Rupert Murdoch Finally Going All-Out Pirate
Well, it’s not as if we haven’t all been warned repeatedly!
Avast now, hide ye treasure and prepare to be boarded, me hearties… it’s our gold bullion Rupert means to take, by any means “FAIR AND BALANCED”!
News Corp is set to start charging online customers for news content across all its websites.
The media giant is looking for additional revenue streams after announcing big losses.
News Corp owns the Times and Sun newspapers in the UK and the New York Post and Wall Street Journal in the US.
Mr Murdoch said he was “satisfied” that the company could produce “significant revenues from the sale of digital delivery of newspaper content”.
“The digital revolution has opened many new and inexpensive methods of distribution,” he added.
“But it has not made content free. Accordingly, we intend to charge for all our news websites. I believe that if we are successful, we will be followed by other media.
“Quality journalism is not cheap, and an industry that gives away its content is simply cannibalising its ability to produce good reporting,” he said.
Like driving off a cliff, then hitting the gas pedal, isn’t it?
The changes aren’t due to go into effect until next summer, just as the 2010 elections gear up. But even so, it sounds like there’s more money in celebrity-stalking than in real journalism…
At present, only the Wall Street Journal charges a fee for online access and until recently, received wisdom in the publishing industry was that readers would not pay to read newspapers on the internet.
Murdoch said he had completed a review of the possibility of charging and that he was willing to take the risk of leading the industry towards a pay-per-view model: “I believe that if we’re successful, we’ll be followed fast by other media.”
He said he was thinking in terms of “this fiscal year” to introduce charges. He said News Corp would avoid a migration of readers to free sites by “making our content better and differentiated from other people”.
The charging model will be extended to red-top tabloids such as the Sun and the News of the World. Murdoch said he was keen to capitalise on the popularity of celebrity stories: “When we have a celebrity scoop, the number of hits we get now are astronomical.”
He accepted that there could be a need for furious litigation to prevent stories and photographs being copied elsewhere: “We’ll be asserting our copyright at every point.”
Umm- good luck with that!