The death of blogging?

British Library - Sporting Times 02/09/1882  p5 (The Ashes)

NEWS Corporation chairman Rupert Murdoch has given his strongest indication yet that the company’s newspapers will charge for their online content within a year.

And then this.

Mr Murdoch added that that if News Corp were successful with plans to charge for online journalism, “we will be followed by other media.”

How many news sites do bloggers link to? How many news sites does the average surfer visit? Imagine if we had to pay for every one of them. Let alone even if we did, how much of the said blogger’s audience would have paid for that particular newspaper’s site, too?

But yet this.

But the company believes the worst is over, predicting its adjusted operating profit for the 2009/10 financial year will increase by a “high single-digit” percentage.

And this.

The publisher of The Wall Street Journal, The Australian and Dow Jones Newswires posted a loss of $US203 million ($241m), or US8 cents a share, for the quarter, compared with earnings of $US1.1 billion, or US43c a share, a year ago.

So financial crisis aside, which screwed everyone, and when News Ltd was still providing a ‘free’ online news service, Rupert made 1.1 BILLION dollars… and yet he still wants to charge us! And when many of us work for free for his blogs!

I smell a rat, a rat so big Left-wing bloggers should be concerned, too.

If Murdoch wants to bury his own ‘newspapers’, fine. Actually… no, because it will bury a Golden Era where the public was no longer restricted to but a few news sources but could freely roam the globe thanks to the WWW and see this perspective up against that perspective in ways past generations could only have dreamed of.

And now Murdoch (if his business model is successful and other outlets follow suit [even though other outlets have FAILED already trying so]) wants to ruin that, which will ruin the blogosphere, and most likely, seriously hurt his business.

Mr Murdoch’s comments came as News Corp reported US$680 million in writedowns and other one-off charges largely related to the company’s social networking site, MySpace.

So get rid of MySpace. Facebook kicks its arse anyway.

But please Mr Murdoch, don’t get rid of the best thing to happen to news since the printing press was invented.

More at Bolt’s perhaps-soon-to-be-deserted palace.

His soon-to-be tomb?

If Murdoch is successful at this, other media outlets will follow suit. And that’ll be the end of blogging, both Left and Right wing.

No more discussion. No more debate. No more alternative viewpoints. The end.

16 Responses to “The death of blogging?”

  1. Vulture Says:

    I think you’re failing to factor in the manifold ways that the Free Market can fill a vacuum. While old-media morons like Murdoch (and, most likely, the NY Times) will go pay-per-play, other smaller players will make the most of the situation by remaining free and relying solely on advertising. Yes, advertising dollars are down NOW. But they know full well that they’ll be back. And they also know that the word-of-mouth goodwill for their sites will pay off in increased patronage not just for their “free” stuff, but for their “for purchase” stuff as well.

    • bingbing Says:

      It’s kinda moot, anyway. Rupert may well try making us cough up but it probably won’t last long.

  2. mythusmage Says:

    It would be more believable if your lips wouldn’t twitch so much.

    • bingbing Says:


    • Carpe Jugulum Says:


  3. boy on a bike Says:

    This is great. Tim Blair might go back to having his own site, not that rotten Telegraph thing.

    • kae Says:


    • Angus Dei Says:

      I stopped reading Blair after he moved exactly because the user experience is so far inferior at the new place. New Blair= New Coke= Epic Fail.

  4. Carpe Jugulum Says:

    I’m not so sure with the pay to play with the Murdoch press, yes, a certain core group would pay the $$, but more people would gravitate to online media that had no cost involved.

    To take blogging as the example, many people use it as a means to engage with people of similar views or to have a conversation on their topic of choice. Where that has a dollar value attached people, (being people), will gravitate to an arena that doesn’t have a dollar value attached.

    Perhaps in time they may make the choice to pay for access but that would be a minority, this would in turn kill off some of the current lively debate and lead to a more bland forum where everyone agrees with each other, (super dull).

    If high content blogs such as Guido Fawkes or Ace of Spades or on a local front Boltas page were to suddenly go PAYG the numbers would take a major hit which would lessen the debate & comment and as such would be a poor choice.

    Short version – pay to play = sh1t idea

    • bingbing Says:

      Exactly. And how’s the blogosphere going to function well if every news outlet makes you pay? Even if the said blogger subscribed, will every member of his/her audience have done so?


      And how many different news services do bloggers link to?

      Hence the piccy.

      Anyway, Rupert’s dreaming. He might start charging and a few things will happen. 1: His audience will disappear. 2: It’ll be temporary because it will most probably fail like it has every other time. 3: The other news providers will enjoy increased patronage.

      However, if somehow this does work, and other news providers do follow suit, it will kill blogging.

      Thanks, Rupert. Fuck you very very muuhuhuch.

  5. 1. something Says:

    I think it could work if other incentives were offered.

  6. Angus Dei Says:

    I’m not worried because I just don’t think it will work. Since the internet started people have been looking at subscriptions to generate money, and they never really work except for niche players who cater to well-heeled clients. Sites with massive traffic and ad revenue are much better at the information game.

    Then, there are two-tier systems that offer ad free versions for a small fee, which is a viable paradigm also: If you are annoyed by the ads and you have the cash to make them go away, fine, but if you’re a poor internet denizen, you can still get the content.

    I think the old fart just doesn’t get it, frankly.

    Hell, I don’t even register for FREE subscriptions anymore: After a few of those, my inbox was filled with spam, and who the fuck needs that crap?

  7. nilk Says:

    I already pay per view for blogs. It’s called cable internet and costs me a nice price.

    Re blogs, well I’m happy to support those that I believe need support – Michael Yon is one who gets a little bit from me each month, as is BioEdge ( Australasian Bioethics).

    If the product is worth it, and people want it, then they will pay.

    • bingbing Says:

      Do you think that applies to News Ltd?

  8. mythusmage Says:

    This “death of blogs” stuff, were you trying to tell us something?

  9. Will Rupert make us pay? « James Board Says:

    […] more on whether media mogul, Rupert Murdoch, will set up a pay wall for his online newspapers, try here, here, here, here, and […]

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