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  1.  (6528.1)
    Murdoch signals end of free news

    I don't think he quite gets it. I hope he dies soon, in agony, on Sky One.
    • CommentAuthorOddcult
    • CommentTimeAug 6th 2009
     (6528.2)
    This is... weird. It's not really like anything he owns is better than anything else out there.

    Although, I suppose that there are plenty of Americans that'd pay for Fox News, as free news is socialist news.
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      CommentAuthorbjacques
    • CommentTimeAug 6th 2009
     (6528.3)
    Haha. My wingnut friends who are always quoting Fox, the Wall Street Urinal and sometimes the Daily Wail hate paying for stuff as much as they hate paying taxes. I hope that Newsblusters, News Smack and similar rightwing sites jump aboard this bandwagon. It'll be sweet.
    • CommentAuthorKosmopolit
    • CommentTimeAug 6th 2009 edited
     (6528.4)
    At this stage, do Prince Rupert's senescent mutterings have any real impact on Newscorp policy?
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      CommentAuthorAdmiral Neck
    • CommentTimeAug 6th 2009 edited
     (6528.5)
    Caitlin Moran was tweeting about this yesterday (& got very arsey when her followers made the perfectly obvious suggestion that she was pro-paid news because she is employed by Murdoch*), and said that all the newspaper owners in England were just waiting for him to pull the trigger before doing the same thing. Guess we'll see.

    Funnily enough, the only online newspaper in the UK to ever require payment was The Times. A few years back you could subscribe & get access to replicas of the actual paper. It didn't last long.

    * ETA: I'm not saying she is saying it just because she's paid by "Rupert", as she calls him. She made good points. I'm just saying it's an obvious suggestion to make, that she's her master's voice. You can't avoid that implication, be it true or false.
  2.  (6528.6)
    …all the newspaper owners in England were just waiting for him to pull the trigger before doing the same thing.

    I’m pretty sure that the phenomena extends beyond England. I expect to see this ripple out into an international tsunami of print media yanking its content off the web and laying off the web staff to stave off shutting down their publications. It wouldn’t even surprise me to see some newspapers alter their syndication agreements to keep those stories off the web. I’ve no idea whether or not this will actually keep these businesses afloat—especially newspapers, which will never get classified ads back—but it will be interesting to watch.
    • CommentAuthorOddcult
    • CommentTimeAug 6th 2009
     (6528.7)
    If they go for it, then fuck them. Pirated news feeds, anyone? And it's not like it wouldn't create a huge vaccum that plenty of people would try to fill.
  3.  (6528.8)
    And it's not like it wouldn't create a huge vaccum that plenty of people would try to fill.

    Where will the money to do that come from? Real journalism isn’t cheap, and AFAIK the only people making significant income from online news are the existing media outlets and gossip blogs. Huffington Post has the deepest pockets, and those pockets aren’t even deep enough to set up bureaus in the capitals of the world, much less staff them. Maybe someone could devolve the entire world media into the crazy mess of local reports, YouTube videos, and speculation on what it all meant that was coming out of Iran last month, but I doubt that would capture a significant audience.
  4.  (6528.9)
    Crazy thought: Current TV comes into its own, and the unemployed masses, laid off during the second half of the big economic collapse, take up their camcorders or phones and pick up the slack to become mini-Spider Jerusalems micro-reporting things on the ground as an amorphous news entity that bypasses the MSM entirely. And our skies are patrolled by the Porco Rosso Air Corps of genetically engineered flying pigs. Yes yes, I'm being far too optimistic. And yet it would be a nice way for newsgathering methods to evolve.
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      CommentAuthormrmental
    • CommentTimeAug 6th 2009
     (6528.10)
    Meh. I don't like Murdoch much, but one thing's for sure: Newspapers need to find a way to make money on the internet.
    I don't reckon the pay/subscription experiment will work, but at least they're acknowledging that they need a way to monetize digital distribution.
    Whilst I would hope that there will always be at least a couple of source of free news (Like the BBC news website), I think the idea of journalism dying of cash starvation is far worse than the idea of Rupert Murdoch getting a bit richer.
  5.  (6528.11)
    How would this model really work? Would it not reduce the amount of advertising revenue that could be gained from an online publication given that charging would mean a big drop in readers? Or would they look to bundle access to the online stuff with TV packages etc? I can't help feeling he's either got this incredibly wrong, or is celebrating his latest masterstroke by decapitating kittens with blunt pinking shears or whatever the evil bastard does for kicks.
  6.  (6528.12)
    How would the government feel about this? They rely on news outlets for covering their press conferences and policy announcements in the hope that people will take advantage of free news dissemination and learn about what they do. Paying for news on a piece-by-piece basis means people will likely prioritise the news they want to read about, and slowly forget about stuff of only tangential interest. Who wants to watch Ed Balls or Harriet Harman talk about policy unless they're specifically interested in that subject?

    You know what will happen. Jordan becomes press secretary. This is truly the end.
  7.  (6528.13)
    Would it not reduce the amount of advertising revenue that could be gained from an online publication given that charging would mean a big drop in readers?

    Sure it would, but I get the impression that online ad revenue sucks for most publications. It really sucks for newspapers that got used to the revenues from department stores buying entire spreads a couple of times a week and magazines that are having to pad out their content because they aren’t selling enough ads to produce a magazine thick enough to bind with glue. And it can’t make up for the huge revenues that came from charging $50 for classified ads smaller than postage stamps and another $20 to set the first two words in bold type. Not to mention that editors get sick of marketing people demanding that their flash ads have sound and video and be allowed to float overtop of the front page of the web site.
    • CommentAuthorRenThing
    • CommentTimeAug 6th 2009 edited
     (6528.14)
    @James Puckett

    Not to mention that editors everyone gets sick of marketing people demanding that their flash ads have sound and video and be allowed to float overtop of the front page of the web site.

    Fixed that for you.

    However, here's the reason why I think that forcing people to pay a subscription for content will drop them even more down the rabbit hole into financial ruin:
    1. Person goes to the WSJ.com site and sees that they can't get any content because they aren't a subscriber.
    2. Person says, "Well, screw that, I'll go read other financial blogs/news services/etc."
    3. WSJ.com loses not only the subscription but the money from ad views/clicks from people who would see those ads as well because those ads are only on the content pages.

    The best thing would be to put up some content for free to showcase that, yes, WSJ.com does have content that makes it worth it to pay that money.

    Keep in mind there is a coming generation that will most likely have rarely read a news paper and potentially not know about, not care about the history of, never read the WSJ. If they're only interaction with the publication is to look at the website and view the pay for conent option as a castle behind a wall, they won't pay for that content if they don't see any value in it which, having possibly never read the WSJ in print form, is unlikely.
    • CommentAuthorOddcult
    • CommentTimeAug 6th 2009
     (6528.15)
    Real journalism isn’t cheap,


    Murdoch's news sources aren't real journalism, for starters.
  8.  (6528.16)
    This is really just another yet another instance of the current malaise in media. Old men doing things the old way and reducing every aspect of entertainment and media to the equivalent of a fucking pay toilet. They all fail to see the writing on the wall and will continue to bumble and stumble along, never looking up, until falling flat on their faces, breaking their hip and dying in a gutter, ready to be consumed by someone young and hungry, ready to begin doing things in a new and innovative way. I wish I was the guy to do it, I could use the scratch, but I've no idea.

    I do rather selfishly hope Rupert Murdoch all the best financially. Without revealing the details of my current gig (because I can't) there are about a dozen degrees of separation between Rupert making bank and my rent being paid.
  9.  (6528.17)
    Yeah most of what passes for journalism is commentary added to AP or Reuters news feeds. Or in many cases the latest ejaculations from the poisoned cock of Max Clifford and his ilk.

    To be honest I think Newscorp exists to sell advertising space for companies and political parties, not to inform.

    It is interesting to note though the recent developments in Iran being passed through social networking and twitter. So big events are out in the public field almost instantaneously, I'm sure Financial News won't suffer since that is going to be paid for by business, the net is full of celeb gossip and chin wag rags are popular. So really all that we'll be missing from Newscorp is hilarious barefaced hatred and propaganda.

    Yeah I think we can do without that. Hopefully it will fail spectacularly.
  10.  (6528.18)
    So really all that we'll be missing from Newscorp is hilarious barefaced hatred and propaganda.

    And Caitlin Moran. Who is funny.
  11.  (6528.19)
    I don't know who that is, but I'm sure if she is funny someone else would hire her no?
  12.  (6528.20)
    She seems happy where she is. Which suggests some form of brain trauma (or the fact that her husband works there too), but I forgive her. God, if she jumped ship to another paper that would be great.