Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Going...... going .....

Nearly time to crack open the champers!

Online charges to recoup losses: News Corp:

News Corp reported a fourth quarter loss of $US203 million ($241 million), in line with its forecasts.

Across the fiscal year the company recorded a $US3.4 billion ($4 billion) loss...

Mr Murdoch has also indicated that access to News Corp material on the internet may soon come at a price.

"The extended downturn has only increased the drum beat for change, but the secular challenge is clear," he said.

"Classified advertising revenues will never again reach the levels that print once offered.

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


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. (I asked Stop Murdoch to delete the post because there were a few emabarassing gramatical errors. Here it is again:)

    Can someone please explain to me what bearing the cost of quality journalism has on the woes of the Murdoch empire?


    Anyhow, as I keep saying, the private for-profit business model, whether through some form of subscription or though advertising, cannot work on the Internet, that is, without totally ruining it for most of us.

    If businesses such as Limited News can't run at a profit, then why can't we look at some way to publicly fund the provision of content on the Internet?

    I heard, maybe 5 years ago now, that it cost British taxpayers all of 50p per year to pay for the whole of the BBC web site ( At the time private content providers didn't like it and were trying to pressure the British Government into emasculating it, so I don't know if they made any headway there.

    Nevertheless it demonstrates the phenomenal economy of scale once we discard the clearly inappropriate private for-profit business model.

    As nearly everyone would stand to benefit enormously, how many would seriously object to contributing, through the tax system, to a pool of funds that would allow those who now put up excellent content to earn a decent living?

    It wouldn't be hard to devise a formula that would ensure that those who created better quality content (as measured by popularity, the only practical way that I can conceive of) would earn more, whilst every capable contributor would at least achieve sufficient remuneration to meet all their basic needs. I would use a formula based loosely on the log (or logarithm) of the number of downloads. This would give very popular contributors considerably higher incomes, but not incomes which are obscenely high as would be the case if a linear function were used instead.

    Of course this is only likely to work properly in a healthy economy, where there are plenty of other means for people to earn decent livelihoods in fulfilling ways.

    Otherwise the likely glut of contributors could be problematic.