Google News

Google News created in response to 9/11

"Google News Creator Watches Portal Quiet Critics With 'Best News' Webby"
Online Journalism Review, Staci D. Kramer, September 25, 2003
Cached version

I stumbled upon this article from September 2003. In it, Google News creator Krishna Bharat shares his memories of how his creation came into being. Apparently, it was created in response to the avalanche of news reports after 9/11, in an effort to classify and organize the information flow. He also feels that in a world of turmoil, Google News might be democracy's saving grace. The free flow of information is, indeed, one of many necessary safety valves in a democracy.

However well intended Bharat's ideals may be, his employer already has a checkered past in the realm of censorship, surveillance and reckless disregard for privacy, to put it diplomatically. At one time, Mr. Bharat claims that "this is code that is set down and is on the public record." I don't quite understand this claim, and I don't think Google ever released the code for Google News to the public, let alone by 2003.

I've excerpted a few passages, read the full article at the source link. Emphasis in excerpts mine.