Wednesday 22 December 2010

Quotes of the year: Paywalls, Rusbridger, Murdoch

editor-in-chief Alan Rusbridger:
"If you erect a universal pay wall around your content then it follows you are turning away from a world of openly shared content. Again, there may be sound business reasons for doing this, but editorially it is about the most fundamental statement anyone could make about how newspapers see themselves in relation to the newly-shaped world."

Rupert Murdoch on Rusbridger's vision of a future without paywalls: "I think that sounds like BS to me."

Rupert Murdoch quoted in the Australian about The Times' paywall: "It's going to be a success. Subscriber levels are strong. We are witnessing the start of a new business model for the internet. The argument that information wants to be free is only said by those who want it for free.''

Murdoch biographer Michael Wolff on what Rupert thinks of Rusbridger: "Murdoch did not know quite what to make of Rusbridger and his Internet ambitions, seeing him as something quite different from a newspaper man, at least one in the Murdoch mold. He did not insult Rusbridger, as he does most of his competitors, but he didn’t quite regard him as someone he might ever want to be alone with either: “Kooky,” was his description. “And what’s with the way his hair falls in his face?” Murdoch asked once, scowling in his dark way, about Rusbridger’s bangs and mop-top. “How old is he? He looks like a kid.”

Tony Blair on Rupert Murdoch in his autobiography A Journey: "I thought Rupert an enigma, and the more I knew of him, the more I thought it so. In the end – and I’m aware of the shrieks of disbelief as I write this – I came to have a grudging respect and even liking for him. He was hard, no doubt. He was right wing. I did not share his attitude on Europe, social policy or on issues such as gay rights, but there were two points of connection: he was an outsider, and he had balls."

Clay Shirky on the Times' paywall: "Online, the Times has stopped being a newspaper, in the sense of a generally available and omnibus account of the news of the day, broadly read in the community. Instead, it is becoming a newsletter, an outlet supported by, and speaking to, a specific and relatively coherent and compact audience. (In this case, the Times is becoming the online newsletter of the Tories, the UK’s conservative political party, read much less widely than its paper counterpart.)"

Times columnist Caitlin Moran in a Press Gazette interview backs the paywall: "Bitch gotta make rent. . .Why is it that creative left-wing people have to start giving their stuff away for free? Topshop hasn't started to to give its stuff away."

Tomorrow: WikiLeaks

Previously: The General Election; The Regional Press.

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