Thursday, May 07, 2009

News Corp will charge for newspaper websites, says Rupert Murdoch.

Rupert Murdoch is predicting that the current days of the Internet and free access to newspapers is soon to be over.

Encouraged by booming online subscription revenues at the Wall Street Journal, the billionaire media mogul last night said that papers were going through an "epochal" debate over whether to charge. "That it is possible to charge for content on the web is obvious from the Wall Street Journal's experience," he said.

Asked whether he envisaged fees at his British papers such as the Times, the Sunday Times, the Sun and the News of the World, he replied: "We're absolutely looking at that." Taking questions on a conference call with reporters and analysts, he said that moves could begin "within the next 12 months‚" adding: "The current days of the internet will soon be over."

I rely on very few of Murdoch's newspapers to produce this blog, indeed, the only paper of his I ever touch upon is the London Times, but it is a worry that other papers might follow his lead.

It would simply be impossible to continue producing this blog if I was required to pay for each and every newspaper that produces stories which I comment upon.

So Murdoch's decision is one that might bring the blogosphere to a close. Of course, this might also go the other way. I feel that Murdoch does not produce a product of sufficient quality to demand payment and I think that Murdoch's online presence would disappear if he demanded that we hand over cash to read the pap which he produces day after day.

We'll see what happens.

Click title for full article.


daveawayfromhome said...

Murdoch's decision will simply ensure that nobody links to his papers and their stories. Should all news organizations go this route, I suspect new ones will appear that will fulfill their function instead. I think they're trying to stuff the genie back into the bottle here. I suppose it's possible to do so, but you gotta have a lot of hoodoo to do so.

Kel said...

I agree Dave. Nothing he owns is interesting enough to link to anyway.