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."
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."
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.