Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Australian Tries To Stir Up Support For Murdoch's War On Free, State News Media

By Darryl Mason

From The Australian :

Criticism from who exactly?

Let's go to the story and take a look :

ABC managing director Mark Scott will this week attempt to hit back at mounting criticism...
note : "mounting criticism"
....of the public broadcaster's role in the internet space which commercial media companies say is threatening their business models.

So, the mounting criticism is coming from "commercial media companies."

Now there's a surprise.

The debate is heating up...

The debate is heating up in the pages of The Australian, who are now trying to convince an overwhelmingly skeptical public that they should pay to read Murdoch media news stories online.

The debate is heating up after Rupert Murdoch, chairman and chief executive of News Corporation (owner of The Australian), again urged media companies to adopt online payment platforms for news at the World Media Summit in Beijing.

One of the biggest stumbling blocks to creating a new model is taxpayer-funded content appearing free on websites such as those of the ABC and BBC.

Taxpayers getting their news for free from news sites that their taxes pay for? Fucking outrageous!

Rupert Murdoch is just plain terrified.

"We find ourselves in the midst of an information revolution that is both exciting and unsettling," Mr Murdoch said.

Anyone else feeling unsettled by this information revolution, by the greatest free exchange of information, art and knowledge in the history of mankind?


Said Rupert Murdoch, who's now losing billions :

"The presses are now silent at some of the world's most famous newspapers -- they were supposed to report on their societies, but somehow failed to notice that those societies were changing fundamentally."

So this Great Media Visionary is telling us that newspapers are going out of business because they failed to notice the dramatic changes erupting across the societies they are reporting on?

What's the problem here? As Rupert Murdoch said back in 1989 :

"If someone goes bust, too bad."

Back to Digital Rupert 2.0 :

"The Philistine phase of the digital age is almost over."

Really? You think so?

"The aggregators and plagiarists will soon have to pay a price for the co-opting of our content," he said.

But will the Murdoch media pay for all for the content they "plagiarise" from other news media they do not own, along with the reams of content they find for free at Facebook and Twitter, and lift without credit from Digg, Reddit, TMZ and dozens of other independent blogs, aggregators and alternative news sites?

Fuck No.

Mr Murdoch said if media companies "do not take advantage of the current movement towards paid-for content, it will be the content creators....who will pay the ultimate price and the content kleptomaniacs will triumph".

I've written ("created") more than 2 million words of free-to-read blog content in the past four years (not including the content I've kleptomaniacised) and the only price I've paid is spending many hours doing something I love, making a whole lot of new friends and developing deep interests in subjects I probably would have never cared much about at all if I hadn't felt the drive to write about them here, and at Your New Reality.

Anyway, enough of Digital Rupert's hilariously 20th century opinions.

Let's get back to evidence of the "mounting criticism" as claimed by The Australian :

Chris Wharton, the chief executive of West Australian Newspapers, which is also examining online charging for its news, said the ABC was "the elephant in the room in this debate".

So, we've got Rupert Murdoch and Chris Wharton. And that's it.

The Murdoch media reports on "mounting criticism" coming mostly from Rupert Murdoch. The criticism is "mounting" because The Australian keeps reporting on Murdoch's criticism of free news media.

That's not a news story. It's corporate media PRganda.

Anyway, the ABC isn't the only Australian news media giant that intends to keep allowing readers and viewers to access its news content for free.

reveals that NineMSN has vowed to keep its news content free, as its hundreds of thousands of daily readers have come to expect.

NineMSN CEO Joe Pollard
(excerpts from her blog statement) :

The debate over charging for online news content intensified again last week after a number of independent research studies showed this to be an immensely unfavorable strategy amongst those surveyed.

As Australia’s largest online publisher, ninemsn is frequently asked about our own business strategy when it comes to revenue generating streams for our news product. For the record, we do not intend to charge for our online news content.

As premium, innovative and differentiated as our news product is however, introducing a charge for our audience to consume it is just not part of ninemsn’s game plan…but nor is this really what the “paying for online news content” argument should be about anyway.

At ninemsn, we firmly believe an advertiser-funded model is what Australian audiences expect and accept when it comes to the consumption of online news....it’s a model that’s proven and tested…and if it continues to be available as professionally produced, freely and easily as it is now, audiences will continue to vote with their “feet”.

Charging audiences for online news content they can currently access for free is like putting a toll booth in the ocean…and it’s a big ocean.

And unfortunately for Rupert Murdoch, he's no longer the biggest fish. He's more like a lumbering whale being vigorously pursued by a million little fish, constantly nipping away, slowing him down, diluting his influence, subjugating his once formidable power and control.

Now that's a free media in action right there.

And something to be celebrated.

July 2, 2009 : John Hartigan's Idiotic Claim "Bloggers Don't Go To Jail" Becomes International News

August 2, 2009 : The Orstrahyun Hails Murdoch's 'Death To Free Information'

August 10, 2009 : Who Just Lost Another Few Billion Trying To Convince You That Celebrities Are Important And That People Who Don't Look Like You Can't Be Trusted?

Murdoch Media Asks : Michael Jackson, Not Dead?

September 17, 2009 : Rupert Murdoch Celebrates Death Of Newspapers : "It's Going To Be Great!"