entrench the AP’s advantage and shift the competitive landscape back toward monopolistic competition. The 1918 complaint, therefore, may have appeared to be an innocent effort to protect their investment in the newsroom and everything it took to bring the stories to market, but it was more than that. It was an attempt to assert monopoly control of the facts and events that comprised the news.

The AP, its members and others could seemingly rest on receiving a decision in their favor and having beaten back Hearst’s INS. The AP’s control would be their members’ control, and control provided AP members exclusive content to improve their paper, stand out in their markets, and drive circulation. They could call competitors pirates and seek the stern authority of the law to protect their investments in reporting. Without property rights, the news could easily be appropriated through electricity’s ability to outrun the movement of the sun and used for profit through the growing network of telegraph offices, operators, and their customers. Without property rights, Lehmann argued that the the average news organization would suffer the blight of parasites feeding from their efforts. The win would not only tighten the AP’s grip on the news, it would support the regional monopolies and oligopolies of more than one thousand members and many more papers. And they won. But these possibilities belied reality. It was a false victory.

It was a false victory because the metaphor would fail. The metaphor of paper and private property for the news is untenable. It assigns physical qualities to information, and information is not physical. It’s free as the air to common use. The arguments and dissent in the case themselves suggest a latent recognition and deep frustration with this condition. Though the victory would provide the right to make the news exclusive, it could not confirm the ability to make it exclusive. This would haunt news organizations with little effect through much of the twentieth century. But the internet, with the sudden and persistent drop in transmission costs, would show, as Colin Turbayne said, “there is a difference between using a metaphor and being used by it.” The internet lowered the barriers to entry and showed that the print-metaphor would not survive a shift to digital. If the AP used the metaphor in 1918 to protect their cooperative and the fortunes of its members, the news industry has been abused by the metaphor since.

Private property is exclusive, so an owner must be able to exclude another from enjoying it, but are the facts and events that make up the news excludable? With physical goods, it’s easy. One can prevent access by locking them away. By they’re nature, they are also rival, so my enjoyment of a new car precludes your enjoyment of the same. With information goods, however, they are not. The metaphor would carry over the properties of physical goods, but it doesn’t hold up. Samuel Untermyer, the defense lawyer for INS, anticipated this issue in his arguments in May 1918: “Both the parties are in the position with respect to news that has been published of the man with an unpatentable idea or trade secret that has cost him years of labor and vast sums of money to develop….so long as he keeps these things to himself, he will be protected against their surreptitious taking. When he releases them, they belong to the public.” So long as the newspapers keep the news to themselves, they are protected, but the nature of information is such that once released, it’s hard, nearly impossible to prevent from it spreading. Hal Varian identifies this as among the defining features of information goods. He calls them public goods, which implies two conditions. They are non-rival and non-exclusive, and these conditions make private property rights difficult to police and, in the case of the facts and events that make up the news, untenable.

The case in 1918 took on a moral dimension that expressed a frustration with the circumstances and an inability to do anything about it. Lehmann called the surreptitious taking a taint on news: “If it comes to the public from tainted sources and by tainted means, the news itself will not escape contamination.” Brandeis countered, “the noblest of human productions-knowledge, truths ascertained, conceptions, and ideas- became, after voluntary communication to others, free as the air to common use.” Both brought a moral rhetoric to the process of distributing the news and bringing knowledge to the world: the one, outrage; the other, satisfaction. Both, however, agree with the underlying tendency of information to spill over and spread without regard for property rights. While Lehmann viewed this as a moral and legal collapse and a taint on news, Brandeis considered it a condition of the noblest of human productions. Neither, however, appeared capable of or interested in stopping it.

***

The metaphor survived much of the twentieth century by virtue of the relatively stable economics of physical distribution. Though declining transmission costs had brought the issue to a head among the newswires in 1918, it specifically affected transmission to the news outlets, not from them. Newspapers continued to rely on a physical model for distribution. Radio and television provided partial substitutes, but they did not replace the newspaper, so if someone wanted to read the news, they would have to rely on the sophisticated workings of a physical distribution network to bring the paper to their door or their retailer. The high barriers to entry of these networks produced natural monopolies in the regions, limited competition and entrenched the position of the local paper. As much as the news was important, the ability to transmit the news through a physical distribution network was of almost equal importance. These conditions suited the qualities of private property for the news. News was paper.

The internet, however, would recast distribution to readers in the same way that the AP and the newswires recast distribution to the news outlets. It stripped away the physical qualities that preserved the metaphor and supported the notion of property rights. News is not paper. It’s harder to take the news away or make it unavailable – harder to make it exclusive. It’s ephemeral, pervasive, persistent, available – the same qualities that the telegraph conveyed to the news and from which the AP sought legal protection in 1918. More than ever, these become free as the air to common use. Their stories could be copied, rewritten and shared with ease in the same way that the internet would later allow. The difference, however, was one of scale. In 1918, the AP worried about INS and a handful of other competitors. These could be managed with the threat of the hot news doctrine that came out of the 1918 case. After all, Hearst was on the board of the AP and ultimately proved cooperative with the results of the case. Today, newspapers must worry about anyone with email, let alone a website.

And now among the loudest voices in today’s debate about the future of newspapers are those calling for increased copyright protection or to reinvigorate the 1918 decision. It was the decision in 1918, however, that left the industry ill-prepared for the change that would be brought by the internet. It was the belief that newspapers controlled the news through “quasi property-rights” that left them blind to the looming crisis. Benjamin Cardozo cautioned, “metaphors in law are to be narrowly watched, for starting as devices to liberate thought, they end often by enslaving it.” The print-metaphor fails to capture the current environment. A multimedia newspaper is not a print newspaper. It’s not even a newspaper. But it was the belief that it was that bound publishers to their present predicament.

This is not to say that one cannot charge for the news. On the contrary, it’s eminently valuable, but it’s just not valuable as private property – as a good. It’s valuable as a service. Services don’t have property rights. They can’t be stockpiled for use later. Publishers don’t compete by providing goods that are exclusive, as the decision might suggest. They compete to serve the news to the right reader at the right time and in the right way. At one point in his arguments, Lehmann says, “the facts and events are not news. The report of them is news.” Though his objective lay in establishing property rights, in a way, he’s exactly right. The report of them is what is valuable, but it’s also what makes it a service, not a good.

Physical circulation provides a service, but it’s a simplified service that also preserved the idea of property-rights. The right reader was anyone who took the paper. The vast engine of printing and distribution would circulate it to those who subscribed to home delivery, bought a paper at the vending machine, picked it up at the door of their hotel room or on the seat of a subway. The right time was early in the morning, starting with when the paper was printed. It would arrive at your doorstep, or you might pick it up later, but you would find little variation in its contents, even with a late-edition. And the right way was section by section, with static text, graphs and charts. Each edition was fixed and physical, a literal impression of the news and platform for capturing eyeballs. And with property rights, each edition appeared for sale as a good, not so much a service as something to be stacked like bricks and regarded.

The parasitic aggregators provide a valuable service to readers. Google News, for example, directs its cycles to collecting and parsing the whole of online newspaper content and displaying it in a familiar and meaningful way. Articles are grouped by subject. The more popular coverage bubbles to the top. And users can customize it according to specific keywords, regions or feeds that they may desire. The Huffington post and the Daily Beast both take a similar approach, though with less technology and more human intervention. Each of these outlets has focused entirely on finding the right reader at the right time and presented the news in the right way. And though Robert Thomson, editor at the Wall Street Journal, complains, “the whole google model is based on digital disloyalty. It’s about disloyalty to creators,” they still have not inserted the one line of code necessary to refuse the trawling path of the Google index. That’s because it’s a valuable service, and it’s not necessarily being provided by the publishers.

Service isn’t a new attribute of the news. It’s the heart of the news. The legacy of the print-metaphor, however, with its tendency to consider the news as a good, shaped how traditional publishers viewed the internet. It became a way to sell more of the same – a way to push more goods through a new pipe. But it wasn’t, and the decline in transmission costs associated with the internet demonstrated that. It facilitated what the market wanted – aggregators.

Selected Sources


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