Journalists! Free lunch today, thanks to Google, Yahoo and the Web

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If you thought that media can adopt Web 2.0 commercialism without content- and news-distorting consequences parallel with those that operate so effectively on commercial TV and cable, check out the critique coming from Oxford’s Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, as reported in Britain’s Guardian and on “Publishers are in danger of being reduced to the digital equivalent of a windsock, shaped by the short-term whims of the news consumer,” says Oxford economic geographer Andrew Currah in a release. If they follow the revenue lure of online traffic, journalists will feel steady pressure to reconsider content decisions, homogenize their subject matter, bend their values and favor star journalists, celebrities and opinion over hard news. The report debuts Thursday at the Oxford Media Convention, organized by Oxford’s Said Business School. Currah earlier looked at how Hollywood is trying to subdue the forces of the Internet.