Government to “help” newspapers?

The US Free Trade Commission – yes, a wing of governemnt –  is thinking of stepping in to “help” out media companies, namely online newspapers which are having trouble turning a buck, namely ’cause most people don’t bother clicking on the ads. Still, reading the article, it may not be as bad as perhaps first reactions tell you it is – may. It seems a lot of it could be easing off on taxes, anti-trust leislation, and cross-media ownership. And that’s pretty good at first glance.

Of course the dinosaur of the industry, Rupert Murdoch,  thinks online newspapers will die unless people are made to pay.  He reckons readers should cough up the cash because, wait for it, “Good journalism is an expensive commodity.”

Why yes, Rupert, yes it is. And that’s why your papers should remain free. Apart from a few standout journalists here and there, most newspapers, and not just his, are riddled with propaganda, puff pieces, lazy investigative work, and stuff many non-journalists can do quite easily. Take bloggers for example.

Is Rupert jealous? Frustrated? That in many instances, the blogosphere has shown up the MSM? Either way, if all news outlets made us pay, it would spell the end of – or at best a very damaging blow to – blogging.  He realises bloggers feed off the media – for free – quite often, but doesn’t he also realise the media feeds of the blogosphere – for free -, too?

Ariana Huffington isn’t impressed.

“It’s time for traditional media companies to stop whining.”


PS Rupert, why don’t you charge more for the ads? Just like on TV, nobody really wants to look at them. So why do TV ads cost so much, yet online ads at major newspapers don’t comparitively? And besides, you’re not really short of a buck.

From my Death of Blogging post:

“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.”

Posted in Media. Tags: . 9 Comments »

9 Responses to “Government to “help” newspapers?”

  1. Carpe Jugulum Says:

    I think Murdoch is missing thre point, the successful blogs who charge for content are offering their audience (both accepting & dissenting) an avenue to air their opinions & arguments on a topic and giving the ability to air their views/beliefs.

    Many blogs use Paypal as a voluntary way of contributing, and there are blogs i contribute to because i like and admire the worldview they present or the opportunity to express my opinion on a given topic.

    As a case in point – i subscribe to the yearly event run by the Day By Day cartroon, why, because i enjoy the work done and am happy to pay a price for it (In the free market i call it value for money).

    As for Guvvmint bailing out these entities, WHY????, this is a business, if someone attempts to provide a service noboby wants why, WHY?????, should they persist on guvvmint largess, they are flogging a product no one wants.

    Is this too hard for the O’messiah too see, or is the failure of GM under guvvmint money a point in case where putting your hands in your ears & going (“la la la la la la , all is well – or not”) considered a prudent business model.

    Thats my rant – and see i didn’t swear once, am i a fuckin legend or what. Oh shit i swore….oh fuck sorry.

  2. lucanas Says:

    Murdoch plans to put News Corp content, including from UK newspapers such as the Sun and the Times, behind a paywall and has threatened to remove it from Google’s search index and Google News.

  3. lucanas Says:

    “We are its prisoners while we remain in ignorance of our plight and believe that this ‘world’ is ‘real’. It is not. It is a projected holographic illusion very much along the lines portrayed in the first Matrix movie.”

    It’s all smoke and mirrors, like Climate gate. The trick is finding which pill you might take and is society willing to take the blue or the red pill? Even looking at your computer screen it only exists if you turn it on, you look at it, you read it, you pay your electricity, you respond to it by actions etc.

    Climate Gate is the tip of the iceberg and I’m sure there are many other industries which are doing the same thing.

  4. Shelley Says:

    I myself think it’s foolhardy of any media outlet to cut circulation online by limiting the amount of traffic to those willing to pay per view. It’s often while linking to comments elsewhere that outlets get the circulation that keeps their brandname front and centre, thus making advertising on the site viableI.
    I’m inclined to agree that if the billion odd profit during a GFC is insufficient then you need to look at charging more for advertising, not limiting market exposure.

  5. kylieJ Says:

    It’s all nicely planned before it happens. Eg. contracts with football teams, events that can make money. it seems like it might be happening but we know it’s all GENERATED and preplanned by everyone to create the ‘instant’ stories. it’s not.
    Some news events ‘as it happens’ (few), but most news stories can be created anytime to fill the pages and airtime of television. More than likely, they’ve already prepared for 2010’s ‘news” stories to fill for the 20 min news time slots or events to print already.
    So media outlets produce what we think is truth it may not be and knowledge is selective when it comes to publishing. There’s clients to keep by chane?

  6. Google vs Rupert « The Tizona Group Says:

    […] am — bingbing Google CEO tells Rupert, don’t blame us. Maybe the gubnit can help poor Rupey. Posted in Media. Leave a Comment […]

  7. Don’t let the bastards keep you down « The Tizona Group Says:

    […] More. Posted in Rant of the Day. 3 Comments » […]

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

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

  9. bray Says:

    Most media empires screw workers and then hire freshly ‘groomed’ graduates, who’ve been conditioned to think they can smell news. I expect Virgin Airlines does the same.

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