Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Rupert Murdoch in the WSJ: 'The future of journalism is more promising than ever'

Rupert Murdoch in a Wall Street Journal opinion piece today claims: "The future of journalism is more promising than ever—limited only by editors and producers unwilling to fight for their readers and viewers, or government using its heavy hand either to overregulate or subsidize us."
He adds: "From the beginning, newspapers have prospered for one reason: the trust that comes from representing their readers' interests and giving them the news that's important to them. That means covering the communities where they live, exposing government or business corruption, and standing up to the rich and powerful."
Murdoch admits: "Some newspapers and news organizations will not adapt to the digital realities of our day—and they will fail. We should not blame technology for these failures. The future of journalism belongs to the bold, and the companies that prosper will be those that find new and better ways to meet the needs of their viewers, listeners, and readers."
He says: "Quality content is not free. In the future, good journalism will depend on the ability of a news organization to attract customers by providing news and information they are willing to pay for."
Murdoch claims: "The old business model based mainly on advertising is dead. Let's face it: A business model that relies primarily on online advertising cannot sustain newspapers over the long term. The reason is simple arithmetic. Though online advertising is increasing, that increase is only a fraction of what is being lost with print advertising...
"In the new business model, we will be charging consumers for the news we provide on our Internet sites. The critics say people won't pay. I believe they will, but only if we give them something of good and useful value. Our customers are smart enough to know that you don't get something for nothing."
Murdoch concludes:"Whether the newspaper of the future is delivered with electrons or dead trees is ultimately not that important. What is most important is that the news industry remains free, independent—and competitive."
You can read the full article here.
The WSJ opinion piece is adapted from Murdoch's remarks before the Federal Trade Commission's workshop on journalism and the Internet on 1 December.


Greg said...

He says in his op-ed that his reasoning is guided by "simple arithmetic" but then distorts the facts. Tellingly, he's only pushing the point with the WSJ, not his other products.
Moreover, the very op-ed in which he rails against content aggregators, you can read for free by going through HIS free site.
I wrote a post about this. You can see it here: http://www.digitaltonto.com/2009/sorry-rupert-content-will-remain-free/

- Greg

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