Rupert Murdoch Predicts the Downfall of Free Newspaper Websites

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Zazubovich

what has there been worth paying for?  Media consolidation is what destroyed the newspapers, combined with the right wing takeover in the 1980s.  AS the number of newspapers and other media outlets were concentrated into fewer hands, the companies owning them became larger and larger and dominated by right wing ideologues like Rupert Murdoch and Lord Black.  As much as the right wing partisans would like to claim that all reporters, editors, and opinion columnists are equivalent to Che Guevara and Trotsky, the reality is that even the allegedly liberal flagship NY Times is run by the old boss' kid, as much of a bozo as GW Bush.  That is why there are only Republicans on the Sunday talk shows, only Republican talking points in the media reprinted in the same order as they show up on the blast faxes from the RNC by drones like George Will, Charles Krauthammer, Bill O'Reilly, Fred Hiatt, David Broder, Bobo Brooks, and on and on, useless repeaters of factless fact lists.

The internet is free and that is why the right hates it and wants to start billing for content they receive free from their political allies.It is the only part of the "Mighty Wurlitzer" where the drones can ask questions back, even if they are the wrong questions, or express defiance against the system of conservative ignorance, stupidity, torture and murder.

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majorsuave

Who will pay for a newspaper online when 10000 others newspapers/news sources offer their content for free?

Online ads are probably a better way to print money, a well designed internet news site can attract people from all around the country, not only yahoos from the 3rd byroad. 

A paying model could be used for "premium content", Experts comments on politics, sports and such and maybe video content. I already send Mr Murdoch my dollars for premium content on IGN network.

Or an even more complicated model could offer, like cable companies, news/entertainment/sports content a la carte by offering customers packages of predetermined websites. 

 

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MRrelabled

The problem is big business, and not just bad business models "just take a look at economy" and bad business leaders. News papers take in money from large companies like Circuit City, and didn't invest it the actual production and distribution of their product. Big Corps buy up little papers, limit local news, increase prices for local advetisers, and print out unreadable papers. Then to they also fail to understand that there are still a lot a people that don't have computer, don't use their computers for more than email or have computer so loaded with junk they're unuseable. TV stations aren't much better, less local advertisers, more infomercials and "ask you doctor comercial". Basically big business wants money without providing a actual productive service, this is why our economy is in the crapper.

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jwalch.hawk

Print isn't dead.  Recently the author a reasonably popular webcomic (xkcd) announced that he plans to release a book of his strip.  Several others have stated similar intentions or mentioned seriously considering it.  Why are these guys, whose work was from inception on the Internet, turning to paper?  Print isn't dead.

What's dead is the daily paper model.  I fully agree with all the previous comments saying that distributed content wins here.  It beats a daily paper in speed of reporting (tough to beat nearly instant-speed blogging), in level of detail (freelance writers have more freedom to elaborate if they choose; bloggers are sometimes also inside sources depending on the story), and often even in quality of writing (hell, a fair number of bloggers used to write for papers).  These guys still have a chance to stay alive, though, and in print no less. A couple of notions (deeply flawed, but still stand a better chance than the current daily model):

1) Customizability.  My selfish generation digs this shit.  Actually, I think everyone does.  Rather than offering a single daily paper, allow people to subscribe to sections.  This introduces a nightmare and a half in terms of subscription management, to be sure, but it has advantages.  Not all that many people read their daily paper from beginning to end (though certainly some do).  I think customers would like this.  It would also allow them to potentially expand sections.  Pricing is important here too - by introducing a lower cost option you have a pretty good chance to allure more subscribers.  I might not be willing to drop the dough for a subscription for a year to the NY Times...  But would I consider spending a fraction of that to get a section I'm interested in?  Different story.  Good chance to make money here too...  There's nothing that says if you have ten sections that you have to charge a tenth as much for each as you had for the whole thing before.  Maybe a seventh, or a fifth.  Charge a little bit more for popular sections or sections your paper chooses to "specialize" in.  Lots to work with here.

2) Get out of daily.  This would require a drastic change in journalistic approach, and is probably undesirable for that reason.  Nonetheless, scaling back to weekly or slower changes your content from what the primary desires of a distributed model are.  A weekly paper is typically a more abstract recap of the week's events, leaving out the detailed coverage you'd see in a daily.  It's not trying to be immediate and scoop anyone (generally speaking), and it's not trying to give much detail.  It's just a summary of what happened through the week, all in one place.  In my experience, this is actually something the distributed model isn't as good at.  For example, the other day I noticed I'd gotten like 4-5 days behind in content on this site, and so I was catching up.  Needless to say, it took me a while to get through the past five days according to MaxPC.  On something more frequently updated, forget it.  There's too much detail there for it be useful as a summary.  Even if folks have already seen most of it in their daily perousings, a weekly recap is still useful for the big picture and seeing if you missed anything major.

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MeTo

I pay for the web for E-mail and home page. Everything else is a bonus!

Linux Mint,Duel boot/Vista,AMD Athlon+ x2 5600,3 Gig ram,500 Gig HDD,ATI 1300 Video.

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Cache

While I don't think we'll ever see an 'internet only' option for the news, I think newspapers are essentially a dead end.  I think television journalism will continue just fine, and local news will probably be picked up by them in the interim.  There will likely be an increase in 'citizen-journalists' to fill in some of the gap, but this will vary wildly by location.  I can see television embracing the citizen journalist more as a means of obtaining a good lead on a story, but until some people are able to express their work in a solid editorial manner this level of journalism will have some very painful growth spurts.

Newspapers simply require too much physical overhead, are utterly dependant on resources like ink, paper, buildings.  It may take time for them to die, but they will die.

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JohnMD1022

And it doesn't apply just to the newspapers, but to the major media in general.

When they started parading advocacy and editorializing for journalism they wrote their own obituaries.

When the Baltimore Sun, during the 2002 Maryland governor's race commented about Michael Steele 'The only thing he brings to the ticket is the color of his skin', they helped sign their own death warrant. And were too stupid to realize it.

An objective view of the 2008 presidential campaign shows just how far from objectivity the media has strayed. Their overall reaction to the recent Tea Parties has only reinforced it.

 People are not stupid, yet the media (and the government) seem to feel an obligation to treat us as though we are.

It's all transient, and their time has passed.

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JDK

You want to know what else is a "flawed business model"....old guys from a bygone era trying to predict the future of internet services or acting like they know anything about the internet at all.  Newspapers...in print or online...are dead as we know it.  Pointing to one success in a sea of massive failure doesn't change reality.

The flaw is that they began giving it away for free from the start.....and only now are they going to charge....too bad theres a million other free sites or services one could go to for accurate information no matter what sort of information a person is looking for...including local.

Newspapers cant get there from here. 

FAIL.

 

The one thing this does teach us is the ability to recognize a catalyst for three words that encompass a much bigger picture than just newspapers:

 

Print is Dead. 

 

 

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Tekzel

He is right.  But only because newspapers as important sources of news are dead.  In the future there will be more reliance on distributed sources like blogs and such.  I think the days of the "media mogul" are over, to be honest.  He is from a day when one person could control the dissemination of news, and he is just sad to see his control of the media waning. 

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Nastyman

Actually you are not getting the News for free. I don't know about you but I have to pay an ISP to get on line to begin with, so in a sense you are paying for the news and anything else that is "free".

 Nasty

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Yusonice

remember what fat bastard from austin powers said about his sagging neck? Looks like a v*****. Now that neck reminds me of him

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MeTo

 I think only the cream of the crop newspaper will be able to survie on the paid subscription model the rest will fade away. Come on can't you find any new's you wan't on the internet for Free!

Linux Mint,Duel boot/Vista,AMD Athlon+ x2 5600,3 Gig ram,500 Gig HDD,ATI 1300 Video.

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