Thursday, September 17, 2009

Murdoch Celebrates Death Of Newspapers : "It's Going To Be Great"

By Darryl Mason

It's not just smirking bloggers and feisty independent New Media snarking over the Death Of Newspapers. Now Rupert Murdoch, who convinced a generation of British fathers in the 1970s and 1980s that they should be proud to see their 18 year old daughter's tits on Page 3 of The Sun, is joining in the newsprint grave dancing :

"I do certainly see the day when more people will be buying their newspapers on portable reading panels than on crushed trees.

“Then we’re going to have no paper, no printing plants, no unions. It’s going to be great.”

But the monopoly of distribution and political influence he once enjoyed, and exploited, with newspapers is gone forever. Now Murdoch's news has to compete in the ultimate free market, as he tries to force readers to pay for news that they will (soon after it breaks) also be able to find elsewhere on the internet for free.

Murdoch has also announced plans to increase prices for the cable sports programming he controls. He believes News Corp. has been “undercharging". Australian subscribers to premium Fox Sports channels will be surprised to hear that.

The first example of how Murdoch's YouWillPay! system will work, as far as news and opinion content is concerned, comes with the announcement that :

The Wall Street Journal...will start charging non-subscribers $2 a week to access content on mobile devices such as the BlackBerry, he said. Current subscribers will be charged $1.

So even if you already pay a few hundred dollars a year, or more, to access The Wall Street Journal, Murdoch's going to hit you up for another $52 a years minimum to read it all on your hand screen.

The headline on this Financial Times story reads :
Murdoch Hails E-Readers
Like he has a choice now.