Beware of 'handing the keys' to Google, says Morris

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Increasing advertising revenue to publishers would be a simple way in which Google could help journalism, the ABC's Gaven Morris says.

But the director of news, analysis and investigations has warned of "getting too close" to digital platforms such as Google and Facebook.

A report by Mumbrella quotes Morris at a panel in Sydney, in which he also welcomed restructuring within the industry - at the ABC under Michelle Guthrie, and more recently following the Nine-Fairfax merger.

While calling on Google to give publishers a bigger share of ad revenue, he pointed to dangers in "handing over to these platforms your entire stake in what audiences are going to do in the future".

While he had no problems with collaboration, he was wary of "handing keys" to content: "Once you have, they can change the rules on you, that's what we have to have to be very careful about."

He said the viability of commercial media was "just as crucial" to the success of public interest journalism as publicly funded media: "If all we end up with is public funded media then the ecosystem has failed," he added.

Morris joined the ABC in 2008 after time with the Canberra Times, CNN, the Ten Network and at the launch of Al Jazeera English.

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