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Murdoch Says, "We'll Charge For All Our Sites" 881

Posted by timothy
from the subverting-the-dominant-paradigm dept.
Oracle Goddess writes "In what appears to be a carefully planned suicide, Rupert Murdoch announced that his media giant News Corporation Ltd intends to charge for all its news websites in a bid to lift revenues, as the transition towards online media permanently changes the advertising landscape. 'The digital revolution has opened many new and inexpensive methods of distribution, but it has not made content free. Accordingly we intend to charge for all our news websites,' Murdoch said."
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Murdoch Says, "We'll Charge For All Our Sites"

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  • Bye, bye. (Score:4, Informative)

    by scotts13 (1371443) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @10:35PM (#28966861)
    N/T
    • Re:Bye, bye. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Goldberg's Pants (139800) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @11:27PM (#28967321) Journal

      Translation: "We have too much traffic on our websites so plans are in place to drop that volume of visitors dramatically."

      • by Goldberg's Pants (139800) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @11:30PM (#28967347) Journal

        Oh yes, and I love how he says "news websites".

        The day Fox start reporting actual NEWS is the day Satan goes to work in a snowplow.

        • Re:Bye, bye. (Score:5, Informative)

          by Jeremy Erwin (2054) on Thursday August 06, 2009 @12:57AM (#28967971) Journal

          The day Fox start reporting actual NEWS is the day Satan goes to work in a snowplow.

          In Dante's Inferno Satan is trapped in a frozen lake, surrounded by traitors of all description.

          • Re:Bye, bye. (Score:5, Informative)

            by plaxion (98397) on Thursday August 06, 2009 @01:56AM (#28968359)

            Hope I'm not giving away the ending of the first part for anyone, but... the lake you mention is frozen by the beating of Satan's wings. Other parts of the inferno are plenty hot depending upon the punishment, as in the case of the sodomites wandering on the burning sand with flames falling on them like rain.

            Oh, and since I'm on a roll, Snape kills Dumbledor ;)

        • by pjt33 (739471) on Thursday August 06, 2009 @03:40AM (#28968961)

          Fox may not deal in news, but the Times (or, for non-Brits, the London Times) is a serious newspaper, and has a well-implemented website. I will be sad to have to find an alternative.

          • Re:Bye, bye. (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Blue Stone (582566) on Thursday August 06, 2009 @07:55AM (#28970157) Homepage Journal

            >the Times (or, for non-Brits, the London Times) is a serious newspaper

            This would be the newspaper that claimed public interest in revealing the identity of the anonymous police blogger, stopping his inside information from seeing the light of day and reaching the public, yes?

            The Times at one time was not owned by Murdoch. It was a serious newspaper. He bought it and the rot began.

        • Re:Bye, bye. (Score:4, Insightful)

          by commodore64_love (1445365) on Thursday August 06, 2009 @07:34AM (#28970061) Journal

          The day ABC, CBS, CNN, and NBC start reporting actual NEWS instead of pro-big government bias, is the day Satan goes to work in a snowplow.

          Fixed that for you.

          These organizations have all been biased towards more government for the last 60 years. At least now FOX provides the alternate "we need less government" viewpoint.

          • Re:Bye, bye. (Score:5, Insightful)

            by shoemilk (1008173) on Thursday August 06, 2009 @11:48AM (#28973305) Journal

            At least now FOX provides the alternate "we need less government" viewpoint.

            How? The last time I saw FOX News, they were talking about some racist that shimmied up a flag pole and ripped down a Mexican flag outside of a Mexican restaurant because it was flying above the American flag. They wanted laws in acted so that would be illegal to fly another country's flag higher than America's (this was a year ago, I don't live in America and only go back once a year).

            To me, that's worse than trying to nationalize health care or social security or whatever beneficial program that they rave against. When I hear "less government" I always think it means getting rid of the nanny state (drug laws, forcing ID in science classes, making a law on how you have to fly your flags, keeping gay marriage illegal), unfortunately, the people spouting on about "less government" just want it out of the way so their greedy asses can rob people without being bothered (Enron et al.).

            Give me someone that wants to get government out of my life, not out of my pocket.

      • Re:Bye, bye. (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Fluffeh (1273756) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @11:58PM (#28967549)

        Translation: "We have too much traffic on our websites so plans are in place to drop that volume of visitors dramatically."

        I think a better translation would be:
        Steve (Assistant): Mr Murdoch, the Chief Financial Officer is looking at your numbers. He isn't happy at the moment.
        Rupert: Well Steve, it's like this, We have this thing that makes us lots of money, but it's going up the clapper now, and we have this other thing, that no-one really understands here, and all the senior management executive reports show that if all of our customers payed for it, it would be grand, so lets do that. I am sure that the people on this interweb thing can afford it. Good job Steve, lets go out for a team lunch... Oh, also, Steve, can you download this internet for me? My kids say they can't download stuff at home cause it's too slow.
        Steve: Ummm, sir? Download the internet?
        Rupert: Yes! Download it, anything to stop my kids whinging when I come home.
        Steve: Ummm, okay, sure.
        Rupert: Great, also, can you schedule a meeting later with the board? I need to discuss how we will be investing all this new interweb money that we will be making.

        Or something like that. Loads of people simply don't get the internet, I deal with them all the time here when I am presenting to senior management meetings. They know it's SOMETHING. They know that MONEY passes through it, they think that just because they do SOMETHING on this place with MONEY, they will make some of it themselves. It's the old-school business mentality coming head to head with something to revolutionary that many of the older chaps (as good at business as they are) simply don't comprehend or have enough smarts to make sense of. It's so vastly different to ANYTHING they have dealt with in the years they have been in business.

        • Re:Bye, bye. (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Brian Gordon (987471) on Thursday August 06, 2009 @12:41AM (#28967871)

          old-school business mentality coming head to head with something too revolutionary

          You mean head to head with something too insane. What is the slashdot-supported model that he's too stupid to believe in? Would that be throwing billions of dollars overboard as youtube sinks to the bottom of profitability trying to stay free? Would that be Twitter, which currently sells no products, no paid services, and generally has no source of income at all?

          Here's my model of the only possible internet. You pay for services, including downloading all content. That means paying the 10 euro/mo or whatever for rapidshare if you want to download free projects (unless they can get donated bandwidth from a university). Commercial projects can support their own bandwidth needs. If you want quality tech news, subscribe to Ars Technica - they're not going to just work for free.

          Everything these days seems to be obsession with Free Free Free because there's some expection that selling advertising space is the best way to construct a stable world wide web. This is literally as absurd as paying for an expensive government program by selling advertising space in the WIC offices. OK yes that's income, but I don't want my premium services depending on that kind of funding.

          Everyone clamoring for Free.. that's just not the way the world works. Toss em out -you wont need masses of readers anymore to support ad revenue- and let us pay you a fair price for the service you tender. Why would someone even think that they would make their newspapers available for free? Is this some kind of base assumption we run on that everything on the internet should be free and we just flush the bills down the toilet? What's happening is they incur cost producing Content and then they give it away for free. What kind of crazy business model is that, you make NO PROFIT. Strip off all this advertising crap. Charge for premium content. Turn the web into a real, competitive marketplace. We can dig deeper so only for actual content and services by the way.. I'm in the very very late stages [toothpastefordinner.com] before I fall asleep so none of this is probably legible. i;; see tomoreew

          • Re:Bye, bye. (Score:5, Insightful)

            by phoomp (1098855) on Thursday August 06, 2009 @01:00AM (#28968001)

            old-school business mentality coming head to head with something too revolutionary

            Everyone clamoring for Free.. that's just not the way the world works.

            That's not the way the world works *currently*. But, prior to the last few years information *was* free; people only had to pay for distribution of that information (and, hence, the invention of the "newspaper"). Now, we have an insanely cheap technology for distribution and the old guard are trying to change the model to pay-for-information without anyone noticing.

          • Re:Bye, bye. (Score:5, Insightful)

            by MaskedSlacker (911878) on Thursday August 06, 2009 @01:01AM (#28968009)

            Everyone clamoring for Free.. that's just not the way the world works. Toss em out -you wont need masses of readers anymore to support ad revenue- and let us pay you a fair price for the service you tender. Why would someone even think that they would make their newspapers available for free? Is this some kind of base assumption we run on that everything on the internet should be free and we just flush the bills down the toilet? What's happening is they incur cost producing Content and then they give it away for free. What kind of crazy business model is that, you make NO PROFIT. Strip off all this advertising crap. Charge for premium content. Turn the web into a real, competitive marketplace. We can dig deeper so only for actual content and services by the way

            So what you're saying is that we should put you in the category of people that just don't get it?

            I can't speak for anyone but myself but:

            I don't expect newspapers to be available for free on the internet--at least I don't expect anything that resembles the sunday print edition of the NYT to be there for free. The problem is that there is no effective way to charge for them the way there is for physical newspapers. Sure you can do authenticated logins and accounts--but all you've done is made electronic versions of the old way of doing it, and nothing has changed then. In fact, it is a step backwards for the flow of information if you could actually make that work--no more borrowing the paper from the guy in the next cubicle. So what you seem to be advocating is a move to a world with even less freedom of information than we had two decades ago.

            The internet is designed to move information from place to place as cheaply as possible. Trying to artificially inflate the price won't work. We can't make computers that aren't good at copying information (they wouldn't be computers then).

            I don't know what business model they should come up with. There might not be one, period. Oh well. There wasn't one before the printing press either. Technology giveth, and technology taketh away. Buggy makes don't have a business model anymore, neither do the people who made player-piano rolls. Nor flint-lock manufacturers. There's a ton of Benedictian monks out of work thanks to the printing press. Just try finding someone to make a good Roman piss-pot for you these days.

            What I don't understand is why you think it is a bad thing that this might happen. The de-corporatization of news media is the BEST possible thing that could happen to this country right now. We should not be looking for ways to preserve corporate control of information.

            • Re:Bye, bye. (Score:5, Interesting)

              by Registered Coward v2 (447531) on Thursday August 06, 2009 @04:01AM (#28969063)

              I don't expect newspapers to be available for free on the internet--at least I don't expect anything that resembles the sunday print edition of the NYT to be there for free. The problem is that there is no effective way to charge for them the way there is for physical newspapers. Sure you can do authenticated logins and accounts--but all you've done is made electronic versions of the old way of doing it, and nothing has changed then. In fact, it is a step backwards for the flow of information if you could actually make that work--no more borrowing the paper from the guy in the next cubicle. So what you seem to be advocating is a move to a world with even less freedom of information than we had two decades ago.

              Another way is for the ISP's to bundle access to pay websites with internet access - and maybe offer tiers of access; similar to cable.

              You've also pointed out one problem with electronic distribution - it's less convenient to share; I can't give my electronic WSJ to a friend or share it with someone, it's tied to me and my compute.

              The internet is designed to move information from place to place as cheaply as possible. Trying to artificially inflate the price won't work. We can't make computers that aren't good at copying information (they wouldn't be computers then).I don't know what business model they should come up with. There might not be one, period. Oh well. There wasn't one before the printing press either.

              You are correct in pointing out that the internet is merely a distribution system, and just like the printing press changed how news was distributed which gave rise to the concept of the "press" as a profession. As people became more literate, newstands and corner newspapers replaced the town criers as the source of information. The distribution system is separate from the content; but it does not replace the underlying service provided. While a cheaper distribution system lessens part of the costs it doesn't remove the cost of producing the content.

              Prior to the printing press news was collected and recorded by hand and only the wealthy could afford hard copies; that business model evolved as mass production became easier and more people were capable of reading.

              Technology giveth, and technology taketh away. Buggy makes don't have a business model anymore, neither do the people who made player-piano rolls. Nor flint-lock manufacturers. There's a ton of Benedictian monks out of work thanks to the printing press. Just try finding someone to make a good Roman piss-pot for you these days.

              In each case, technology created a new way of accomplishing the same fundamental tasks as cars replaced buggies, the gramophone replaced the player piano, and repeating rifle replaced the flintlock. People still pay for the new technology because it fulfills a need.

              The Benedictines did not cease to exist; they moved on to other things.

              For some reason, people assume the new technology is a game changer and the old rules no longer apply; while technology certainly changes the environment and gives rise to many new ways of doing things; it's still the old needs and desires being satisfied in a different way.

              What I don't understand is why you think it is a bad thing that this might happen. The de-corporatization of news media is the BEST possible thing that could happen to this country right now. We should not be looking for ways to preserve corporate control of information.

              The problem is not with the corporations being replaced; it's that the essential function of a news gathering organization - reporting facts and providing informed commentary - is being replaced with a vast sea of information of greatly varying amounts of accuracy and that is often designed to push a certain POV and as such ignores anything that does not agree to that POV.

              As a result, the value of that information has dropped dramatically an

              • Re:Bye, bye. (Score:4, Insightful)

                by MaskedSlacker (911878) on Thursday August 06, 2009 @06:40AM (#28969827)

                Another way is for the ISP's to bundle access to pay websites with internet access - and maybe offer tiers of access; similar to cable.

                That thought occurred to me as I was writing my post. I dislike it for a number of a reasons (anti-trust/competition ones mostly), but concede that it may be a 'least unpleasant' scenario.

                The problem is not with the corporations being replaced; it's that the essential function of a news gathering organization - reporting facts and providing informed commentary - is being replaced with a vast sea of information of greatly varying amounts of accuracy and that is often designed to push a certain POV and as such ignores anything that does not agree to that POV.

                This is where I think you are dead wrong. People have this fairy tale fantasy of what they think newspapers are, and its bullshit. If we've learned anything over the last decade, it should have been that journalists are incompetent hacks. More accurately, what I mean is that the skills current journalists are trained in are abso-fucking-lutely worthless if you want any of the the virtues you just listed. The whole system needs to die if we're going to get trustworthy media again. Propping it up against changing technology is not the answer, and will not help anything.

                The corporate news rooms DO NOT DO THE ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS OF NEWS GATHERING. Not in any meaningful, useful fashion. They generate infotainment for ratings. They are trained in that one pursuit, and as such no longer possess the skills to do socially useful work. This is why most newspapers are nothing more than regurgitated press releases, AP feeds, and fluff pieces. Reporters who bother to type their own stuff any more get caught plagiarising wikipedia (which is wrong on at least two levels), simply report 'he said,' 'she said' without any insight or analysis of the issue at hand, and get embarassed by prank sources (looking at you Dan Rather).

                Further, I object to your claim that "respectable" news media aren't pushing their own POVs and ignoring anything that doesn't fit--or are you seriously going to tell me with a straight face that 24 hour coverage of Michael Jackson's death was socially valuable, and anything other than the news organizations pushing their agenda (ratings and advertising dollars) at the expense of the public good?

          • Re:Bye, bye. (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Fluffeh (1273756) on Thursday August 06, 2009 @02:23AM (#28968593)

            Everyone clamoring for Free.. that's just not the way the world works. Toss em out -you wont need masses of readers anymore to support ad revenue- and let us pay you a fair price for the service you tender. Why would someone even think that they would make their newspapers available for free? Is this some kind of base assumption we run on that everything on the internet should be free and we just flush the bills down the toilet? What's happening is they incur cost producing Content and then they give it away for free. What kind of crazy business model is that, you make NO PROFIT. Strip off all this advertising crap. Charge for premium content. Turn the web into a real, competitive marketplace. We can dig deeper so only for actual content and services by the way

            You missed my point totally mate. When I buy a newspaper, I am paying for someone to chop down trees, someone to make ink, someone to run huge sheets of paper through huge machines that print on them, then fold them, then deliver them to newsagents, and each person has to make a dollar.

            That's fine. Well, actually it's NOT. I stopped buying newspapers a long time ago because I found that I was only interested in one or two stories in an entire newspaper. Those one or two stories were generally covered online by the sites that I visit on a regular basis. So, I stopped buying newspapers. I am one of the people that falls into the stopped buying newspapers, turned to the internet group.

            What Mr Rupert seems to be totally MISSING which is the point I am making is that should he put the SAME content on the internet that he puts into the printed version, I am STILL NOT INTERESTED in paying for it. Possibly less so.

            Just because I stopped buying a newspaper and get things off the net doesn't mean I will start buying a newspaper just because it's available online.

            What compounds this even more is that he is investing probably millions of dollars into a multi-billion dollar business and he seems to be missing this simple point.

            Do I expect a whole newspaper of content for free online in one place with no ads? Nope.
            Can I always get the two or three things I am interested in from either sites like Slashdot for free in the detail that I want? Yes.

            I think a lot of newspapers and media that previously sold very large volumes better start telling shareholders that they are going to face a serious decline in readership and profits due to the availability of small snippets of information on the internet. The glory days of ALL PRINT MEDIA are GONE. Finished. They won't be reborn with a new fee on a website.

            Now do you get it?

          • Re:Bye, bye. (Score:4, Informative)

            by rtb61 (674572) on Thursday August 06, 2009 @02:59AM (#28968769) Homepage

            Currently I get mu news from multiple sources, normally at least 10 with emails from 3, add to that ugh stumbleupon and even this site http://www.newspapers24.com/ [newspapers24.com] (12,000 sources). So what they envisaging subscriptions to all of them, oh yeah, like that's going to happen. There is absolutely zero chance that I will pay for any news subscription, specifically because I do not and will not be tied down to one or two corporate for extreme profit, advertising as news site.

            Hate to burst Rupert's bubble but typical mass media sites have very low reliability when it comes to the truth, and Murdoch's news sites represent some of the biggest most disingenuous and fraudulent liars, who not only distort the news but they also fabricate and hide the news.

            What Rupert Murdoch is really saying is that his lawyers will be going on the offensive, so watch those links, content extracts and even quotes from Fox sites, they even want to be able to charge access to their B$ commentators.

            Interestingly enough my two favourite news sites are http://www.bbc.co.uk/ [bbc.co.uk] and http://www.abc.net.au/ [abc.net.au], so bwah hah hah hah (they both have already been paid for). As for Fox news http://www.fauxnewschannel.com/ [fauxnewschannel.com] is the only version I bother with and, I even rate M$'s MSN sites and their associated sites, way, way ahead of anything associated with - not really - "News Corp" (the corporate equivalent of the Soviet version of Pravda).

        • re: bye, bye (Score:4, Insightful)

          by ed.han (444783) on Thursday August 06, 2009 @08:03AM (#28970213) Journal
          you know, while it's always fun to question the intelligence of some of these types of news bits, murdoch didn't become as powerful and influential as he did by completely misunderstanding new avenues of monetization. if we were talking about some middle manager, or a senior manager in an unexceptional place, i could see that.

          but seriously suggesting that murdoch, who's made his fortune in making news profitable and is the biggest media mogul on the planet, doesn't understand how to monetize news successfully after ahow many years of news sites experiences is to me goofy in the extreme. you might as well suggest that redmond doesn't understand how to market a profitable OS.

          ed
      • Re:Bye, bye. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by noundi (1044080) on Thursday August 06, 2009 @02:49AM (#28968709)

        Translation: "We have too much traffic on our websites so plans are in place to drop that volume of visitors dramatically."

        Good, because I'm sick and tired of only having "mass appealing" news to read. Bullshit stories that only attract visitors, looking for something "astonishing", in order to gain ad exposure. News today is free for one reason, because it's fucking worthless. If someone is able to provide a proper news service, yet to be seen since the internet era, with proper journalists I would be happy to pay for the service. But to pay for bullshit headlines and ridiculous stories, no thank you.

  • suicidal. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Psyborgue (699890) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @10:35PM (#28966863) Homepage Journal
    That's one way to ensure nobody reads his stuff.
    • Re:suicidal. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @10:39PM (#28966917)

      That's one way to ensure nobody reads his stuff.

      Yes, I was just thinking what wonderfully good news this is!

  • Well, (Score:5, Funny)

    by rapturizer (733607) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @10:36PM (#28966871)
    Then instead of people not reading their print editions, then they will ignore the web edition as well. Sounds like a solid business plan to me.
    • Re:Well, (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Psyborgue (699890) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @10:39PM (#28966915) Homepage Journal
      Well. It might be a decent business plan. He might gain more money but less readership. Long term, i'm not sure that's such a good strategy but in the short term it might work just fine. Ad revenue can't be that good.
      • Re:Well, (Score:4, Insightful)

        by TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) on Thursday August 06, 2009 @12:36AM (#28967837) Journal

        Quite frankly, I'm amazed that it took this long for a high score comment to say something without the words "suicide", "foot", and "bullet".

        I hope that people remember that people using your services is not a guarantee of success, right?

      • by pavon (30274) on Thursday August 06, 2009 @12:59AM (#28967999)

        What is utterly mind boggling about this announcement is that it is being applied uniformly across a huge spectrum of publications with wildly different readerships and usage patterns. I understand the desire and need to find the ways to monetize news investigation, reporting, analysis and gossip, and concede that they way things are being done now may not be the best. But does Murdoch really believe that what works for Wall Street Journal the will work for The Sun?

        Seriously. The "blogosphere" may not create much usefull content in and of itself but it is an increadable tool for redirecting visitors to content and for providing discussion on that content. If you setup a paywall, you block yourself out of that market and the ad revenue it generates. For some publications it probably won't matter. For those that thrive on discussion and gossip it will matter dearly. If Murdoch can't understand the difference then he needs to retire.

  • And... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Stormwatch (703920) <rodrigogirao.hotmail@com> on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @10:36PM (#28966873) Homepage
    ...nothing of value was lost.
  • by bl968 (190792) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @10:37PM (#28966883) Journal

    Fox News and the other Rupert Murdoch properties charging for access is the best thing the Dems and Obama could ask for. It will limit the reach of the biased news content put out by his properties and limit the public exposure. Also as a publisher of a small Online Community Newspaper, I hope that Gannett and the other big news publishing companies follow suit. It's win win for me.

    • by Uber Banker (655221) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @10:43PM (#28966953)

      Also as a publisher of a small Online Community Newspaper, I hope that Gannett and the other big news publishing companies follow suit. It's win win for me.

      I often see how independent small publishers break stories, only for larger organisations to source from, but not attribute their source, several days later. This is especially true of quality blogs and online communities in niche interest or geographical areas - I run one of these. Not attributing and mandatory charging for a derivative work is not good form.

      I would like to know the IP range that Murdoch companies use, in order to block them from my content.

  • Fox News (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @10:38PM (#28966895)

    Accordingly we intend to charge for all our news websites,' Murdoch said.

    At least Fox News [foxnews.com] will still be free.

    • Re:Fox News (Score:5, Interesting)

      by mjwx (966435) on Thursday August 06, 2009 @12:03AM (#28967585)

      At least Fox News will still be free.

      As a side note, do USian's really watch fox news?

      Forgive the cultural ignorance but as an Australia I'd never seen anything like Fox News before seeing it in Thailand. I watched it for about 1/2 an hour whilst sitting in a bar and there was not a shred of actual news on there all it seemed to be was scaremongering about Obama and the democrats. I'd be a bit less confused if they were using facts or at least logical conjecture but they were blaming Obama for the economic problems that started in the Bush administration and threw around the words "communist" or "socialism" at least once a sentence. I believe the report was on how Obama was destroying the country by Greta someone (cant remember, had hangover).

      It was such blatant and obvious propaganda that eventually I had to ask the bar staff to change the channel (ended up with the Thai soap channel, at least that made the bar staff happy). Was my experience typical of Fox News? Fair enough I only saw about 30 minutes of it, I could have caught the "republican hour of power" without knowing but the channel is called Fox News not Fox Editorials, I kind of expected some news.

      In Australia this wouldn't be permitted under the broadcasters or advertisers code of conduct. News must contain news, editorials must be in a separate program and may never be advertised as news (they call them "Current Affairs" programs and typically start right after the news).

      • Re:Fox News (Score:4, Informative)

        by Chaos Incarnate (772793) on Thursday August 06, 2009 @12:34AM (#28967817) Homepage
        The theory is that US citizens should be able to figure out for themselves whether what they're watching is news or editorial content, as opposed to having government regulators step in and control the press.

        I'm still not sure how well that's worked out for us, though.
        • Re:Fox News (Score:5, Insightful)

          by CyprusBlue113 (1294000) on Thursday August 06, 2009 @01:26AM (#28968171)

          As much as I dislike the content that fox news reports as news. I will stand and fight for their right to do so as given by the constitution for a very good reason. You can't have freedom of the press on one hand, and then demand they conform to what you deem to be the truth, no matter how correct you may be on what the truth is. Yes I wish that people in general were smarter and would try to verify their ramblings, and look past the talk, but life is what it is. I also wish that we had a news station more like the Daily Show in format, at least then we could have some actual rebuttal to some of the more flagrant biases. While I realize that the Daily Show is purely a comedy show, it is a constant dissapointment to me how they are generally much better at reporting accurate news than the news stations themselves.

      • Re:Fox News (Score:5, Informative)

        by Dragonslicer (991472) on Thursday August 06, 2009 @12:41AM (#28967867)
        Yes, Fox News has a pretty large viewership (I would guess that CNN, Fox, and MSNBC are approximately evenly split, but I don't watch any of them so I don't care enough to dig up any numbers), and yes, your assessment is fairly accurate. Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, and Bill O'Reilly are probably the most well-known Fox News personalities, and they're all extreme ideologues (Beck also has the bonus feature of being completely fucking nuts). If you want a nice Best Of Fox News review, I recommend watching The Daily Show and The Colbert Report; while they'll still make fun of CNN (which seems to have become just a reading of Twitter messages from viewers) and MSNBC (which is almost as ideological as Fox News, but they generally manage to hide the crazy better), Fox News provides by far the most entertaining clips.
      • Re:Fox News (Score:4, Interesting)

        by spyowl (838397) on Thursday August 06, 2009 @02:37AM (#28968653)

        You'd be surprised how many people in the U.S. watch Fox News. In fact, they are very successful here. My personal theory is that U.S. is just like many other countries with large populations (Russia, China, Indonesia come to mind) where people are hungry and very susceptible to be told how to think.

        Let me give you a brief overview: this is how it works - everything is deduced and painted in black and white for you; you identify the side you don't like and associate yourself with the other side - everything has 2 sides, you see.

        By associating yourself with one side you inherit all labels (e.g. conservative, capitalist, patriotic, etc.) associated with it and are told how the people under the labels on the other side (democrats, liberals, socialists, etc.) are bad. In fact media like Fox News, or radio stations need not provide any factual news for you - all they have to do is spoon-feed you the negative opinions about the other side which is supposed to give you warm fuzzies listening to the guys on your side.

        God forbid someone provide a third or fourth point of view on any political subject - that would not easily be allowed on TV. People are taught there are 2 sides to every coin - can you imagine what would happen if there was another point of view that didn't fit the 2-sided theme?! The "news" channels would be losing their audience. On a very rare occasion it happens, they sometimes call it "oh, an interesting angle" and dismiss it as that, continuing their propaganda programming.

        Yeah, that's pretty much how it works.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @10:39PM (#28966905)

    "Quality journalism is not cheap..."

    Yeah, and no amount of money is going to change the quality of any rag run by Murdoch.

  • It won't work. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Coopjust (872796) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @10:39PM (#28966911)
    I think it's really quite sad that Rupert Murdoch thinks this will work, given the number of quality, professional news sources online that are free.

    I think Rupert's eying the success of the Wall Street Journal as an online subscription site a little too much. What works for the WSJ won't work for other papers, IMO.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Yes, but he doesn't compete with quality, professional news sources.

    • Re:It won't work. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by kamapuaa (555446) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @11:31PM (#28967351) Homepage

      I think it's really quite sad that Slashdot viewers think they understand the industry better than Rupert Murdoch. All that crazy hubris could be used someplace more effective.

      Anyway one of the man's first moves after buying Barron's and the Wall Street Journal was to make the content freely available on the web. It would seem that they tried it, and it didn't work.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by sumdumass (711423)

        Actually, you are partially right. Many of the WSJ articles are freeley availible for a limited amount of time. It's more of a hybrid pay site with more free access then when it was a complete pay site. You can go there right now [wsj.com] and browse most all current stories. What the subscription does is give detailed access and historical content and access to some storied which they decided wasn't free. You also get access to the WSJ europe and Asia additions in the same respect.

        There is a lot of free content on t

      • Re:It won't work. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by SleepingWaterBear (1152169) on Thursday August 06, 2009 @02:10AM (#28968485)

        I think it's really quite sad that Slashdot viewers think they understand the industry better than Rupert Murdoch. All that crazy hubris could be used someplace more effective.

        I don't have to think I understand the industry better than Rupert Murdoch to think this is a questionable move. I wouldn't be surprised if Murdoch himself thought this was a bit of a gamble. The reality is that right now Rupert Murdoch is between a rock and a hard place. He initially went with the free ad-based model because it was clear that subscription models were only working in special cases. Apparently the free approach is failing, and he's resorting to a subscription model as plan B.

        Some types of media just aren't going to survive the changes the internet is bringing, and newspapers may be one of them. I don't think I know better than Rupert Murdoch. I think he knows that his industry is in trouble too. It will be interesting to see if he finds a way to convert his resources into something workable in the future.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by CodeBuster (516420)
      That is a good point actually. The WSJ is really a cut above most other papers and one of the few out there that are genuinely worth paying for. However, in the Internet age there is really only room for so many top quality papers at the top; IMHO, basically one each for the right and left per nation. So it remains to be proven that the WSJ model will work for second and third tier papers, but I suspect the answer to that is probably "no".
  • by AHuxley (892839) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @10:44PM (#28966961) Homepage Journal
    Time to read :
    http://maxkeiser.com/ [maxkeiser.com]
    http://cryptogon.com/ [cryptogon.com]
    http://cryptome.org/ [cryptome.org]
    http://exiledonline.com/ [exiledonline.com]
    http://www.truthnews.us/ [truthnews.us]
    Get a few days or weeks or months heads up on what the tame mainstream press with 'discover' if and when they are allowed to.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by istartedi (132515)

      I hope we can come up with better alternatives than that. While what gets reported by the MSM might be selective, at least most of the facts aren't in dispute. I have no desire to wade through the "news" trying to figure out who has a scoop and who simply forgot to take their meds. Alex Jones??? I think I'm gonna puke.

    • by Yvan256 (722131) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @10:56PM (#28967071) Homepage Journal

      I get all my news and rumors from a little unknown website called "slashdot" [slashdot.org].

      The news are always fresh, they never repeat their news and the views of the editors are impartial, especially to corporations like Microsoft and Apple. They also have a moderation system that is so brilliantly designed that it cannot be messed with, even by monsters known as "trolls".

      Oh, did I mention they never repeat their news?

  • by tjstork (137384) <todd@bandrowsky.gmail@com> on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @10:47PM (#28966987) Homepage Journal

    I'm going to predict that this will work.

    Who cares about how many hits you have, when the real key is profitability. The WSJ is pretty good online and its worth the subscription.

    Obviously Fox News's site is a different animal but if you just had a Fox media site with reporting that was real, it could work.
    But for that to happen, you have to give people content they are willing to pay for, and that means that Murdoch has to invest in journalism if he wants people to pay for it.

    Technologically, what the media needs is a micro-payments system setup so that you can have a single billing identity that lets you get all the stories... it would cover Fox, CBS, etc, and a bunch of news sites.

  • No Spin Zone... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dmartine40 (1571035) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @10:51PM (#28967023)
    "In what appears to be a carefully planned suicide..." Is it possible to mod a story submission as flamebait?
  • by SilasMortimer (1612867) <pandarsson@gmail.com> on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @11:01PM (#28967111) Journal
    television. The FOX News crowd tends to be an older one (not to forget those of you younger people that watch it, but the demographic is older) and often not very technically inclined. I'd also say that, on average, it is an affluent group compared to the demographic of most other news sources. So I think they're not really going to lose many viewers over this.

    I agree with those who say that they are biased and skew their news toward that bias - they hardly hide it. However, we can't deny an overall bias from corporate news sources. I think the majority of journalists prefer to at least attempt an unbiased reporting of the news, but simple business interests often dictate not only how the news is presented, but what news is presented in the first place. And then there's independent media (which at least usually has the decency to make no bones about their bias). I myself listen to Democracy Now and can be fairly assured that I can trust the honesty of Amy Goodman, but I also know that I need to verify things at least to see if I agree with her take on it, with which I don't always agree.
  • HHGTG (Score:4, Funny)

    by Falconhell (1289630) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @11:05PM (#28967135) Journal

    I am reminded of Deep thoughts response when told he could cause a philosophers strike.

    "And whom will that inconveience"

  • by unreadepitaph (1537383) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @11:06PM (#28967149)
    There's way too many free news sights for people to pay for spelling/gramatical errors and right wing propaganda.
  • by toby (759) * on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @11:11PM (#28967193) Homepage Journal

    It seems that, despite (or rather, because of) Murdoch's strangehold on your media, most people really don't understand the megabadness of Murdoch.

    I know, I know, soooo 20th Century... so I'll boil it down for you geeks: You know the Jedi Emperor? Murdoch doesn't just look like that guy - in the cast of malignities afflicting the planet, he *is* that guy.

    Google for more. You'll be surprised what you didn't know about old Rupe.

    • by Falconhell (1289630) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @11:21PM (#28967273) Journal

      Regretably, Rupert made his start in the news business here in good old Adelaide SA, where he had his first newspaper an afternoon tabloid, called "The News" we also had a excellent morning broadshhet paper called The Advertiser which was a family owned business that stayed independant for many years.

      Up until quite recently the News corp AGM was held here.

      In the end Murdoch got hold of The Advertiser and turned it into exactly the same crap tabloid as The News, which was then closed. When the original editor retired, he appointed of course a right wing loony.

      One of my very favourite Murdoch comments was after an interview with the Australian public broadcaster, the ABC, who questioned him very well, asking questions he really did not want to answer.

        After the end of the interview his mic was left on and he was clearly heard to say "Fucking ABC bastards", much to the listeners amusement.

    • by lennier (44736) on Thursday August 06, 2009 @12:16AM (#28967683) Homepage

      I can feel the tweet swelling in you. Goooood. Strike me down with all of your blisteringly witty Web 2.0 snark, and your journey toward Big Media will be complete.

      Oh, I'm afraid your friends blogging from the free Starbucks WiFi are walking into a trap...

  • the national faces of the right now appear to be somewhere between rush limbaugh, dick cheney, and sarah palin, all 3 with obvious problems appealing to anyone besides screeching rightards

    then we have the birthers and their paranoid schizophrenic thinly veiled racism. dividing, discouraging and polarizing the right wing base, so wacky they make 9/11 truthers look levelheaded

    and now the principle propaganda wing of the right is committing fiscal suicide because the boss is so old and venal and out of touch with the reality of modern media

    seriously, can it get any better?

    i am really quite amazed at how fast the right wing has imploded after the presidential election

    buffoons and absurdities, all that seems to be on the landscape on the right right now. hilarious and wonderful. i'm actually looking forward to the next act of seppuku on the right

    oh look, here it is!:

    If you live in or around Pensacola, it just got harder to be a creationist who wants to see giant statues of dinosaurs. Dinosaur Adventure Land, which was packed with educational exhibits devoted to unmasking the lies of evolution, will be no more. No longer will children be taught how dinosaurs walked the earth 6000 years ago. All because park's owners, Kent and Jo Hovind, owed the IRS just under half a million dollars in employee taxes.

    According to the Pensacola News Journal:

    [Kent Hovind] was found guilty in November 2006 on 58 counts, including failure to pay employee taxes and making threats against investigators.
    The conviction culminated 17 years of Hovind sparring with the IRS. Saying he was employed by God and his ministers were not subject to payroll taxes, he claimed no income or property.

    huzzah!

    keep it up, angry, ineffectual low iq losers on the right

    all the news is cheer nowadays

    enjoy your march into the sunset

  • by Tetsujin (103070) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @11:17PM (#28967243) Homepage Journal

    Murdoch went on to mention that other site changes came at the request of his dog, Billy, who said that they were not sufficiently canine-accessible. The new design, apparently, will feature images of small rubber toys as the links - these will squeak when clicked upon. Also, in addition to password authentication, the site will support olfactory authentication via a newly-developed USB peripheral.

    Some of those in Murdoch's immediate vicinity responded negatively to these claims: one man complained that Murdoch in fact did not even have a dog. Referring to Murdoch as a "crazy fool", he went on to say that Murdoch's presence was not necessary, as there was no present need for his unique skills.

  • by aaarrrgggh (9205) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @11:41PM (#28967423)

    Used to subscribe to WSJ because I thought the quality was hard to beat. Canceled after far too many articles that were far too self-serving to Murdoch. Then there is Fox News... and...

    Far too out of touch. News Corp is completely lost.

  • This is Not News.... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Hercules Peanut (540188) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @11:45PM (#28967443)

    'The digital revolution has opened many new and inexpensive methods of distribution, but it has not made content free.

    Yes, it has.

    Accordingly we intend to charge for all our news websites,' Murdoch said."

    ..but will anyone pay for it? That would truly be news.

  • by Willbur (196916) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @11:49PM (#28967475) Homepage

    Online news has been stuck in a prisoner's dilemma situation (from their POV). If everyone charged for news, then they'd be OK. When only some people charge for news, those that charge lose their audience. That drives the system to the equilibrium of noone charging for news. From the consumer's POV this is a good thing.

    Because Murdoch owns so much of the news, he might be able to break out of the current poor (for newspaper publishers) equilibrium. Of course, if he can do so then he's pretty much demonstrated that he has enough of a monopoly that market power isn't working. There would be evidence for an anti-trust case against him.

    The other problem with all this is that it assumes that the problem newspapers are having with revenue is caused by the cannibalisation of the print editions by the online editions. I understand, although I cannot provide evidence, that the real problem is that the classified market has gone away. The newspapers lunch got eaten by eBay and Craigslist, not cannibalised by their own online offerings. And if this is true, then raising prices for consumers might increase revenue, but it wont return it to where it was.

  • by roc97007 (608802) on Thursday August 06, 2009 @01:13AM (#28968073) Journal

    How can a newspaper mogul not understand about ad supported content? Most of the cost of a newspaper is ads. You really think fifty cents a copy pays for content, printing and distribution?

    Similarly how can he not understand about supply and demand? His competitors are not other newspapers who try to adopt the same business model. His competitors are the free, ad-supported news services. On a level playing field, they'll eat him alive.

    I can't believe he's this stupid, so he must think he has an ace up his sleeve. And the only ace I can think of in this case is government intervention.

  • Murdoch is no fool (Score:5, Interesting)

    by NewsWatcher (450241) on Thursday August 06, 2009 @01:24AM (#28968145)

    It seems a lot of people here think Rupert Murdoch is an idiot. He isn't.
    News Corp has deep pockets and a wealth of profit-making websites.
    He understands it would be suicide for his readership of his newspapers if he charged for access, but rivals didn't.
    It would be a slightly slower suicide if he charged nothing at all.
    So perhaps his plan is this:
    1. Charge for access to all his news sites.
    2. Encourage rivals to charge also (it has been already flagged that newspapers are willing to work as a bloc on this issue).
    3. Watch while readership plunges at all newspaper websites following the introduction of pay-per-view.
    4. Hold out until his major rivals are all broke.
    5. Maintain a cost for viewing online publications
    6. Close down newspaper print editions as readers migrate to paying for content online
    7. Scoop up profits and increase influence

  • by vorlich (972710) on Thursday August 06, 2009 @05:22AM (#28969471) Homepage Journal
    When you buy the Sun (Scottish Edition) for your 10 to 30pence (depends on their promotion at the time) you get for your money a paper of almost utter hilarity and sarcastic bile that included one of the longest headlines ever (supercaleygoballisticcelticareatrocious) and Deirde's Problem Page. The international news was contained in a single column on the 2nd page. It was the kind of newspaper you read on the bus, train or during your coffee break. It was uncompromising infotainment then (when I was resident in the UK) and I should imagine it still is.

    I can see from the Sun's website that their interweb model is not the same - just a lot of chavtastic tv crap.

    The problem for the Murdoch empire is that they forgot where newspapers came from.

    Newspaper originated from the owners of printing presses who started to print lists of vessels arriving at ports with details of their cargoes. This was indeed news for anyone who wanted to make money from arbritage. Soon traders paid for ads in these papers and then letters (correspondence) from various parts of the world were printed to inform the readers of events that might affect trade. Those newspapers companies were vertically integrated, they owned the printing presses and the newspapers, soon they owned or had command of the logistics systems to deliver them from door to door staff to trucks boats and planes. This created the era of the Press Baron.

    While the Murdoch Empire was busy focussing on satellite television they missed the opportunity to accumulate possesions in the web, they failed to buy communications companies or felt it was too low a return for the investment. Yet they knew that print media was in a terminal decline and has been for the past fifty years where newspapers have folded or combined and magazines (especially news magazines) have seen readership dwindle.

    One can only guess that these executives are so removed from the physical transaction of buying a newspaper and the somewhat more intangible concept of connecting to the interweb. Ownership of the means of delivery and ad return from cost free added value must have given them sleepless nights, or more likely they decided to ignore what they did not understand.
    Now when the paradigm shift is about to render them extinct, they thrash around grasping at straws. What News International are about to create here if they go ahead with this idea, is the Great Murdoch Firewall.
    Now if we could only manage to get Associated Newspapers to do the same...http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daily_Mail [wikipedia.org]

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