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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 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.

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