In an online world where we can all be our own editors, picking and choosing from our favourite blogs, news sites and information outlets, it's not a given that the old media giants consistently will give us the top headlines of the day, or put the stuff we'd really like to read on top.
Jeff Jarvis recently blogged about Chris Riley's comparison of what BBC would like us to read and what we really read. Riley's methodology was questioned in the comments section, but the notion that there might be a discrepancy here is interesting.
The Norwegian version of Google went online twelve days ago: leaving aside the controversy over intellectual property rights and threats of law suits, Undercurrent, noted that, in contrast to all of Norway's major online newspapers, Google News consistently had the day's major political news story on top – the other dominating news sites all pushed different stories.
Paal Fure, on the other hand, blogging for Dagens IT (in Norwegian), suggested Google might save local newspapers by highlighting the top news headlines regardless of source, putting the tiniest local on par with the biggest national paper (though it most be noted that he as well was criticised for his methodology – the local newspaper headline he heralded Google for picking up was actually supplied by a newswire, though I guess the principal holds true: it could very well have been The Western Boondocks Daily who had the top story of the day).
Now, people will always have different interests, we're all individuals, and RSS + the vast diversity of stuff available online leaves all the room in the world for this, but sticking to the top headlines - it's certainly food for thought...