Saturday, 8 August 2009

Will you pay for Cairns Post online?

So we learnt this week that Rupert Murdoch's News Corp (including the Cairns Post, Innisfail Advocate, Port Douglas and Mossman Gazette) will soon start charging for all of their online news.
News Corporation isn’t doing so hot right now, with massive losses as newspaper income has fallen. Murdoch plans to charge for all online news content with a goal to change the Internet landscape from free to paid content.

“We intend to charge for all our news websites … If we’re successful, we’ll be followed by all media,” Murdoch said.

Here’s what News Corp announced in their results...
  • The other segment reported a fourth quarter adjusted operating loss of $136 million and full year adjusted operating loss of $363 million, a decrease of $79 million and $279 million as compared to the prior year periods, respectively.

    These declines were primarily due to lower contributions from Fox Interactive Media (FIM) and NDS. The decline in FIM operating results was driven by lower advertising revenues at MySpace and increased costs associated with the launch of MySpace Music.

    The lower NDS contributions reflect the sale of a portion of the Company’s ownership stake on February 5, 2009. As a result of the sale, the Company’s portion of NDS operating results subsequent to February 5, 2009 is included within Equity earnings.
The Wall Street Journal already charges for online content, however and the New York Post is still free to access.

According to The Guardian, Murdoch has essentially declared that the free-for-all in online news has ended. He says that good journalism isn’t cheap and while the web has made distribution cheap, it has not made it free.

He hopes that we'll pay for news content, however I doubt this as the Internet is founded on open access principals. With millions of alternative news resources around, it's a big bet to ask for online subscribers.

The plan to start charging will start with the Sunday Times website, probably next month. The print edition sells over 1 million copies every weekend in the UK.

NewsLtd plans to charge to access all their websites within the next 12 months, however if the Sunday Times trial is a flop, I doubt they could sustain such a plan.


nocturnal congress said...

What makes the senile old fart think we WANT to read his rubbish online? I dare say all of his high paid "executives" are too obsequious to tell him the Emperor is as nude as and no-one wants to buy his paper crap any more. There are literally thousandas of websites where anyone can wander in to find out about crap like whatzername Madonna and Britnney Speers and two headed babies blah blah. Even my old Mum no longer buys "Women's Weekly" or "New Idea". "Full of advertisements and them silly young American tarts," said old Mum.

Sud Walker said...

The Sunday Times plays a significant role in beating the drums of war. In the last few years it has ratcheted up the pressure on Iran, with a number of shock-and-awe scare stories (this is just an example)

It does seem a little onerous to be expected to pay for war propaganda.

I wonder if each copy of the Sunday Times will come with a gaming machine, so readers can enjoy the latest (and up and coming) wars in vivid sound and motion, with opportunities to participate and strike a blow for freedom?

Lucky draw winners could get to fire a remote-controlled drone at any location of their choice inside Afghanistan/Pakistan - like the old 'Spot the Ball' competition with an edge. Murdoch could call it 'Blat Bin Laden!'

Did I miss my calling when I decided not to throw in my lot with the Evil Empire?

debbie said...


Wendy said...

Simple answer, NO.

Syd Walker said...

Nice one Debbie. A reminder never to leave a rhetorical question unanswered on a blog like this.

While it's still 'free', I'll quote a little from Murdoch London Times.

Yesterday's online edition includes a delightful article entitled: General Sir David Richards: Afghanistan will take 40 years

Britain’s mission in Afghanistan could last for up to 40 years, the next head of the Army warns today in an exclusive interview with The Times.

Investors' tip: Britain's prosthetic industry has a secure long term future.

I have no animus against Britain, but if Australians continue to follow people like Sir David Richards we're even madder than him.

Continuing to allow a near-monopoly of our print media by one war-mongering magnate, who uncritically promotes the crazed agenda of nutters like Richards, is a recipe for disaster. In old fashioned language, it's a 'national security issue'.

What nationality is Rupert Murdoch anyway? Nominally, he's a US citizen. But at a deeper level, he's a Zionist. That's his primary loyalty. It stands out like the proverbial dogs-balls.

A couple of years back, Murdoch announced he'd gone through a personal belief-shift over climate change. He was distancing himself from Climate Change skeptics.

Well, maybe he has, maybe he hasn't. It's not clear from News Corp output. In this country, some of his columnists such as Andrew Bolt fervently argue the skeptics case. His influential head-kicking Fox News in the USA does the same in trumps.

So if Murdoch is now apposed to the Climate Change skeptics, he certainly allows debate to run within his Empire. Arguably, that's as it should be within a giant media Empire such as News Corp. There should be a diversity of views.

Contrast that with the freedom to express anti-war or anti-Israel views within News Corp. Was there ONE News Corp editor who came out strongly against the Afghanistan or Iraq invasions - or Israel's latest major assaults on The Lebanon and Gaza - anywhere in the world? if so, please let me know.

Wake up people, for goodness sake. To paraphrase John Lennon, you can have peace if you want it. But we must start getting real about why we don't actually get peace - even though most people do want it.

Who pushes BOTH major parties - in Britain, Australia and the USA - into absurd, irrational, destructive, costly and unpopular polices?

It's time to start naming names and limiting the ability of these people to do yet more harm. A truly rational society would treat them as its most dangerous criminals.

Rupert Murdoch is high up on that list.

Nick said...

Pity Rupert does not have dreadlocks . According to Wikipidia "Zion" stands for a Utopian place of unity, peace and freedom, as opposed to "Babylon," the oppressing and exploiting system of the western world and a place of evil.

Thaddeus said...

You wonder if it is the loss of money or his steadily waning political influence which worries the senile old fart most? I couldn't be happier that some predatory Chinese narcissist has him in her clutches demanding he leave his empire to their kids. There is going to be more to that story...wait and see!!