What Dixon suggests, though, is that hard news is hardly Google's preference. He notes that, with some tough subjects, Google takes a pass in serving up ads --- it just doesn't think the content is going to help an advertiser reach a customer with an ambition to buy anything.
In effect, Dixon says, hard news is lousy business. Its newsroom cross-subsidy is being eroded in the digital age of one reader to one story, and the largest search engine doesn't seem sufficiently attracted to it to add an advertisement to the mix. As he sees it, it's just a terrible stand-alone business, in need of a cross-subsi