Wednesday, May 07, 2014

San Diego Union-Tribune gets shinoffed

Dan Shinoff

I didn't think this sort of thing could happen to the San Diego Union-Tribune, the major newspaper in San Diego County. I thought it only happened to small-time bloggers like me.

A few years ago Stutz Artiano Shinoff & Holtz used its influence to get Google to shut down my San Diego Education Report Blog. It also managed to sabotage my blog in Google search results. I had to send legal documents like this one to Google lawyers to get them to reinstate my blog. And I never managed to stop Google Alerts from hiding my blog and mentions of me in other media outlets.

Still, I never imagined that Stutz law firm could get Google Alerts to conceal mentions of Dan Shinoff in the San Diego Union-Tribune.

But that's exactly what Google did. I wouldn't have known about the most recent stories about Dan Shinoff in the UT if I didn't also use Talkwalker alerts.

My "shinoff" alert on Google seemed to die on the vine. It didn't alert me to recent stories by the UT, including this story about Dan Shinoff about public records.

This is all the more bizarre since the "shinoff" alert used to tell me every time Dan Shinoff's nephew wrote a sports story for his college newspaper.

If you want to be alerted to stories about Dan Shinoff, I recommend Talkwalker's free alerts. Google Alerts' staff is strangely negligent when it comes to certain search terms. For example, you won't get Google alerts for my name (Maura Larkins). They'll tell you about every other person on the planet named Maura, but none of the alerts will be about me.

Emily Alpert now works for the Los Angeles Times

Emily Alpert wrote about Dan Shinoff and the San Diego County Office of Education before she was muzzled and then unceremoniously dismissed in 2011 by Voice of San Diego.

See all posts on Google censorship.

This can't be good news for U-T San Diego. Voice of San Diego noted on May 5, 2014:

"UT San Diego’s circulation levels have fallen sharply since last year, the Reader reports. Comparing the six months ending on March 31, the average circulation of the Sunday edition fell from 425,000 to 362,166."

My blog hits are often as low as 300 a day. How can Google do this to a newspaper with over 300,000 readers in one day?

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