Rupert Murdoch plans to charge for online news content

If you're a reader of The Sun, The Times or the Wall Street Journal, or if you just do most of your news reading online, there's a strong possibility you've stumbled upon a news website run by News Corp.

You've probably accessed News Corp's online equivalents of their newspapers for free before, but if Rupert Murdoch has it his way, all of that will change. According to an article from the BBC, News Corp is looking for new ways to bring in the cash, having made large losses this year, and charging for their online news websites is one of them.

Rupert Murdoch, chairman of News Corp, said "The digital revolution has opened many new and inexpensive distribution channels but it has not made content free. We intend to charge for all our news websites". He added, "quality journalism is not cheap, and an industry that gives away its content is simply cannibalising its ability to produce good reporting."

Subscription models are nothing new: numerous news websites have used them before. However, some believe that the media companies decision will lead others to follow suit.

It seems News Corp is looking to avoid making another £2 billion net loss this financial year, although Rupert Murdoch is still sitting comfortably high in the Forbes 400 list. While the company owns some of the most popular newspapers in the UK, US and Australia, some people have doubts that the subscription model will succeed, with such a large amount of free news websites available on the net. According to the BBC article, Rupert believes that charging users between 5-10p per article could be successful.

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Better luck next time Rupert. Nobody in their right mind is going to pay for news on the net. There is far too many free sources to get the daily news, local television stations post the news, as do local newspapers. Think this one a second time, Rupert 'ol chap.

They tried it up here in Canada, and it failed big time! So now, all the sites are back to free! Some people just don't get it! This old goof cares only for money, and puffs on about journalists. Like he gives a damn. He's layed off so many people since rippin off the news from other internet sites. Journalism doesn't exist anymore. I cant wait to see this monopoly fail too!

Well, I'm know there are better sources than Fox for news, but if it comes down to me having to pirate my news, then so be it.

I'd stop far short of calling The Times "quality journalism". Charge for news on the net!? The speed at which information travels nowadays makes it certain that this will end badly for them.

Oh look, people with pithy comments regarding Fox News original.

That being said, if certain sites go to a pay system, it won't work if 100% is paid access. The point of news is to get out information to the masses. If site A is charging $20/year lets say, and site B is charging nothing other than the occasional banner ad or popup etc...then site B is going to receive the traffic. Lets not forget that there are many different news sources like the AP, AFP, Reuters and so on...News Corp is big, but the best sites (imo) are aggregates like Drudge that take a melting pot approach with interesting stories and link to multiple sources. So when News Corp charges, they simply get the story from a competitor.

With online media evolving, there's not much point for "exclusive" stories, as they'll spread across the web to alternative sites, thus making the subscription model worthless. Op-ed articles are pretty much the only thing you could charge for, but are we really facing a shortage of opinionated blogs preaching to us one way or the other?

Look at ESPN - They have the "insider" subscription service. Does anyone actually subscribe to that and find it worth the money? I know when I see the dreaded logo indicating the article is part of the insider package, I'll simply skip over it and continue on to something else.

Hmm, it is not surprising. The paid-by advertising model has not worked for the major broadsheets, hence the reason why the FT and Wallstreet Journal have hybrid pay-subs and free content to view. That however, is for Financial Broadsheets, if News Corporation can pull it off for general readerships it will really help their bottom line. The question is: is the non-mainstream news groups (i.e. Blogs, Non professional journals) a big enough content provider to provide a real alternative to the big News chains. How would they, for example finance journalism coverage in Iraq or Afghanistan? Everything has to be paid for at some point. Adsense doesn't and hasn't covered the overheads.

If you're a reader of The Sun,

quality journalism is not cheap,

No matter how many times I read it I can't find the part where the article changes topic completly somewhere between these 2 points....

He added, "quality journalism is not cheap, and an industry that gives away its content is simply cannibalising its ability to produce good reporting."

LMFAO! More like quality right-wing propaganda and **** talking.

Shadrack said,
LMFAO! More like quality right-wing propaganda and **** talking.

I guess we should only have quality left-wing socialist news services then, right? It all comes down to your beliefs... There is not an ounce of quality journalism coming out of CNN and the major networks these days.

Sazz181 said,
I wanted to put that in the article, I really did, but they wouldn't let me :P

Wait wait wait... You wanted to put your left wing propaganda into an article... to complain about... right wing propaganda? DERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR.

That's called "Left Wing Hypocrisy". You should get that checked out.

News Corp is one of the few places left where real journalism is still practiced. I have yet to read a story from any of their companies, including Fox News that does not give both sides of the story to allow the reader to decide for themselves. The rest of you socialist drones out their who get their news from BBC, ABC, NBC, CNN and the likes are being brainwashed by liberal journalists who tell you what to think about everything. I couldn't immagine why any self respecting middle class citizen would want something like the socialized medicine that Obama is touting. If government healthcare was so good, why do people from all over the world come to the US when they need real quality care? Our government is already mismanaging Medicare and Medicaid, does it make sense to give them even more responsibility so they can screw that up too? I'd rather make my own health care decisions and so would the vast majority of Americans. To hell with you liberal weenies!

rafter109 said,
..I couldn't immagine why any self respecting middle class citizen would want something like the socialized medicine that Obama is touting. If government healthcare was so good, why do people from all over the world come to the US when they need real quality care?

Ok, i get it.
Dr House
Grey Anatomy.


Woah, way to throw in some opinions about healthcare into there! And as a medical researcher, I'm not content to let it slide.

Some people come to America for healthcare, it's true. Why, just the other day I saw an ad on TV about some woman from Canada who came here and said the US system is so much better than their socialized system there. (Care to guess which companies sponsored the ad?) On the other hand, healthcare is unaffordable for tons of people. I remember reading a few years ago about how many Americans were flying out to India for a number of surgical operations, because it was prohibitively expensive to do it here but in India it was dirt cheap (and the hospitals were like resorts - or so they claimed).

Listen up. If people don't go to the doctor and get rid of diseases at the early stages, then treatment to keep them alive and/or remove the disease later costs a lot. I'm talking man hours and drugs, resources that translate to money. It's a resource drain on the hospital, and society that has members stuck in the hospital and/or working while bearing a disease is also less productive. It's also not very beneficial to society as a whole if individuals have to file for bankruptcy in order to undergo certain operations to simply stay alive.

Furthermore, you have for-profit companies deciding whether or not to pay for these life and death situations. People like to believe that the free market comes into play here, but it's a load of rubbish. This isn't a matter of choosing to buy a car, where you can walk away if you think the price is too high. How much would you pay to save your life? I'd give up everything I own - and there's the problem. No, the problem isn't that I value life too much, the problem is that I (and virtually every single person who doesn't have a hint of depression) are ripe for being taken advantage of.

Is government healthcare perfect? No, of course not. Is our current system perfect? No, of course not. Both systems have their shortcomings. Yet on the whole, the United States has some embarrassing (horrifying, even) statistics when you compare us to other developed, wealthy nations on a number of health issues (the one that receives the most attention, and you may be familiar with, is our newborn mortality rate vs. the rest of the world). Make those comparisons, and you'll realize that we spend tons upon tons of money compared to these other nations, and our results are not any better - if anything, they're worse.

This isn't about making your own healthcare decisions. It's about recognizing that healthcare is important, not just for you, but for society as a whole. Like it or not, you're not an island, nor are you living alone on one. You're linked to everyone else here. In this case, one healthy individual benefits many others; one sick individual is a burden and potential threat. Even if you're not big on thinking in a "for the good of society" manner, you should recognize that the health of those around you, impacts you. It's in your best interests (and mine, and everyone else here) if people in society are healthier. But don't worry - you don't have to pay for those costs alone! Everyone in society would help, because everyone in society would benefit. That's fair, and benefits us all.

Ledgem said,
Woah, way to throw in some opinions about healthcare into there! And as a medical researcher, I'm not content to let it slide

As a cancer patient who also required a transplant... I really don't want anyone mucking with my health care. My personal philosophy is the government can't do anything correctly and it turns into a big comedy of errors. They should enforce regulations that lead to a fair and open market, and that's it.

And I really don't get this bru-ha-ha about health care. My coverage is $95/mo. I could easily forgo things like satellite TV, my cell phone, or get slower Internet in order to "find" the money. I'm in my 30s, so that's not a cheap early-20-something rate.

Aforementioned insurance is not paid for by my employer, and is a private policy I took out when I was in my early 20s. I think the problem is that young people are too "invincible" to realize they need it. Or they rely on employers. The end result is that they never qualify when it's the most cheap. The advantage of getting your own policy -- it never goes away, COBRAs don't exist (thus you don't get ripped off if you lose your job), you can be self-employed, whatever, and you still have it.

Seriously, what's next, government provided car insurance? I mean, we *have* to have a safe way to get to the office! Finding my health policy took me a whopping 90 minutes, and has saved me millions in cancer care. My out-of-pocket has been trivial. And contrary to crazy propaganda, no "for profit company" has been standing between me and my treatments.

I think we *do* need to get everyone covered, but force them to buy their own insurance by law. Then, deal with the "preexisting conditions" and people genuinely too poor to afford it. If you have cable, a car, a cell phone, flat screen TV, but can't afford insurance, you're priorities are a little off.

What scares me is that medicare is a disaster... Ask any doctor and they utterly detest dealing with it. They dictate treatments by setting reimbursement rates, etc. I really don't want the same people responsible for medicare to handle my insurance.

The problem with this whole issue is that people are always talking about everyone else... Ask an insured patient with a critical condition if they want health care reform, and the answer is going to be "no". Why do the politicians persist? Because it's really easy for someone to muck with something they don't actually need, unlike some of us.

There are always multiple sides to every coin.

As for the original story, News corp should charge. So should AP and Reuters. People thinking they deserve stuff for free is a crazy attitude. Adverts don't pay all the bills. My parents generation never had this attitude. If they wanted the news, they got a paid subscription. Now everyone wants free music, news, videos, and on and on. Someone somewhere has to pay, or else all content ceases to exist. People don't work for free. The alternative is a world like Minority Report where marketing follows you *everywhere* and companies like Google store as much personal data as the credit bureaus. I don't know about you, but a $100 newspaper subscription seems reasonable in comparison.

The only news site I would actually pay for is The New York Times; I don't want them to go bankrupt like in EPIC 2015.

I would agree to pay for objective journalism based on facts and evidences, but subjective journalism have a motive to change minds of others in order to benefit from it so subjective journalism will do it for free. To pay for subjective journalism would be as same as to pay for propaganda or advertisement.

lol - good luck with that. As long as sites like BBC continue to give very good impartial news on a nice clean, quick, website plans to charge on sites that Murdoch owns will fall flat on their face!

Nothing brings in readership in the middle of an economic downturn like starting to charge money for the same news that other sites cover for free

The only way I could see them getting a fee going on their sites is to load them with ads then give you a monthly subscription to take em away.

im sorry but i cant see people paying money to see the skynews website it has to be the worst news website in the world.

people in england will just use the bbc news website since we already do kind of pay for it anyway

M. Murdoch would have had a very valid point about the cost of "quality journalism" (after all, it costs a lot of money to send journalist, get information, do research and make article that helps readers forge their own opinion) if quality journalism was part of the News Corp portfolio ... The Sun, COUGH!

Quality Journalism? Most news sites nowadays just copy the associated press articles from each other and call it a day.

If you have a product to SELL, then have a GOOD product FIRST.

Beastage said,
Lets not forget FOX(ed) News as well ;)

They are over the top but it is a nice break from liberal media outlets.

"Must raise taxes, must provide universal healthcare, must support affirmative action...."

Intelman said,
They are over the top but it is a nice break from liberal media outlets.

"Must raise taxes, must provide universal healthcare, must support affirmative action...."

I'll second that, and besides, they have the highest ratings out of all of the news outlets.

wow, this is stupid, I thought thats why they had this thing online called ADS! oh wait they have those in newspapers too and we still have to pay *rolls eyes*

It's the internet, there were always been tonnes of free alternatives. Some people will pay, but the vast majority will just choose the free option over the costly option.

No one is going to pay for online news. And if I were at some point to subscribe to a paid news service..... News Corp isn't getting a penny from me.