Saturday, August 08, 2009

Don't underestimate Rupert Murdoch

Just off on holiday so I'll be a bit scarce around here for the next coupla weeks. Apologies to people who haven't had their emails replied to either. I've been really flat-out for the last few weeks.

I'll leave you with one quick unsupported thought. The majority of commentary that I've read about Rupert Murdoch's plan to charge for online content has been greeted with scepticism. A view that he may finally have made a commercial mistake.

I'd take a long article to argue it and I ain't got time to write it, but my conclusion would be different. I can't promise that it'll work, but I suspect that it will and that most professional journalistic commentators will be eating their words within three years.

If it does, it will underline the value of 'convening power' which Murdoch has in spades. It's a power that he should be stripped of for political reasons, but that's another matter altogether.


Jeremy Stratos said...

Personally I think it is a great idea, and I hope more big media companies follow suit. That way, people will start getting their news from independent sources. Soon enough, they'll realise the tripe that News Ltd and the rest of them serve up on a daily basis: lies parading as 'news' and endless distraction in the form of celebrity gossip. The irony is, of course, that they'll bring down their own house of cards.

cian said...

I kind of doubt it. I think the newspaper as we know it today is largely dead, and I don't think this is a particularly bad thing. They are bloated and poorly focused. Pick up a copy of the Times and what you'll notice is that most of it is not news, and even much of the news is recycled PR releases. Instead you have inane lifestyle stuff, lazy comment and articles written purely to fill space.

I suspect what will replace it will either be well targeted specialist news sites (think the Economist - though hopefully with less ideological bias) that have a good enough brand/product to charge a subscription, or stuff that for one reason or another is free (BBC, or loss leaders for websites that make their money elsewhere, but use news as a way to build a community/draw people in), or that comes with the subscription to something else (telephone/Kindle).

mikeovswinton said...

When you get back Paulie you might want to check up on the gigs 5 Quarters Quintet are doing - certainly London and Mcr this autumn.