This was the headline given to a piece in the UAE publication The National by Jonathan Gornall which explored the impact of Google – and more specifically Google News – on publishers.
The message for the media in the Middle East, says Damian Radcliffe, an honorary research fellow at Cardiff University’s school of journalism who is based in the region, is that online newspapers should treat Google as a friend, not as an enemy.
He believes that the key for Arab news media grappling with the digital economy lies in “breaking out of their national silos, so that they can reach out and engage with both diaspora communities and other Arabic-language speakers across the region, if not the globe. “Clearly, good search-engine optimisation will be one way to do that.”
The future for newspapers lies in engaging with young people, who make up most of the region’s population, and with the social media they use, which is “increasingly important, as a source of news and as a trusted source of information”, Radcliffe says.