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Rupert Murdoch Plans a Digital Newspaper For the US 237

Posted by timothy
from the adding-dot-com-works-for-me dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "The Guardian reports that Rupert Murdoch plans to launch a digital newspaper in the US geared specifically to younger readers and to digital outlets such as the iPad and mobile phones. The paper, as yet unnamed, will pool the huge editorial muscle of Murdoch's combined holdings within News Corporation, which include the Wall Street Journal, the New York Post and the financial wire service Dow Jones, as well as his newspapers in the UK and Australia. Earlier this month, Murdoch said of the iPad: 'It's a real game-changer in the presentation of news,' adding 'We'll have young people reading newspapers.'"
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Rupert Murdoch Plans a Digital Newspaper For the US

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  • by Concerned Onlooker (473481) on Saturday August 14, 2010 @03:04PM (#33252060) Homepage Journal

    Rupert Murdoch: Dragging us into the 20th century.

    • Re:Game changer (Score:5, Insightful)

      by FriendlyLurker (50431) on Saturday August 14, 2010 @03:36PM (#33252220)
      Obviously his company & friends are getting worried [google.com] that their grip is failing to bend the hearts and minds [outfoxed.org] of American young'uns to their liking, at least like it used to [wearechange.org.uk] (PDF).
      • Why is it that you assume only FOX News spews propaganda? The other channels do as well (especially MSNBC which has been caught doing it).

        re:

        I think the biggest obstacle Murdoch has it that young people don't want to read their news. They'd rather hear it (radio) or see it (TV, streaming videos). Young people also don't want to pay when they can it for free from ad-supported services like cnn.com or google.com

        • Re:Game changer (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 14, 2010 @03:53PM (#33252296)

          Why is it that you assume only FOX News spews propaganda?

          I didn't see that anywhere in his message. Why do you assume that he assumes that only FOX News spews propaganda? Or do you think that as long as other people do it too, it doesn't matter (how old are you)? Or do you feel every post about Fox (or Google, Microsoft, Apple, BP, whoever) should end with a line saying "The following other companies, governments or organisations also do bad things..." with a long list?

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by FriendlyLurker (50431)

          Why is it that you assume only FOX News spews propaganda?

          Although the AC answered, for the record I am well aware that the research demonstrates that Murdoch's channels (much more than Fox, WSJ, Sky etc) are certainly not the only [harvard.edu] active and passive participants [theatlantic.com] in blatant propaganda [cnneffect.net]. Not to mention the echo chamber amplification [wikipedia.org] of such rhetoric.

        • by Jawnn (445279)

          Why is it that you assume only FOX News spews propaganda?

          Seriously? Like any other news outlet, bar none, right or left, is anywhere close to as consistently and transparently slanted as Fox News? Really?
          Why?

    • by WrongSizeGlass (838941) on Saturday August 14, 2010 @04:04PM (#33252348)
      "Hi, I'm Wally, the Murdoch Digital News Pay-wall Wallaby. According to other news sources - ones that you shouldn't waste your time reading - I'm an endangered species. So please give Master Rupert some of your money because I don't want to be Wally the extinct wallaby."
      • by tchdab1 (164848)

        That's it!
        Clippy gets a three-cornered hat: The Walled Streetless Journal.
        All the news that's bits to print.

  • Geez... (Score:2, Funny)

    by Mikkeles (698461)

    I didn't know Murdoch could spell digital!

  • by DWMorse (1816016) on Saturday August 14, 2010 @03:05PM (#33252066) Homepage

    "We'll have young people reading newspapers."

    Not till you tear down that Pay wall, Mr. Murdoch.

    • And furthermore, what makes this different from reading the New York Times or Wall Street Journal on an iPad? I don't think "young people" are that easily duped. If you want news, you go read news, and if you don't, you don't.
    • by LambdaWolf (1561517) on Saturday August 14, 2010 @03:41PM (#33252240)

      My thoughts exactly. Murdoch seems to be hell-bent on capturing some revenue per reader on a subscription model, regardless of how poorly this is doomed to work on the Internet. No matter how good the content is or even how low the price is, no paywall-based news site will be more attractive than the convenient "point browser at URL, get page" model of Murdoch's many competitors.

      Really, it's the same mindset as the RIAA/MPAA companies who are ignominiously featured on Slashdot so often. They have a pre-Internet business model that allows them to get paid per copy of their product, and rather than accept that it won't survive a new technological environment where anything can be copied and transmitted around the world for free, they keep trying to hammer their outdated but profitable square peg into its new round hole with awkward technical and legislative "solutions." The good news about Murdoch's new project is that, unlike DRM and the DMCA, paywalled newspapers are easy to just ignore.

      • >>>subscription model, regardless of how poorly this is doomed to work on the Internet.

        Just as Record Companies were forced to break-up CDs into individual singles for sale online, maybe Newspapers will be forced to do the same thing. You don't buy the whole paper - you just buy individual articles. Maybe they'll let you read the first paragraph to entice you, but if you want the whole thing then you need to cough-up a dime.

        I think the biggest obstacle Murdoch and magazines/newspapers has reachin

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          They don't want to read their news. They'd rather hear it (radio) or see it (TV, streaming videos).

          I'd be really curious to see statistics on this. I'm probably on the upper end of the youth demographic, and the only way I get news is by reading it. I think TV news is mostly a waste of time, radio is too inefficient compared to quickly scanning an article, and streaming video is the worst of the two -- most of the "stories" delivered by video are just fluffy human interest pieces, or clips that have some spectacle to them. (Of course, this is all my personal experience, and I don't believe I'm necessa

          • by theaveng (1243528)

            You make a good point re: newspapers being easy to scan but there's something you forgot:

            You can listen to radio or TV or podcasts while doing other things, like your engineering job or driving to work or cooking your dinner, so the audio/video news formats take 0 additional time to absorb.

            • I was thinking about that, but I think I'm not enough of a multi-tasker for that to work well for me. I'd probably either (a) pay too much attention to the radio, and be less effective/efficient with my engineering, or (b) tune out the radio entirely and not absorb anything.

              Although, maybe I could listen while cooking. Haven't done too much cooking lately though, unfortunately :-/

          • I'm not quite sure what the demographic of "young people" is, especially considering Murdoch's age, however I'm willing to guess it's 29 & younger. If that's the case, then I'll extrapolate [xkcd.com] the anecdote of my experiences:

            Young people don't have enough time to read the newspaper, whether it's in tree-form or bit-form. At least, not regularly. My experiences are that "young people" are people who are working 50-60hr weeks, occasionally more when work bleeds into the weekend. When "young people" aren't

      • My thoughts exactly. Murdoch seems to be hell-bent on capturing some revenue per reader on a subscription model

        He does seem rather obsessed with that... and it doesn't make any sense. Subscriptions were NEVER the main revenue stream for any newspaper or any periodical (other than things like the Harvard Business Review, and other periodicals that cost a fortune to subscribe to). Murdoch's fortune came from advertising... and he acts like he's never heard of it. Sure, there might be some revenue in subscriptions, but it is dwarfed by ad revenue. Murdoch is just a greedy, money obsessed a-hole.

      • by dbIII (701233) on Saturday August 14, 2010 @07:51PM (#33253680)
        Here's a brief rundown of what I think he's been trying to achieve with all the noise over the past three years. He's pushing hard to have government run media sites (eg. BBC) cut back (with some success) and pushing hard to have index sites like google tied up in court after weird new IP laws are drafted. That will leave nothing but blogs and his paywall sites. He can play this game since he doesn't really have anything to lose with his newspapers - they already bleed money.
        I suppose the business model is:
        talk to governments about IP laws and brang google as pirates, then take the money google would normally get.
        The Murdoch press and media already had a HUGE beatup over google collecting wifi information and had some success in changing public and government opinions about google. He's also been speaking everywhere he can get anyone to listen about how the net is a denizen of theives and we should all be restricted to paid content or jobs will be lost - or something along those lines, check your local Murdoch paper for details. He has more influence than anyone here would like, understands the net more than many here (he had an ISP in 1993 FFS and has always listened to experts) but doesn't care if he breaks it so long as he can get money from the pieces.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by TapeCutter (624760) *
        "Really, it's the same mindset as the RIAA/MPAA companies who are ignominiously featured on Slashdot so often."

        Funny thing is that Murdoch turned his Aussie fiefdom into an empire during the 80's by curcumventing the similar mentality of the Fleet St unions who refused to allow newspapers to modernise their printing presses. He did it by setting up his own modern digital printing presses in direct competion with the old clunky mechanical stuff the unions had under their control. Now the worm has turned a
  • by Spazntwich (208070) on Saturday August 14, 2010 @03:06PM (#33252076)

    Check out the youthful demographics Fox News attracts...

    And he's sure to only increase the popularity of his empire with our generation as he attempts to sue Skype for having the same three letters in it as his other news organization that nobody under 25 has heard of.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by DrScotsman (857078)

      And he's sure to only increase the popularity of his empire with our generation as he attempts to sue Skype for having the same three letters in it as his other news organization that nobody under 25 has heard of.

      Not that I don't think the lawsuit is stupid, but wow, what a pointless diss. Rupert Murdoch owns a company in the UK that some North Americans haven't heard of - so what? We've certainly all heard of it over here.

      By the way, BSkyB isn't a "news organization", although they do have a news channel or two.

    • Check out the youthful demographics Fox News attracts...

      fox tv, yes. fox news? really?

      I tune in for the simpsons (sometimes). can't think of anything else on fox (other than some other similar animated adult comedies) that I'd care to watch there.

      young REPUBLICANS, sure, they'll tune to fox news. but beyond that, you are suggesting 'kids today' are turning to fox NEWS? really?

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by bertoelcon (1557907) *
      You read it here first folks. Rupert Murdoch: World Class Pedophile.
      • I have no idea why but after going through the other replies of conspiracy theorist, cranky brit, and aspergers whoosh, yours stood out and cracked me the fuck up harder than just about any has.

        I love you.

    • > Check out the youthful demographics Fox News attracts...

      You assume that he isn't just a capable of cynically exploiting liberal political correctness as he is conservative political correctness.

      Perhaps he will purchase the Huffington Post.

  • There's no mention of the subscription cost and, judging by Rupert's past comments & actions, I'm sure there'll be a cost associated with it.
     
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by dnaumov (453672)

      Professional journalism costs money. News at 11.

      • by ScottForbes (528679) on Saturday August 14, 2010 @03:25PM (#33252176) Homepage
        Granted, professional journalism does cost money, but what does this have to do with Rupert Murdoch?
      • by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Saturday August 14, 2010 @03:56PM (#33252312)

        professional journalism, in the mainstream, died decades ago.

        what we now have is packaged spin, nothing more.

        THIS is why people go outside (of the mainstream) to fetch real news and viewpoints. we're pretty tired of the crap that passes for 'news' from the establishment, these days.

        indie is the only hope we have left; certainly NOT big-news machines!

        the smaller the site, the more likely it is that they're NOT on someone's payroll, spouting out their masters' views for a fee.

        • Indie is useful. (Score:3, Insightful)

          by khasim (1285)

          Because you get people who KNOW the material that they are covering.

          They may be over estimating the importance of what they cover, but they KNOW what they're covering.

          Compare that to the "news readers" on the other news shows. Could they even find the countries they're talking about on a map? Or in the USofA, can they find the state they're talking about on a map? There are some good ones but the majority were hired because they're "photogenic" rather than informed.

          I'll take informed over photogenic any day

          • > Because you get people who KNOW the material that they are covering.

            After all, who could know it better? They made it up themselves! (or at least a friend of a friend of a friend did. But they know it's true: it confirms their preconceptions.)

            Yes, some Indie reporters are reliable. Mostly, though, they are as bad as Fox.

        • professional journalism, in the mainstream, died decades ago.

          And if your definition of professional journalism is "unbiased writing", then it never existed in the first place.

          Too many people believe in this mythical golden age of journalism, when all reporters were unbiased and pure of heart.
          Which is bunk, because it never existed. Pulitzer prize winning reporters for the NY Times were nothing but flacks for Joseph Stalin (especially Walter Duranty [nytimes.com]). Walter Cronkite reported that America couldn't win in Vietnam on the eve was what was the biggest military victory for

          • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

            by Anonymous Coward

            As far as Cronkite goes- in the end we lost didn't we? Military victories were all pointless since we did nothing to reform/repair the broken political system in Vietnam. He didn't say we couldn't win battles, we couldn't win the war. Are you in the revisionist camp that thinks if only it weren't for the bad publicity we would have won? We didn't lose because we "quit" too soon- we would never have won since our basic strategy was flawed and it wasn't about to change no matter how many more body bags we the

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by dangitman (862676)

            Reporters have had bias as long as there have been reporters.

            That's true, but it's not really the issue here, is it? There have always been biased reporters, but Fox News is a network designed from the ground up to trash journalistic principles and function as a propaganda outlet.

            And yes, that's nothing new, either. It's just rather disconcerting, when so many people treat it like it is a serious news outlet. In fact, many are so deluded that they think it's the only one telling them the truth.

        • > what we now have is packaged spin, nothing more.

          That's all we ever had.

  • by mooingyak (720677) on Saturday August 14, 2010 @03:14PM (#33252116)

    raise your hand. What, no one can hear me? IF YOU THINK THIS WILL WORK, RAISE YOUR HAND! Is this thing on?

    • raise your hand. What, no one can hear me? IF YOU THINK THIS WILL WORK, RAISE YOUR HAND! Is this thing on?

      If he can develop an audience, then it'll work. Period. I subscribe to the Wall Street Journal.... in other words, I pay for my news because I think it's a better product than its competitors.

      If a commercial product is worth your time, then its worth your money.

  • Tiered content (Score:4, Interesting)

    by hessian (467078) on Saturday August 14, 2010 @03:15PM (#33252118) Homepage Journal

    Good idea:

    For the people who can read newspapers, there's the full story loaded with factual detail.

    For the rest, there's a blog-style two-paragraph campy tongue-in-cheek story that's easy to read.

    He can charge money for the real content, then have his editorial staff of college hipsters convert it into a blog for $8/hour.

    Smart, this guy -- he's good at spotting markets and catering to them. I doubt he holds any of the opinions featured in his newspapers.

    • by Mashiki (184564)

      Considering overall about 20% of people these days have any trust in the media, I agree. He's probably got the right idea.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by quax (19371)

      I doubt he holds any of the opinions featured in his newspapers.

      I don't think you've paid much attention to R. Murdoch before, have you [independent.co.uk]?

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by dbIII (701233)
        Actually from his Bowyer Lectures two years ago (ABC Radio may still have the mp3s or transcripts) he's a way to the left of Obama on social issues. Fox News is aimed squarely at a market, and remember that just because you employ a cocaine ravaged reactionary ex-DJ doesn't mean you agree with everything he says - it's about ratings!
        While Murdochs views on health care and education are progressive he still would break the net and get money from the broken bits if he had the power to do so. If enough peopl
  • Still not going to pay for it. Nice try old man.
  • by AffidavitDonda (1736752) on Saturday August 14, 2010 @03:18PM (#33252144)

    Murdoch said of the iPad: 'It's a real game-changer in the presentation of news,'

    Hmm, sure, yes, the thing has something like a screen. Actually it is a screen. That would allow us to add those new thingies the PR guys talked about all the time. I think they call it "animations". And we could change those news during the day, not like this old printed stuff, with only one print a day. Sure, people would have to pay for it a little bit more, since they get more news. But those kids a surely used to pay for services they get from the internet...

    • You forgot DRM. The iPad has lots of that. Murdoch sees a computer its users don't fully control, and like a cartoon character, his eyes become spinning dollar signs.
  • Unlimited Content (Score:3, Insightful)

    by pez (54) * on Saturday August 14, 2010 @03:19PM (#33252150) Homepage Journal

    Murdoch is in a tough spot. The internet has given us access to nearly every piece of content that has ever been created, or is currently being created, in near real-time. In addition, automated editing tools are improving by leaps and bounds every year, with recent apps like Flipboard (and others), obviating the need for professional human editors.

    So it's difficult to see how this slight re-working of an old model is going to work in a world where the game has changed in such fundamental ways.

    • by jez9999 (618189)

      So it's difficult to see how this slight re-working of an old model is going to work in a world where the game has changed in such fundamental ways.

      With the appropriate amount of legislation to back it up, it could.

  • "paid-for" (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Dracos (107777) on Saturday August 14, 2010 @03:19PM (#33252152)

    The paywall pretty much guarantees failure. Young people generally have a long list of things above "news" on which they choose to spend their small amount of disposable income. I applaud his astounding failure in advance.

  • we know what kind of 'news' we can expect from the US 'news' channels.

    at one point, MANY years ago, CNN used to be a news channel. they have had significant bias for well over a decade, now. fox, the opposite bias.

    we cannot get unbiased news from any single source. but the News Machine(tm) is just that, single sourced.

    kids today pretty much know this. everyone now gets their news from various sources; the more varied, the better.

    game's up, big news ceo. your kind is gonna vanish, perhaps even during yo

    • That's kind of like claiming that a desert and an ocean both have some amount of water in them.

      While technically accurate, it does nothing to advance the discussion.

      Some sites (such as Fox) are 100% bias. But if you are watching Fox for "news" then you are probably not interested in sites that provide only 50% bias.

      CNN will provide a low level of bias ... when they get around to covering the NEWS instead of the "freak of the week". Seriously, was the airplane steward guy the MOST IMPORTANT THING HAPPENING?

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        I get my news from 2 places:

        - jon stewart, daily show (seriously)
        - fark.com (half serious)

        the commentary 'by the people' is far more educational and revealing than any paid mouthpeace in a cute dress.

        go where there is a lot of left AND right discussion and you'll see a spectrum of the total truth (if there is such a thing).

        the news is in the people; not the anchorperson, anymore.

        find the discussion boards that relate to current events and start there.

        • The Daily Show is great. But they only have time to cover a few items (and those are chosen for humour value anyway).

          And when Left and Right "discuss" things online, all I see are opposing, uninformed biases. Not much in the way of information or insight.

          I look for newspapers in Germany, the Mid-East and other places. Once you step away from US political biases you get better news.

          Inside the USofA, look for any indie sites that focus on a specific issue.

  • where's the "goodluckwiththat" and the "whatcouldpossiblygowrong" tags?

    If Murdock does what he did in the UK....it's gonna flop badly....still....I'd rather not see people pay for moronic [sarcasm]"fair and balance"[/sarcasm] news....shoot...I think I need to put quotes around the word "news"...and add an asterisk...the lil' cross thingie...perhaps superscripts of the first 500 prime numbers....etc. for the fine-print (no pun).

  • He expects people to pay for his mind numbing biassed reporting? Nope. Don't think so.

    • > He expects people to pay for his mind numbing biassed reporting?

      That's the kind most people like.

      > Nope. Don't think so.

      Might just work if he makes it mind numbing biassed left-wing reporting (he's already got a lock on mind numbing biassed right-wing reporting).

  • From TFA:

    According to the LA Times, it will publish customised content that will be tailored both to the digital medium and the tastes of the target readership. Stories will be short and snappy, the Times's source said.

    As a young person (does 26 still count as young?), I find the whole premise insulting to my intelligence. The internet is full of short, snappy, and FREE content. Why would I want to pay for more crap? For me to consider paying for an online publication, it would have to be informative, and probably confined to a niche in which I have a strong personal or professional interest.

    I predict failure of epic proportions.

    • I would pay for TRULY impartial and actually investigative journalism that didn't ask the pentagon and white house, first, for permission to print this or that. or cow-tow to this or that politician.

      murdoch is 100% the complete opposite of trustable independant news! he'll only do what he's told by HIS masters and never cross that line.

      he knows who his daddy is, even though he's mega rich. everyone has masters in this world.

      I'd pay for when you take RISKS and expose CORRUPTION. you, sir (murdoch) ARE co

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by gregrah (1605707)
        TheGratefulNet:

        While I find Fox News just as reprehensible as you or any other rational human being - I really can't agree with the tone of your postings all over this thread. I find it very reminiscent of the sort of "right wing" comments I see over the internet. You know, the "Obama is a SOCIALIST", and the "LIBERAL FASCISTS want to take away our freedom" type comments. In short - by omitting the "why" part of the argument and jumping straight into attacks (with various negative keywords emphasized
  • by Todd Knarr (15451) on Saturday August 14, 2010 @03:51PM (#33252282) Homepage

    Young people don't read newspapers. Not in the way Murdoch's thinking, at least. They don't start on page 1 and read through to the end. And they don't compile a list of subjects and read consistently on those subjects for months at a time. They get a sudden interest in a particular subject, search for stories about that specific subject right now, skim them and maybe read a few of the most interesting ones, then go on to other things until another subject piques their interest. This is why Google's so popular: it makes it easy to do exactly that. If Murdoch doesn't accept that, he's simply going to be passed over yet again.

    • Not only that, I would imagine the way this information is used is completely different: it is so easy to save a webpage, to copy and paste text or images, to keep a folder of interesting text snippets in apps like Evernote, annotated by you, to share stuff by email. Somehow I don't think any information behind a paywall will allow that kind of multifaceted usage - it's very telling that he is focusing on the most locked-down platform there are. Who wants to bet that this will be another attempt at nickel-a
    • by thephydes (727739)
      It is not only young people who don't read newspapers. I don't read newspapers, and I am certainly not young. I suspect if you look in any food hall and watch people 'reading" you'll actually see "browsing". So yes, except for specialised publications, people don't read and wont pay to do so.
    • > They don't start on page 1 [of a newspaper] and read through to the end.

      Very few people ever did.

  • oh boy! just what we need. a watering down of already approved pre-watered down news.

    saying it in less words always conveys the complexity of the issue. uhuh.

    then again, maybe he's right. maybe no one wants to read anything 'heady' anymore. fox IS still in business, you know.

  • Not unless you hire editors who can make them politically correct. Hint: repackaging Fox News won't work.
  • I might be interested in them again.

    All news is hideously biased now. Left or right.. all pro-corporation.

    A lot of the pieces are filmed or written by the corporations and then handed to the news organizations (just like they write laws and hand them to congress).

    I'm just going to coast out my last 25 years on the planet unless things change.

  • What's the point? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by PPH (736903) on Saturday August 14, 2010 @05:39PM (#33252852)
    Murdoch's product is best suited for housebreaking puppies or wrapping fish. Neither of which work well with an iPad.
  • Rupert Murdoch appears to be the AOL of news media. It's a miracle he's still in business.

  • by AnAdventurer (1548515) on Saturday August 14, 2010 @06:32PM (#33253186)
    Except us "younger" readers know two things. 1) "Reading" on the internet makes our heads hurt. 2) Us "younger" readers know Rupert is a "douche".
  • ...... Because it was such a great success elsewhere.
  • by Hognoxious (631665) on Sunday August 15, 2010 @01:46AM (#33255222) Homepage Journal

    I suppose "younger readers" can go on the list with "military intelligence", "plastic silverware" and "Microsoft Works".

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