Monday, 30 November 2009

Quick Note on Media Stuff

As you may be aware, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp is planning to charge for access to the websites of its publications. It is also drawing up an alliance with Microsoft, while Google will be unable to index News Corp publications when people ‘Google’ for stuff on the Net. There appears to be no set timetable for this to happen, just some time next year.

Rupert Murdoch has never liked the internet, on the grounds that so much of its content is free. He would much prefer it if there were a series of firewalls blocking access unless one is prepared to cough up the readies. I am sure he looks on with envy at the way his mates in the upper echelons of the Chinese Communist Party block access to various internet sites in mainland China.

Glenn 'The Poor Man's Bill O'Reilly' Beck exposes the Chinese Communist connections of Rupert Murdoch on Fox TV. (Hat-tip: News Corpse)

I seriously wonder if people will pay good money (or any money) to access Murdoch’s various publications. I mean, news is much the same wherever one goes. Most people, if they cannot go to websites of The Times and The Sun will go the websites of other newspapers here. Whether it is highbrow stuff, business news, sports coverage to just plain old celebrity gossip, there are more than enough other places to go. I am pretty familiar with the output of The Times, Sunday Times, News of the World and Stun. The only part of the whole ensemble I would think of paying for in its own right is the Sunday Times ‘Culture’ section, and some weekends that would be touch and go (particularly at the moment when all culture/review/book sections of all papers are going through their Xmas Books/Books of the Year phase. It is just one big mutual backscratch amongst writers who get published. It is almost as bad as the period of late Spring/early Summer when the papers give us page after page of their Summer/Holiday reading the very same people who gave us their recommendations six months before! Give me some proper reviews!).

Perhaps the best comment I have heard about Murdoch’s plan’s is by principled anarcho-capitalist/Libertarian Lew Rockwell:

Neocon billionaire Rupert Murdoch has been threatening to stop Google from indexing his newspapers and other media outlets. Google pointed out that any business may have its site de-indexed on request. Now the Rupester is negotiating with MSMFT to de-Googleize and join up with Bing. Please go ahead, Rupert. Anything that cuts your readership is good for the world.

Moving away from Planet Murdoch, a quick prediction: within the next 5 years ie by 2015, The Guardian and New York Times will merge, probably through a friendly take-over by the former. The Guardian Media Group has wanted to make The Guardian the world’s leading ‘Liberal’ newspaper for a few years now and the New York Times has its financial problems (so has GMG, but not to the same extent). It would be a logical tie-up.


Anonymous said...

You just reminded me there of when the Indie tried to charge for Fisk's articles, and their online readership collapsed to the point where they had to make him free again.

The trouble being that the dead tree press still haven't figured out a business model for making a profit from the internet. Even Amazon took years to turn a profit - and I can't see how News Corp will make this work unless they stampede everybody else into doing it.

Melvin of Quotes said...

The same story goes again, big corporations try to sabotage the internet as opposed to using them to their advantage.

Simple solution: if you don't want to make it free, don't publish it on the net.

The promise behind Google is to democratize the net, which means content is likely to be free. That said, there are plenty of sustainable ways to charge money for news via membership sites, print publications, advertising, etc - if they are willing to invest the resources.

Work with internet - rather than going against it.

Madam Miaow said...

How much more money does Murdoch need? It's not as if he pays proper UK taxes and wants his dues. He's just a big eating machine.