Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Emporer can talk all he wants about content but it's still a shit sandwich

What's he waiting for? Don't you just wish he'd hurry up and do it?
... RUPERT MURDOCH: We'll be charging for online wherever we have publications, certainly be doing that in Australia and Britain and this country.

REPORTER: Okay, and anymore precise plans for Australia? Any specific online publications you'll be looking at next?

RUPERT MURDOCH: It'll certainly be all of our publications and you know, we'll see how it develops and it wouldn't surprise me if Australia's, you know, a couple of months behind the other countries. ...
PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, Rupert - put your crap excuse for journalism behind a pay-wall now.

Action: Whenever possible, spread the idea that everyone would love Murdoch's output to be behind a pay-wall. The sooner the better!


  1. We should not underestimate Murdoch's ability to bend Governments to his will. If he is planning to put up paywalls, he will no doubt also be planning to have laws enacted to make it difficult to make do without access to news providers such as himself.

    So, I see the pay wall as probably more a threat to us than Murdoch. What we need is a new business model, in which the community most likely throught the taxation system subsidises all providers of Internet content in some proportion (not necessarily linear) to its actual meaured value to the community.

    I am sure ways can be found to measure the work out how valuable any article is. An obvious starting point would be the number of recorded downloads.

    As laothe as I would be to give any money to Murdoch, it wouldn't hurt to subsidise his publications in return for

    1. An editorial policy of objectivity and balance;

    2. Guaranteed non-interference by Murdoch in editorial decisions. Perhaps Murdoch could be put at arms length from hiring and firing'

    3. Right of replty to people or groups whose views are attacked.

    4. A massive reduction in advertising (which we would all end up paying for anyway).

    The same conditions could apply to all commercial content providers.

    Another essential component would be a massive expansion of Government media outlets, but with proper guarantees of editorial independence.

    In this way we could see a lot more quality journalism in both the private and public sector and a lot more people able to earn a living be creating content instead of the current situation where there are few openings for journalistic careers and nearly all those who do wish to express opinions on issue of public importance have not choice but to do it in their spare time for free.

  2. Unfortunately, almost totally disagree with you on this!

    Firstly: unlike you, we believe that Murdoch is completely beyond redemption. Hopelessly welded to his evil ways. It's his evil empire, he can do what he likes.

    Secondly: There is no place whatsoever for 'public' media in the corporate model. It would be very easy to get back ABC and SBS independence and scrap all the quasi commercial crap designed to weaken their independence - all those bogus deals like ABC books, magazines, merchandise etc.., they need to be totally funded by the public. There will always be corporate media, the problem is dominance and undue influence.

    It should be unacceptable to have the current degree of Murdoch infiltration of ABC radio and TV. It gives him unearned credibility and lowers that of the ABC.

    A radical model would be something like opening the borders to foreign funding with some rules about local partnerships and local staff/editors. Nobody to own more than one newspaper, no exceptions. Worked well enough in the past, until the 80s Brisbane had 3 profitable competing papers.

    All TV and radio kept in diverse ownership and control.

    ACCC to monitor anticompetitive mega ad deals (e.g. NewsCorp/Harvey Norman)to ensure competitive ad rates for smaller enterprises.

    All government advertising in corporate media banned. They can use ABC, internet, postal system if there is some really legitimate message we need to know, in fact they can make it compulsory to include it in commerial media news if it so important to our wellbeing.

    That's all just a stream of conscious rant, but you get the general idea.

    PS: Agree with the general idea of a minimal 'creative wage' of some kind but most definitely not for anything drawing pay from the corporate media. Sorry, Murdoch already pays virtually no tax and gets tens of millions from the taxpayer in bogus ads dressed up as 'announcements' and 'awareness' adverts.