Rupert Murdoch
Photo via Wikipedia


Rupert Murdoch is now planning to charge for all of the Newscorps. online sites. In a bold move, Murdoch told investors, that among other things, traditional newspapers must change and that he must start charging for all online sites, including sites like Foxnews.com. Murdoch told investors: “The digital revolution has opened many new and inexpensive methods of distribution,” . . . “But it has not made content free. Accordingly we intend to charge for all our news websites,” he said.

While normally I respect Murdoch as a savvy business man, he has built what was a joke of a UHF channel into a world-wide presence that owns such respected publications as the Wall Street Journal, the Boston Globe and of course Fox News, which kills it’s competitors at almost all time slots. However, this is just a plain boneheaded move. I am a fan of Foxnews, I go there ever day nearly. However, I will not pay a single dime for a news site. If the most ardent conservative isn’t going to pay for this, just who does he think is going to? I understand charging for the WSJ. The WSJ gives very vertical analysis and unique perspectives that you perhaps cannot get anywhere else (although I’d argue that there are many sources where you can). However, the same cannot be said of sites like Foxnews or Marketwatch. I can get the exact same data from places like Reuters and Google. The fundamental problem with pay to view schemes like this is that there will always be a free alternative. Unless you have some added value, people are not going to pay for news. Murdoch complains that revenues are down, yet reports are that that Foxnews’ profits are up 50% over last year, and that is in a down economy.

So, if Murdoch doesn’t want to “give” us his material, fine, I will stop going to his web page, starting now. I won’t go to marketwatch or foxnews.com. The big winner out of moves like this from both the AP and Newscorps. is going to be Reuters. While Reuters may not be the most conservative site ever, indeed they have the same liberal bias as the rest of the MSM, they provide very good coverage of the news and they have never made any rumblings about charging for their data. Reuters has lots of companies (such as Westlaw and Reuters Financial) that charge for services, but their general news sites (including their financial analysis) is quite good and free. Of course, there is also the BBC, CNN, Barons, Bloomberg, etc. that will also benefit from this same move.

Rest in Peace Newscorps and I’ll TTYN.

Maybe Olbermann was right for once:


Worst Person in the World