I don’t see much point in prattling on and on about these words of wisdom from Rupert Murdoch, but I can’t let this pass without sharing a thought on the subject.
In these economic times, and with these fiscal challenges, I can appreciate Murdoch’s need to keep his eye on the bottom line and attempt to protect the interests of his shareholders (him being high on that list, of course). That he fancies himself some sort of Obama-clone, though, by suggesting he can control our consumption behavior by manipulating the system we use to consume his products is just a bit presumptuous on his part. I’ll give him this; he can effect our behavior, but he can’t remove the word “choice” from it:
“You’ll find, I think, most newspapers in this country are going to be putting up a pay wall,” he said. “Now how high does it go, does it allow (visitors) to have the first couple paragraphs or certain feature articles, we’ll see.
“We’re experimenting with it ourselves,” he said.
He dismissed concerns that readers used to getting news on the Internet for free would be reluctant to pay.
“I think when they’ve got nowhere else to go they’ll start paying,” he said.
I’ll be challenged for suggesting that decent and reasonable bloggers actually help drive traffic to his websites (and often-times to his advertisers) because bloggers exist in much smaller numbers than the casual reading and clicking along consumers…and I’ll grant that there is truth in that. But I can assure Mr. Murdoch that we won’t pay just because he says we have no choice.
He seems to be unaware that the economy driving his
decision need to charge us for access to his news is the very same economy that will make a great many of us incapable of paying for it…even if we WANTED it.
We’ll either just move along to the next site that gives us the whole story, or we’ll get our news by some other means…unless we just stop caring about the news altogether.
That might actually be a good thing come to think of it, given what we’re surrounded by nowadays.