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South Shields premier political blog

Murdoch to charge for online news

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A retrograde step in the wrong direction?

I wonder what other editors and media proprietors think of this one? I thought the basis of the online business model was to attract a huge mass market readership that could be used to attract advertising revenue, am I wrong? By charging to view the news online I can only see Murdoch’s UK titles (such as The Times, The Sun, and The News of the World) losing readers and attracting less advertising revenue.

Perhaps he’d be better served by looking for a decent cost reduction exercise across his media empire whilst the recession bites into his revenue, there are some who earn countless thousands of pounds for penning weekly or monthly articles, and they have other jobs at the same time! Perhaps he might like to think of offering less cash to sporting bodies for exclusive rights to televise on BSkyB, thus reducing the amount of multi-millionaire football players and over powerful super rich clubs, go gone give us the game back Mr. Murdoch you will still profit.

I’m sure some newspapers have tried in the past to sell their online editions, and failed miserably, and by now they will probably have learned that theirs is not the only conduit for online news.

I fear he is taking a retrograde step with this decision.

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Written by curly

August 7, 2009 at 10:45 am

Posted in Journalism, Money, News

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One Response

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  1. The basis of the online business model WAS to attract a huge mass market readership that could be used to attract advertising revenue, but it isn’t working.

    Most internet users are savvy to web ads – study after study has shown people ignore them or don’t click them. Do you use AdBlocker with Firefox? I do, and so do many others. When they do click, Google Ads pays out a pittance in comparison to the cost of producing the news.

    That system doesn’t work, it never will.

    Some suggest all kinds of ways to make money – sponsorship, tie-ins, hosted events, etc. But why should news organisations do this when they can try the simple solution: paywalls.

    There isn’t a right to free news, it’s been paid for for more than a century. It may seem bizarre to contemplate a period in the near future where you’ll pick a single daily newspaper to subscribe to, but its what we’ve all done for decades.

    We’re at an incredible point in history where most of us can read every newspaper and periodical in the world – all for free. It can’t sustain itself.

    You say newspapers aren’t the only online conduit for online news, yet there isn’t a single dedicated online-only news source that comes close to competing with mainstream media’s efforts online. Go through the biggest independent blogs in Britain, and you won’t find much which hasn’t been inspired, pulled or adapted from the mainstream media.

    Don’t get me wrong, I believe blogs and newspaper websites are a perfect partnership, which should be embraced. They each make up for what the other lacks. On the other hand, part-time blogger can never replace full-time reporters, spending entire working days covering the news. There isn’t a single blog in Britain which breaks news stories each day.

    Which is why if every newspaper in Britain put up paywalls tomorrow, the blogosphere would stop spinning.

    David MacLean

    August 7, 2009 at 5:43 pm


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