Online Journalism: Fall 2009

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For Discussion: Rupert Murdoch’s Paywall

This Week, NewsCorp’s Rupert Murdoch announced that he would pull all newscorp content out of Google’s search index once his company’s paywalls were ready to go.

Here’s what the Wall Street Journal (a NewsCorp company) had to say.

Here’s TechCrunch’s take

And here’s the New York Times’ roundup of other’s opinions

What’s YOUR opinion? Is this crazy? Is it smart?

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Filed under: Readings

3 Responses

  1. Jeff says:

    I agreed with Techdirt in the “News Corp. considers a Google ban,” who said abandoning Google is a “huge step”….off a cliff. Then Mark Cuban spoke referring to Google as “so 2008.” He might be right. Maybe news companies can survive online through social media networks. I would not want to be the first company to try it. But it is an interesting and gutsy idea.

    The article “WSJ.com says good bye to Google” really had me thinking about the money issues. If cutting Google out takes away 25 percent of the web site’s traffic, will this affect how much advertisers will pay if there are less viewers. And can charging the common viewer make up the difference in money? I like the end of this article. It’s true. If one person knows a loophole of visiting a pay site without paying then the whole world knows.

    “Murdoch’s Google Gambit” puts all the possible ideas and scenarios (the ins and outs) that could happen by ignoring Google. I liked the article for that reason, but it did not add much after reading the previous two articles.

  2. Murdoch is a frustrated old man.

    I don’t know, I’m a bit torn. It’s not as obvious to me as I assume it will be to others in class that this is a bad idea. He’s right about the click-throughs, that probably isn’t bringing him much revenue and a lot of people don’t even click through but just read the blurb the aggregate writes.

    I think (free) news is just going to have to move towards a mom-and-pop sort of landscape. Journalism demands some passion, so it will be the small folks that pursue it at an income that lets them get by. If you demand a massive conglomerate empire making millions a year, your probably done in this biz. The point that the pay/login will jut push people to find the info elsewhere is valid, and that elsewhere is going to have to be small new start-ups that have to begin building respect and credibility.

    On the other hand, sources that have become institutions do have some loyalty already that I think will make a smaller base of dedicated readers pay for content. The journal may take in less $ than fifteen years ago, but probably can still turn a profit by blocking content entirely and charge for it.

    Mark Cuban had an interesting comment, sort of talking to the point Dan made about where he comes across most of what he reads. “Having to search for and find news in search engines is so 2008.”

    As far as goodbye to Google and 25% of traffic, it does make a certain amount of sense to forgo the traffic. Traffic doesn’t equal money, especially with online advertising rates low.

    Corey Doctorow is pretty funny. Also, is the unheard of venture capital thing a reference to something specific in the works that I should know about, or does he literally mean something unheard of, whatever-may-come?

    Steve Rhodes may or may not have a point. Only way to find out is to test it empirically.

  3. Sean Stillmaker says:

    We have to stop giving away our product for free. The pay model doesn’t work if only Murdoch’s publictions do it – this needs to be every news outlet.

    Murdoch suggests that paying online daily would be cheaper than buying a newspaper and I’m open to that. .25 cents a day or $5 dollar a month, deals can be worked out. As Murdoch mentions, the internet killed the music industry – it has never been tougher for new upcoming talent to make a living, and it’s true.

    News outlets can be the first entity to navigate and create a successful business model out of the internet because at the end of the day people know how vital our job is, they will pay for it, just like they’ve been doing for the last 100 years.

    The more informed you are the farther ahead in life you will be. This is a universal thought and the dividing line of dedication to this ideal can be one’s willingness to scrap a few cents together.

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