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Rupert Murdoch
Murdoch plans to work with hardware and software providers to reach his goals

Print magazines and newspapers are fighting a battle today against free content that is readily available online and the need to charge for their content. Many in the newspaper industry say that quality content is not cheap and that it shouldn't be offered for free.

One of the loudest voices in the newspaper world is News Corp's Rupert Murdoch. Murdoch said Wednesday that, "We intend to charge for all our news websites. We will go down in journalism history as either the seminal moment when the industry came back from the internet abyss or this century's version of into the valley of death, rode the six hundred."

Murdoch says that the entity that is able to find a new method of recouping the cost of producing content will not only see its own profits soar, but will allow the entire industry to profit as well.

Murdoch said, "The digital revolution has opened up many new and inexpensive methods of distribution but it has NOT made content free."

The Examiner reports that Murdoch is not looking for a White House commission or changes in copyright law to rescue the ailing print publication industry. It seems that Murdoch has a decent base to build a new business model on. He points out that since his company bought the Wall Street Journal, the publication has expanded both print and online subscriptions, showing that there is still an audience that is willing to pay for content.

The WSJ is the only U.S. paper according to Murdoch that has been able to grow online and print business during the recession. Murdoch is looking to more than simply charging people to read online content as a way to boost profits. He said, "Right now we're working with software, hardware, and other publishers within the industry to develop a model that works for consumer. Beyond the economics, it is crucial we maintain a direct relationship with our customers."

Part of this plan is the introduction of an eReader that could possibly be sold along with a subscription based on contract of a specific length in a similar fashion to how mobile phones are sold. The idea of charging for content isn't a new thought for Murdoch; he has called for all newspapers to charge for content before. There are twinges of Murdoch trying to make nice with readers though, perhaps he took Google's Eric Schmidt's advice when Schmidt said don't "piss off" readers.

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By therealnickdanger on 8/6/2009 10:27:35 AM , Rating: 5
Good luck, Mr. Murdoch. I personally would never pay for ANY news source. Be it CNN, Fox, MSNBC, whatever, why should I pay to read half-truths, opinions, and single-sided arguments? The news has been dead to me for almost 10 years and I don't miss it one bit.

RE: The market will pay what the market will bear.
By mofo3k on 8/6/09, Rating: 0
RE: The market will pay what the market will bear.
By mdogs444 on 8/6/09, Rating: -1
RE: The market will pay what the market will bear.
By mofo3k on 8/6/09, Rating: 0
RE: The market will pay what the market will bear.
By mdogs444 on 8/6/09, Rating: -1
RE: The market will pay what the market will bear.
By mofo3k on 8/6/2009 11:05:35 AM , Rating: 2
And you've never thought that you saw or heard something only to be wrong? Your eyes and mind can play tricks on you as well. Everyone has an imagination and you should question what you and everyone else perceives as truth.

I do normally trust myself more than anyone else, but I also realize that I'm not without any faults either. Plus, I not a god <yet>. I can't be everywhere at once. Sometimes you have to hear someone else's story and decide if it's truthful or not.

By ClownPuncher on 8/6/2009 1:58:30 PM , Rating: 4
Tricksy hobbitses

By soloman02 on 8/6/2009 11:17:36 AM , Rating: 3
While the AP is not officially state run, it effectively is. There are more pro big government articles than any other news organization. The AP refuses to run any unbiased articles on the people in this country who are protesting. When they do, they claim a handful of people showed up at the Columbus protest on August 1. There were around TEN THOUSAND people there. Hardly "a handful." Just ask Judge Andrew Napolitano, he spoke there. Or that the people who are attending the town hall meetings are "angry mobs."

The AP is so infatuated with Obama that they have ceased to be a news organization and are now just a parrot copying his talking points.

By GaryJohnson on 8/6/2009 11:48:17 AM , Rating: 3
The AP article I've seen say "thousands"...

By mofo3k on 8/6/2009 12:45:44 PM , Rating: 3
Yeah the only story I've seen about any "handfuls" is from like March and it says "handful of protests". Not sure what the OP was referencing.

By FITCamaro on 8/7/2009 6:32:47 AM , Rating: 2
It's making me sick the way the "news" is reporting on people protesting about government run health care. I forget what the topic was of the speech, but I recall people who were against it marching into a speech, holding a banner in front of the podium, and not allowing the guy who was there to speak. It was lauded as activism and the guy speaking was criticized for tearing their banner. Because he was a Republican.

When people go criticize the BS that's going on now they're reported as "mobs" and "bought off by insurance companies". Pelosi lies completely by saying they're wearing swastikas.

There's a huge rally happening in DC September 12th. I intend to go. Let's see how that's reported by the media. If they cover it at all.

There is no news anymore. It's propaganda pure and simple. I'm even losing faith in Fox.

By Tripmasta on 8/10/2009 3:13:37 PM , Rating: 3
Hahaha Fox News!?! A reliable source? It seems to me that Fox tends to run more biased, sensationalist stories than any other news organization I can find, aside from the ones who openly embrace one political stance or another. I feel low every time I read one of thier questionable articles.

Fox News - that explains so much about you FIT.

- Justin

By Spacecomber on 8/6/2009 12:08:08 PM , Rating: 2
Can you give me some more information on what peer-reviewed source this study of bias in the AP coverage was published in, or is it simply someone's online blog post?

By MrBlastman on 8/6/2009 11:02:53 AM , Rating: 3
Seriously. They all offer the same AP rehash on almost every site. Only when you go to local news do you find any different content and that isn't all the time.

If Murdoch intends to start charging for all his online news properties, he really has his hands full. I do visit Fox's website (and CNN's as well), along with many other news sources, and I have to say - the quality of the writing of some of the articles on both Fox's and CNN's is atrocious. I don't think a day goes by where I read an article and go "What?," several times in the article and have to re-read just to begin to make sense of it all.

If they actually hired writers who could make coherent sense, or rely on half-blown, half-polished AP articles it would go a long way towards making it a more pleasant reading experience.

If this fool *really* wants us to pay for it, then he darned well better up the bar considerably. As is, online content on some of these major news websites have a long way to go. Sure, there are some people who could give two hoots about a nice, flowing sentence and one that actually feels good to read - but many times, actually most of the time, you will find far better written pieces in print media; that is, unless you go to more obscure news-source areas of the internet.

Good luck with this, Rupert. If you simply think you can add a "pay now" button to your websites and people will gladly start shoveling money into your pants, continue taking your medication and living in your own private mental paradise.

By Machinegear on 8/6/2009 2:42:34 PM , Rating: 2
the quality of the writing of some of the articles on both Fox's and CNN's is atrocious. I don't think a day goes by where I read an article and go "What?,"

As usual. You have written very well. I didn't ask myself "what?" once while readying your post; and I agree, the news organizations you mentioned are dupes of each other only differing in the political party they favor.

RE: The market will pay what the market will bear.
By Samus on 8/6/2009 6:28:03 PM , Rating: 2
the thought of this guy sleeping with a thai hooker makes baby jesus sad

By bodar on 8/6/2009 11:21:38 PM , Rating: 5
In a related story, the hooker was none too pleased either.

By kattanna on 8/6/2009 10:36:33 AM , Rating: 3
you mean the "feartainment" that is at the core of every "news" website/paper/tv show nowadays isnt your thing?

i completely agree.

By Mitch101 on 8/6/2009 11:20:50 AM , Rating: 2

"Find out which major food is being recalled because of salmonella tonight on the 10 o'clock news."

Hey why not be a responsible network and just tell people instead of trying to boost ratings for the news and say more info on that and other news tonight at 10'. Who knows you might save a few people getting sick of dying.

By Tripmasta on 8/10/2009 3:24:10 PM , Rating: 2
That's a very good point - its just one of the problems inherent to a profit-based journalism model.

Its similar to health insurance, in my mind. The incentive is to maximize profits, return dividends to shareholders, and stay competeitive. This means that the corporations do not have society's best interests in mind.

I'm sure I'm about to be called a solialist or something for saying that...

By bubbastrangelove on 8/6/2009 12:58:00 PM , Rating: 3
Hey, sucka! Shut up Murdock, crazy fool! You ain't gettin' me no plane this time and if I wake up on some landin' strip again I pity da fool!

By therealnickdanger on 8/6/2009 1:19:16 PM , Rating: 2
LOL Well said.

By Smilin on 8/6/2009 10:35:53 AM , Rating: 5
I for one fully support Rupert Murdoc in this endeavor.

He's a prick that inserts bias and agendas into every news organization he puts his hands one. I look forward to the day when all of them are gone and this just might make it happen.

God speed Rupert!

By Brandon Hill on 8/6/2009 10:39:41 AM , Rating: 5
While I agree about the bias (specifically with Fox News), corporations like NBC and specifically, MSNBC, are no different.

MSNBC has just as much bias as Fox News although they just aren't quite so in your face about it.

By mdogs444 on 8/6/2009 10:48:56 AM , Rating: 5
MSNBC has just as much bias as Fox News although they just aren't quite so in your face about it.

They don't have to be - especially when their CEO is an economic adviser in the white house for Obama.

By Brandon Hill on 8/6/2009 10:54:52 AM , Rating: 3
I did not know that. Thanks for the info... seems like it would be a conflict of interests.

By therealnickdanger on 8/6/2009 11:27:24 AM , Rating: 5
It would be... in a sane world.

By Ammohunt on 8/6/2009 1:53:04 PM , Rating: 2
Keith Oberman is not in your face? That guy is poster child for the current administrations neo-socialist party; angry, ill-informed and confused.

By Iaiken on 8/6/2009 2:01:52 PM , Rating: 5
He's not really a "poster child for the current administrations neo-socialist party; angry, ill-informed and confused". He just plays one on TV. :P

By Brandon Hill on 8/6/2009 3:58:57 PM , Rating: 4
There's a difference. Olbermann is the only raving ranting lunatic on MSNBC. Chris Matthews is a little crazy, but not to the level of Keith.

With Fox News, you've got Hannity, Beck, and O'Reilly -- but that's to be expected. Every channel has its top loudmouths.

The thing with Fox News is (and something I don't see so much on on MSNBC) is that all of their programming for the most part shares the same venom-spewing hatred for the Obama administration that I don't see on MSNBC. I'm talking about the morning shows (with that Ducey or Douchey guy -- whatever his name is), the afternoon shows, and the late night shows.

When you can't find at least a few positive things to say or have to go full-on attack mode 24-7 on an administration, I have a problem with that.

With Fox News, it's almost about finding every possible negative thing possible about Obama from "Is he a terrorist/muslim" during the campaigns to "Does he have a valid birth certificate" to "He is guaranteed to fail" today.

I can't take it when one network or one group of people is so negative about every damn thing that a person/administration does. It just drives me CRAZY. Likewise, I hate it when a network is kissing someone's ass all the time.

I wasn't President Bush's biggest fan, but I don't think he was nearly as much of a disaster that people make him out to be (I disagreed with the whole Iraq war thing). Obama's been in office for less than a year and Fox has already burned him at the stake.

By SteelyKen on 8/6/2009 9:13:53 PM , Rating: 2
Brandon, they would not be spewing so much venom if there was not an audience for it. There has to be a demand if they keep supplying it.

These days no matter if you lean left, right, or in between there seems to be a news outlet tailor-made for your view on the world.

By Ammohunt on 8/7/2009 2:46:55 PM , Rating: 2
I bet people like you in the 30ies thought the same thing about news media that couldn't find anything positive to say about Adolph Hitlter and his "Administration".

By Tripmasta on 8/10/2009 3:33:44 PM , Rating: 2
Neo-socialist party? That's about as accurate as portraying neo-conservatives as Nazis.

Stop regurgitating these socialist claims every time someone tries to use taxpayer dollars to improve our society.

Don't Count Murdoch Out Yet
By utahduck on 8/6/2009 10:58:56 AM , Rating: 3
Most newspapers are losing money left and right trying to figure out what to do. At least Murdoch realizes that giving your content away and "just throwing up some ads" is not a viable business model. If anybody can figure out how to make news profitable again, it will be Murdoch.

RE: Don't Count Murdoch Out Yet
By Bateluer on 8/6/2009 11:09:43 AM , Rating: 2
The solution is simple, obvious, and staring us right in the face. Ebook readers with cell phone wireless. User buys a Newspaper sub for less money than a dead tree edition, its downloaded directly to their device at 0600 every morning, ready for them to read. It can be saved to a number of other devices for archival and storage, rather than tossed in the trash or recycle bin. The distribution costs are virtually nill, you won't need large printing presses and the resources to support them, etc, so you can focus on reporting the news.

RE: Don't Count Murdoch Out Yet
By utahduck on 8/6/2009 11:20:55 AM , Rating: 2
I'd love to see it, but I think the up-front costs are too much. If they could put those eBook readers on some sort of subscription cost. You know: you get the reader for "free" or at a minimal price but you need to buy $30 of content per month for the next 2 years type of deal. Much like the cell phone business model.

Until then, eBook readers are too far out of reach of most people... especially in this economy. Believe me, I so dearly want one!

RE: Don't Count Murdoch Out Yet
By Bateluer on 8/6/2009 11:30:20 AM , Rating: 2
I have no problem with them selling an ebook reader at a vastly discounted price with the purchase of a set subscription length, say 2 years. Cell phone companies do this all the time. Sign a 2 year contract, get a free phone or major discount on a higher end phone.

RE: Don't Count Murdoch Out Yet
By Iaiken on 8/6/2009 2:07:46 PM , Rating: 2
I doubt it will be too long before we see some sort of large flexible screen that people can display purchased print media on. Such a device would be large enough that it is comfortable to hold and read from and allows users to rapidly traverse information like they already do online.

Oh it is to dream...

RE: Don't Count Murdoch Out Yet
By Dobs on 8/6/2009 11:29:56 PM , Rating: 2
at 0600 every morning

So where do you go for 'Breaking News'?
This is all I pretty much look at all the time, because I get to choose what is important... no what the newspaper thinks is important for me.

Yea right...
By Breathless on 8/6/2009 10:27:57 AM , Rating: 2
LOL. This guy is going to waste all kinds of money and resources trying to do something that is impossible. Once you give something for free, you can't take it away. People won't have it. It will be like when Obama screws up healthcare. Once it happens, theres no coming back.

This would be like trying to end medicare.

RE: Yea right...
By RjBass on 8/6/2009 10:30:04 AM , Rating: 2
Your an awesome fortune teller.

RE: Yea right...
By Smilin on 8/6/09, Rating: -1
RE: Yea right...
By Breathless on 8/6/09, Rating: 0
RE: Yea right...
By nafhan on 8/6/2009 11:22:19 AM , Rating: 2
Once you give something for free, you can't take it away.
It's actually more along the lines of "you can't expect people to pay for something when it takes less effort to just get it for free elsewhere."

By 91TTZ on 8/6/2009 10:28:00 AM , Rating: 5
Meanwhile, I'll get my news from one of the other 879827398273 sites that offer the content for free.

2 simple reasons why this will fail
By nafhan on 8/6/2009 11:16:39 AM , Rating: 2
1. It's possible to make money with the free ad-supported business model. It's easy to find MANY examples of this without even trying very hard (DailyTech, you guys are making money, right?)
2. At least some of his competitors will realize this

If he's not making money off his websites, it's a problem with his corporate structure and/or the content they are delivering, not the internet!
Just a thought, but maybe News Corp and others need to seperate the "news" business from the newspaper and content distribution business. The first is information and the second is creation of a physical product. These are seperate things and should be treated as such.

By TheEinstein on 8/6/2009 12:22:16 PM , Rating: 2
And there is no way he will sink himself. If this starts to fail fast, and if the whiplash is severe enough, he will revert on a dime.

This strong talk is to try to make it sound like he really will, so he can get investors to back it, so he can try to get others to do the same, and so forth.

The issue I see is his websites are memory intensive, huge downloads, they refresh automatically at and that eats bandwidth. He has a lot of ways to slash costs on that and not reduce the quality.

First he needs to fire his whole internet development team, I mean utterly murder the bunch, then go out and say "5 people wanted, html or php geeks, to develop something we can put stories up in, and headlines"

Hire 10 such teams and pit them against each other for a hail mary of a prize. That prize is their groups names/company name embedded in the pages of his websites. Plus free press wont hurt either :P

Good luck Murdock . . .
By blueboy09 on 8/6/2009 7:58:18 PM , Rating: 2
Never will I pay for news its like asking CNN to charge me $10/mnth just to see the anchors on the screen. - BLUEBOY

RE: Good luck Murdock . . .
By LumbergTech on 8/6/2009 8:41:33 PM , Rating: 2
same...i will never, ever, pay for news

By Zensen on 8/7/2009 3:37:55 AM , Rating: 2
As unfortunate as this sounds, someone has to pay for quality journalism (whether or not you think the news that comes out of news corp is worthy.. if you don't then you will not care whether they force this onto you or not.)

And if the current model is not producing the profits then you might as well run a hack-eyed blog that most often than not has a very biased opinion, poorly written which sounds more like advertisement or an article taken word by word off another blog with a few words changed here and there.

It has been proven to be somewhat successful in places but whether or not this has a flow on effect is something one must worry about when you crave for free news everyday.

By Tripmasta on 8/10/2009 3:44:34 PM , Rating: 2
Chris Anderson, the CEO of Wired magazine, recently released a book that explores how organizations can use free content to make money. It's really good - I recommend checking it out. Anyways, companies such as Google give products away for free, and make good money while doing so. It's just about readjusting the model - as newspapers and record labels are figuring out. It's about finding a way to monetize a reader's time and attention, or your own reputation.

In the case of news, perhaps they should still offer it for free, but offer premium content to paying subscribers. Perhaps they should try to make money via ebook distributions, or even code some really cool applications to display/interact with thier content, then charge for that. The point is that a company can give something away for free, especially due to digital distribution. There are other areas that can be leveraged to generate profit and the free content could even be a great tool for attracting consumer attention...

- J

By mofo3k on 8/6/2009 10:27:42 AM , Rating: 1
<10 years later>In other news, News Corp filed for bankruptcy today. It's seems that this fossil of a "news" organization failed to attract or keep any subscribers who say, and I quote, "You mean they want me to pay for something I can get for free?".

Just throw ads up like every other site and get over it already. Actually, I'd rather you didn't and just go away, personally.

By Belard on 8/6/2009 8:13:28 PM , Rating: 2
10 years?

How about 1-2 years. Maybe if he had reporters and not a right-wing propaganda machine, maybe more people will watch his show.

.. other than idiots who can't read or write.

By Iaiken on 8/6/2009 1:56:05 PM , Rating: 3
Let me see...

Lobbying to get internet users to pay per kb? Check!
Making it your company policy to charge for online content? Check!
Ensure customers cannot view the same content they have already paid for in print on the internet for free? Check!
Pay for said online content with advertising? Check!
Lobby to make sure internet users are charged for the ads bandwidth? Check!

Did I miss any?

By holymaniac on 8/6/2009 2:22:00 PM , Rating: 3
Glad to hear. Fox is mostly Right Wing propaganda anyway. Please omit them anyway - even if they don't charge.

By an0dize on 8/6/2009 10:35:55 AM , Rating: 2
Rupert Murdoch. Murdoch said Wednesday that, "We intend to charge for all our news websites. We will go down in journalism history as either the seminal moment when the industry came back from the internet abyss or this century's version of into the valley of death, rode the six hundred."

Lets hope this works out better for them than the cesspool that is myspace.

And honestly, they could turn myspace right around by ditching the social network thing, renaming it bandspace or something, and making it a place where small bands can gather and get attention and demo their wares. (the only legitimate use for myspace currently)

stop being so short sighted
By cubby1223 on 8/6/2009 10:05:59 PM , Rating: 2
This isn't just about Murdoch or Fox News. This is also about all media companies spanning the entire political spectrum struggling to bring in enough revenue during the internet age. If it can work for Murdoch, then it will also work for the sane media outlets. If it doesn't work for Murdoch, then the future of the news is blogging.

The Future
By Ebbyman on 8/7/2009 11:13:19 AM , Rating: 2
My guess.

The future of news will be Kindle-like devices where you pay one monthly price and get so many subscriptions. You can up tier if you want others (like WSJ). The providers then divide the revenue between them. I think it will be similar to how Cable TV is now. I would not be surprised if in 20 years there is one provider such as Amazon and they are regulated by the government. The framework is already in place by Amazon with there larger Kindle. Other companies such as Hearst and I believe News Corp, are already working on mobile newspaper devices. The issue will be content and Amazon, being neutral in the news reporting space, has the best legs to consolidate all the sources. The long-term future of printed news is nil.

Not I
By Tripmasta on 8/10/2009 3:16:23 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry Mr. Bigwig - I'm certainly not going to pay for news content. Perhaps you should read Chris Anderson's new book about Freeconomics - there are ways to turn free content into a revenue stream. Just look at Google!

- Justin

"When an individual makes a copy of a song for himself, I suppose we can say he stole a song." -- Sony BMG attorney Jennifer Pariser

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