ABC Chief Scott Slams the recent vicious and wrongful attacks by the Murdochs on the BBC
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  ABC Chief Scott Slams the recent vicious and wrongful attacks by the Murdochs on the BBC

ABC Chief Scott Slams the recent vicious and wrongful attacks by the Murdochs on the BBC and reminds the world that Sir Keith Murdoch attacked the ABC in Australia in the early days of Australian television in the same way..  ABC Chief Scott goes on to say that the attackes are based on self financial interest of the shareholders of News Corp  which is controlled by the Murdoch family and not in the interests of the people of Australia and Britain...and the rest f the world that relies on the independant investigative journalism done by the BBC each year,

USA News Media discusses the Modus Operandi of  Rupert Murdoch and his News Corp take over of the Times of London and the Wall Street Journal which leads Rupert to his final take over that he needs to have completed control of the world's media, so that generations to come will have only Rupert News to read, which is only the news Rupert wants you to read, depending on which political party or what business enterprise group Rupert is backing on the day...

Report Out Foxed Part One

Rupert Out Foxed Part Two

Rupert Murdoch..."I just brought the Wall Street Journal, now I'm off to London to use my media power to get David Cameron and his Tory Party Elected who are going to help me buy the BBC"

A brief look at  Keith Rupert Murdoch's News Corp Media Empire growth from a small insignificant newspaper in Adelaide, South Australia, to the media empire that controls the world that has made Rupert Murdoch the seventh, or may be the most powerful man in the have to hand it to Keith Rupert Murdoch,  who has been very convincing to investors to get them to hand over the billions of dollars to him, to make it possible  to expand his media empire...that had been the real secret of Keith Rupert Murdoch's success...being able ot obtain hundreds of billion of dollars of other people's money, (banks, and private investment money) to fund each new level of expansion..without the  hundreds of billion of dollars of other people's money, Keith Rupert Murdoch would still be running a little newspaper in Adelaide, South Australia....however the investors who have invested their life savings into News Corp may be asking the question now.."have we done the right thing"...because News Corp is now losing about $4 billion a year....and unless News Corp can take over the BBC or have it dismantled as an he can get his way to start charging for news content on the Internet..then the writing is on the a few years time News Corp will run out of capital..and there will be no more investors to back News Corp..We know one investor in Australia that invested his life savings of $2 million into News Corp shares and he lost the lot when they went down in value...and there then will be no more News Corp, as no one will be willing to buy all his loss making newspapers that have been sent bankrupt by free content on the Internet and the billions spent on printing presses in Wapping will be only usefull as a tourist attraction to show where the millions of newspapers were once printed that encouraged paper companies ot cut down millions of tress each day to satisfy Rupert Murdoch's daily demand for paper to print millions of newspapers each year.....Rupert can be the tour guide.......that will be a new role for Rupert...Rupert can charge for a tourist guide and information pack ...which he can print on his own printing presses at Wapping which use to be used to print millions of papers each day at the cost of millions of dead trees and the destruction of the rainforrests....." 
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Australian ABC Chief _ Scott slams Murdoch's BBC attack

Radical reorientation: James Murdoch has called for an overhaul of broadcasting regulation Photo: Reuters
Australian ABC Chief _ Scott slams Murdoch's BBC attack

Scott slams Murdoch's BBC attack

Posted Thu Sep 10, 2009 11:12am AEST Updated Thu Sep 10, 2009 12:41pm AEST

ABC managing director Mark Scott has rejected James Murdoch's stinging attack on the BBC, as commercial news services consider charging for their content.

During last month's MacTaggart Lecture, Mr Murdoch said the BBC was crowding out new and existing news providers because of its guaranteed and growing government income, arguing the only reliable and perpetual guarantor of independence is profit.

In his CBA Lecture speech in London last night, Mr Scott dismissed Mr Murdoch's idea, saying that charging citizens to access news was not the way to rectify an existing imbalance "or promote a more meaningful democracy".

"But strip away the lofty language, and you see that the James Murdoch solution is less about making a contribution to public policy than it is getting rid of the BBC's services, effectively destroying the BBC as we know it - a tragedy for the UK - a tragedy for the world," Mr Scott said.

"It would mean ending the mixed economy in provision of news - introducing a purely commercial service would impose a limitation on diversity of views far greater than any we now know."

Mr Scott said there should be public funding for public purposes.

"I do not want the ABC to go down the path were we take an aggressive commercial line, including advertising, to fill our coffers and fund our ambitions," he said.

But Mr Scott did criticise the BBC's licence fee model for being a "regressive tax", with "the burden falling hardest on those who can least afford to pay it".

"Those who use the BBC most are least likely to object to it; those who don't use it permanently resent it; and those like James Murdoch, who want to limit the BBC to the point of irrelevance, are able to piggyback their anti-BBC arguments onto that resentment," he said.

He said in comparison, the ABC model was seen as part of the greater public good, funded through taxation.

"Not everyone watches or listens to the ABC in Australia, but almost universally, everyone is glad it's there. There is a sense the ABC provides unique services, distinctive services," he said.

"At times of national emergency, like the tragic Victorian bushfires early this year, we have an important role to play."

Mr Scott admitted he was envious of the BBC's funding, but was not willing to go down the licence fee path.

"I must say, when I arrived at the ABC, I looked across the lush fields of the BBC with envy. I quickly did the shorthand. Ten times the money, to service three times the population, on a geography - from an Australian perspective - the size of a postage stamp," he said.

"The licence fee that funded the ABC had been abolished for more than three decades. I suspect, had I been asked, I would have been keen to get some of that licence fee action again, but now three years on, I am exercising my option to change my mind."

Tags: business-economics-and-finance, media, information-and-communication, broadcasting, abc,australia, united-kingdom

Murdoch may block Google searches

Rupert Murdoch has said he will try to block Google from using news content from his companies.

The billionaire told Sky News Australia he will explore ways to remove stories from Google's search indexes, including Google News.

Mr Murdoch's News Corp had previously said it would start charging online customers across all its websites.

He believes that search engines cannot legally use headlines and paragraphs of news stories as search results.

"There's a doctrine called 'fair use', which we believe to be challenged in the courts and would bar it altogether," Mr Murdoch told the TV channel. "But we'll take that slowly."

Mr Murdoch announced earlier this year that the websites of his news organisations would begin charging for access.

The target had been for all its sites to charge by June next year, but indications are that this is now unlikely.

News Corp owns the Times and Sun newspapers in the UK and the New York Post and Wall Street Journal in the US.

Newspapers across the world are considering the best way to make money from the internet, particularly in a time of falling advertising revenues.

The risk is that charges may alienate readers who have become used to free content and deter advertisers.

Mr Murdoch has come out strongly against free access online
Is free news a thing of the past? 
06 Aug 09 |  Business
Advertising slump hits News Corp 
05 Feb 09 |  Business


Murdoch slams BBC dominance

By Europe correspondent Emma Alberici and wires

Posted Sat Aug 29, 2009 6:00am AEST Updated Sat Aug 29, 2009 6:35am AEST

News Corporation's James Murdoch has launched a stinging attack against the British government and the BBC in a speech in Edinburgh.

Mr Murdoch compared British media authorities to creationists that believe they always know best, which he said was wrong. Giving the MacTaggart Lecture at the Edinburgh Television Festival 20 years after father Rupert Murdoch addressed the same meeting, he said the lines between different forms of media - television, newspapers and publishing - had blurred but broadcasting alone remained centrally planned. "We have analogue attitudes in a digital age," he said. The government regulated the media industries "with relish", he said, and had created unaccountable institutions such as the BBC Trust, Channel 4 - which has a public-service remit but is advertising-funded - and regulator Ofcom. "The BBC is dominant," said Mr Murdoch, who is also non-executive chairman of pay-TV firm BSkyB. "Other organisations might rise and fall but the BBC's income is guaranteed and growing." While the financial crisis had crimped revenue at rival television companies, he said the BBC's government income, which reached $9 billion this year, is crowding out the opportunities for commercial profit. "The only reliable, durable, and perpetual guarantor of independence is profit," he said.


'Threat to independence'


Mr Murdoch said the BBC was crowding out new and existing news providers. "The scale and scope of [the BBC's] current activities and future ambitions is chilling," he said. "In this all-media marketplace, the expansion of state-sponsored journalism is a threat to the plurality and independence of news provision, which are so important for our democracy.  "Dumping free, state-sponsored news on the market makes it incredibly difficult for journalism to flourish on the Internet." Mr Murdoch said government intervention was curbing free speech and it would be better served by adhering to the principles of free enterprise - namely the need to make a profit - and trusting customers to pay for the news they valued. "It is essential for the future of independent digital journalism that a fair price can be charged for news to people who value it," he said.

Mr Murdoch is considered the most likely successor for the top job at News Corporation when his father retires.

- ABC/Reuters

Tags: business-economics-and-finance, industry, media, information-and-communication,broadcasting, journalism, print-media, united-kingdom, england

Is free news a thing of the past?


By Clare Davidson  Business reporter, BBC News

In recent years, we have grown accustomed to the idea that news is free.

Distributors of free newspapers thrust their product upon you on the street, and much newspaper content is freely available online.

But Rupert Murdoch's latest move could mark a bold change.

The media tycoon has said his News Corp will charge online customers for news content across all its websites.

Alfonso Marone, analyst and partner at Value Partners Group summarises the problem: "Online advertising is not working, so [News Corp] is basically asking itself, 'What can we do'."

Business model

"The challenge with digital media is how to monetise it," says Mathew Horsman, an analyst at Mediatique. A new pricing model has to be developed, he explains.

Analysts cite the Financial Times and Wall Street Journal - which is owned by New Corp - as successful models.

In its recent earnings report, the Financial Times said it was seeking to rely less on advertising revenue - which has fallen significantly during the recession - and more on subscriptions.

But Douglas McCabe, an analyst at Enders, says these websites both fit "very firmly" in the business content category - not the general news model.

They provide specialist news and charge for premium content.

"Businesses [which tend to subscribe the the FT or Wall Street Journal] are used to digitally delivered newswires, they are familiar with paying for news," says Mr McCabe.

But for other types of news, this is not the case.


So clearly, consumers are more keen to pay for some forms or content over others.

People pay when you have given them what they want or you make it "impossible to do anything else", says Mr Horsman.

In this category comes live sports coverage, Hollywood films, and some specialist interest content - in general terms, entertainment.

But for news, it is harder. If, for example, an election is made freely available on several outlets it is unclear why individuals would pay for such coverage.

Today there is huge choice at no cost. Audiences aren't as loyal; they don't need to be.

Newspapers worked because they were a package. But once you start breaking it up, people are far less prepared to pay for segments, analysts argue.

'Oil tanker'

Mr McCabe predicts some forms of charging will emerge and different models will be tested.

"The problem is that it will never be of the monetary volume that is enjoyed today for newspapers."

He says attempts to transfer the old newspaper model online is "like an oil tanker - it's too difficult to turn around".

Newspapers will need to think differently about their audiences and how to segment them as well as think about how to divide content, according to their strengths, he argues.

So the key is to not to have everything freely available - to have a model in which there is free content, but there is also more specialised, bespoke, paid-for content.

"There has to be more to do than watching each other's Twitters. We want narrative and quality," says Mr Horsman.


For others, ease of access is key.

Mr Marcone believes that a micro-charging structure, where readers pay just 5p or 10p to access an article, might work.

"This is less than the price of an SMS [text message]. Each 5p or 10p adds up to a significant number".

But he warns that it would be hard to make people open accounts for individual papers.

Instead, intermediaries could provide access to a range of publications.

Mr McCabe says: "Intermediaries might work, but they won't start tomorrow." In the interim, a mixture of micro-charging and subscriptions is likely to continue.

The news landscape has changed dramatically in the past decade, and so have our news habits.

However News Corp develops its new charging model, it seems clear that media firms will have to try an alternative to both the paid for traditional newspaper and the everything-is-free online model.

Even if News Corp does start charging and others follow suit, analysts say doing a U-turn on the free news model will be hard to pull off.

Some content is harder to charge for
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Breakingviews | Murdoch/BBC

1 Sep 2009 ... Twenty years after Rupert Murdoch attacked the BBC's public funding, a similar diatribe by son James has received a warmer reaction from ...


Breakingviews | Murdoch/BBC

1 Sep 2009 ... Twenty years after Rupert Murdoch attacked the BBC's public funding, a similar diatribe by son James has received a warmer reaction from ...

BBC You Later

Never mind the battle between the BBC and the Blair government. The real nemesis of the all-powerful British broadcasting institution is Murdoch. ... 
Tony Ball.  
(Photo: Chris Young/Press Associatio





BBC You Later

Never mind the battle between the BBC and the Blair government. The real nemesis of the all-powerful British broadcasting institution is Murdoch

Just as Americans are discovering the joys of the BBC—BBC America viewership rocketed during the Iraq war—the world’s most influential and trusted media organization is up against it at home.



The drama isn’t merely over Andrew Gilligan, the BBC reporter whose accusation that the Blair administration “sexed up” the WMD dossier led, in turn, to the government’s war against the BBC and to the suicide of weapons expert and BBC source David Kelly. Rather, the issue with the BBC is something like the issue with all progressive governments, and benighted liberalism, and socially good intentions. Its very success—and the sanctimony inherent in its success—really annoys people.

I just got back from BBC-land. It’s statism of a high order—vast, pervasive, in every pore of everyone’s being. I went to the Edinburgh International Television Festival, which is like going to a great party congress. It is not just that everyone in UK television is there, but that everyone in UK television is of the BBC, or in orbit around the BBC, or, in some psychologically hard-to-parse way, inhabited by the BBC. It is greater than AOL Time Warner (greater than AOL Time Warner, Viacom, Disney, and News Corp. combined). Even greater in its dominance than the monopoly on political and media power held by Silvio Berlusconi, Italy’s prime minister, who personally controls the overwhelming share of his nation’s media. And even this does not, I think, adequately describe the relationship of British media people—or, indeed, all Britons—to the BBC. The Beeb. Auntie.




It may just be more accurate to say that the BBC is Britain. Certainly, the legions of BBC defenders and partisans all but argue that there may not be a Britain without the BBC.

The fight, therefore, to protect the BBC or to dismantle the BBC is a fight for something like the soul of Englishmen everywhere.

The mood of the BBC faithful in Edinburgh was self-congratulatory (self-congratulation seems to be in the BBC DNA), but with a sneer of pugnaciousness. Take your best shot. There was, of course, in every newspaper, and in every conversation, as constant background to the three-day Edinburgh conference, the Hutton Inquiry—the blow-by-blow, who-said-what-to- whom public excavation of blame for the death of David Kelly. It was the Blair government against the BBC. Something like, people said, the independent counsel against Bill Clinton. That big. One might not survive (although there seemed to be little doubt about who might not survive).

And then in Edinburgh, in spirit if not in person, there was the BBC’s other blood enemy: Murdoch. (Murdoch’s papers, the Sun and the London Times, seemed to conclude every day in their coverage of the Hutton Inquiry that the BBC had, for all intents and purposes, killed David Kelly.)

The historic polarity in British society has been upper class/lower class, Labor/Tory, Thatcher/anti-Thatcher. The polarity was now more precisely BBC/Murdoch.



But the themes were the same. The BBC was the Establishment. Murdoch, the rude insurgent. With a certain historical inevitability on his side. Indeed, the success of Murdoch’s multichannel BSkyB—not just a satellite operation but a Murdochian news and entertainment network—was possibly the most significant business development in the UK since Murdoch and Thatcher together broke the unions.

Murdoch’s ranking British executive, Tony Ball, the CEO of Sky (BBC people refer to him as Murdoch’s henchman), was to deliver the main address of the conference, the fabled MacTaggert Lecture, which sets the theme for the British media year (Murdoch himself had delivered the MacTaggert in 1989—in a speech that people still talk about as though Churchill or Enoch Powell had given it; three years ago, Murdoch’s son, James, had delivered the junior version, the Alternative MacTaggert, as his formal debut in media society).



But beyond Blair and Murdoch, there was for the BBC, evident in Edinburgh as well as throughout the country (countless polls were cited), an even larger enemy: public disgruntlement.

It was a consumer thing. A big-government thing. A fuck-you thing. A tax thing.

The BBC, in some prehistoric media logic, is supported by a tax paid by every British household that owns one or more televisions. This compulsory tax, paid by the rich as well as the poor, arrives every year as a bill for £116 ($183). If you don’t pay it (and only 7 percent fail to pay it), the BBC can put you in jail. The tax, which like all taxes is always going up, raises as much as £2.5 billion for the BBC every year (and because there are always more households, every year it raises more). Since the BBC itself collects it, nobody in government can reapportion it or redistribute it—the BBC, unlike every other public-broadcasting system in the world, is not only well funded but well protected from politicians.


Every ten years, there’s a “charter review” in which the budget and performance of the BBC is assessed by a blue-ribbon commission. The next review is in 2006. If the BBC is the most influential institution in British life—the true monarchy—then obviously the charter review is the nation’s most profound political fight.It’s a fight for the public heart—as well as for control of a big bureaucracy. And, of course, it’s also a fight for opportunities. About getting a piece of the pie. Or at least it’s a fight about Murdoch’s piece of the pie. Indeed, some liberals would argue that since it is impossible to be politically successful in the UK without at least the tacit support of Murdoch, and given that Blair and Murdoch have brokered a mutually satisfactory relationship, the BBC’s battle with Blair is just another proxy battle with Murdoch.

Read more: BBC You Later

Read more: BBC You Later

Read more: BBC You Later


RUPERT MURDOCH: BBC CRITICISM: Access this item: Programme Title: NEWS AT TEN Series Title: ITV Late Evening News Year: 1998. Date: 06/04/1998 ...

BBC's Robert Peston in furious face-to-face row with James Murdoch ...

The BBC 's business editor, Robert Peston , was involved in an astonishing slanging match with James Murdoch following the News Corporation chief's speech ... 

Twitter Trackbacks for Roy Greenslade: Murdoch may sue BBC over ...

10 Nov 2009 ... Ruppert Murdock claims BBC steals newspaper content and he will sue (via @robbmontgomery)#twitternewschat ... -

Scott slams Murdoch's BBC attack | Clipmarks

Like father, like son, against anything that deprives them of money ( the sole purpose for being on this planet ) or can't be bought. 

BBC - BBC Four - Audio Interviews - Iris Murdoch

Born in Dublin of Anglo-Irish parentage, Iris Murdoch moved to England with her family at an early age and was educated at Badminton School, ...


The BBC backlash: Thompson hits out at Murdoch - TV & Radio, Media ...

10 Sep 2009 ... Can we not just have a ban on the Murdoch's anti BBC comments? We all know they don't have the industry's best interests at heart, ... 

BBC Sport - Winter Sports - Murdoch starts with two victories

5 Dec 2009 ... World Champion David Murdoch makes a good start to his European Curling Championships campaign.



Peston responds to Murdoch's BBC bashing

29 August, 2009 | By Emily Booth

EDINBURGH: Robert Peston has admitted that the BBC’s offering – particularly its online news – may look like “unfair competition” in a news market where commercial players are moving to charge for online access.



Technology that changes business and changes society

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Of Murdoch, the BBC and Google

An interesting Observer today (for a change) which has prompted some thoughts on the Murdoch/BBC and Google Books debates.


First up, Murdoch. The Observer gave continuing coverage to the reaction following on from James Murdoch's speech in its story about a dinner row between Robert Peston and Murdoch(!) Murdoch's argument, in case you missed it, is that the BBC is "state-sponsored" media and because of the "hypothecated tax" of the licence fee can ride rough-shod over the interests of commercial broadcasters. A comment piece by Will Hutton arguing that Murdoch's arguments at the Edinburgh Television Festival were "specious and out of date" puts the counter position very nicely; Murdoch is hardly without an axe to grind and if we want to look to examples of market distortion then we have his own company, Sky's own past practices to study. It was the voracious bidding for sports rights - cross subsidised by the vast Murdoch media empire - which set up Sky for its own meteroric rise to (pay TV) market dominance. The complaints about the BBC from Murdoch, and other parts of the media, look more like a hurt industry looking around for someone to blame as ad markets go south. Google is the other target, as well as, more generally, "the internet". In fact, the traditional media industry has seen steady declines for years. The biggest problem is not the BBC or the internet but the industry's own lack of foresight in building out multiple revenue streams. All businesses need a mix of models if they are not to suffer disproportionately in the downturn (even as they capitalise disproportionately in the upturn). The healthiest have a blend of cyclical and counter-cyclical models and a spread of markets and sectors. The very characteristic of the BBC that Murdoch is complaining of - the fact that it is too big and is into everything - will probably turn out to be its achilles heel. It is very unlikely that the BBC will enjoy above-inflation increases in the licence fee in the future - in fact, if the Tory's win the next election a cut is probably on the cards. This means that its self-proclaimed need to cover the widest possible remit will see it stretching its resources more and more. This in turn means that those in the niches will beat the BBC in their particular parts of the market. Already, the BBC is not best for sport, and it shouldn't be the best for hyper-local services, either, once those really get going. My own company, Reed Business Information, is in 17 business-to-business markets in the UK and in none of them are we beaten by the BBC - or for that matter Google. We have simply more resources relative to our niches. Does the same argument then apply to Google. Well, yes and no. In its feature on the project by Google to digitise all the world's books - and more particularly the out of court settlement in the US which gives it protection from copyright suits - the Observer sets out the benefits and the pitfalls of Google's adventure into books. It is undoubtedly a good thing that all the worlds books be available to everyone - just think what that could do for education in the developing world, for example. But there are clearly dangers if Google, as a commercial enterprise, has exclusive rights to those books. Google argues that it is motivated by philanthropy - we have only their word for that, and circumstances can change. There are parallels here with Sky and sports rights. Sky was able to outbid the incumbents and therefore won a major advantage in the market place. Google, by virtue of their exceptionally deep pockets and technical skills has been able to accomplish something in the book field that many thought impossible. If competition is to reign then there either needs to be a second digital library of all the world's books (who would want Microsoft, for instance, as one of the few companies with deep enough pockets, as an alternative?) or some other plan needs to be considered. How about an international equivalent of the British Library, perhaps as a branch of the United Nations, mandated with digitising every book and making them available at a nominal (or no) cost to anyone who wants to build a service on top of the basic library? A sort of digital Library of Alexandria? There would be a lot of detail to be worked out, but nobody said this transition to a better digital world wouldn't be complicated! The comment piece arguing that Google needed to be policed so that its power in the digital space isn't monopolised is I think well argued; clearly there have been huge benefits from Google's efforts to digitise the world's information (the digital map space wouldn't exist in its current excellent form had it not been for Google's determination and ingenuity. However, beware the unintended consequences.

James Murdoch targets BBC 'land-grabbing'

The BBC needs taming and a radical overhaul of regulation is crucial to securing the future of UK broadcasting, says James Murdoch, the chief executive and chairman of News Corporation.

Amanda Andrews  Published: 8:34PM BST 28 Aug 2009

In his MacTaggart Lecture at the Edinburgh International Television Festival yesterday, Mr Murdoch went short of calling for the abolition of the BBC licence fee, although he asked for the corporation's remit and governance to be drastically changed and brought back to basics. "The land grab is spear-headed by the BBC. The scale and scope of its current activities and future ambitions is chilling," he said. He also highlighted the BBC Trust's "abysmal record", citing the example of the "overt recklessness" of the trust's failure to question why BBC Worldwide was allowed to acquire a majority stake in the Lonely Planet travel guides. In its defence, the chairman of the BBC Trust, Sir Michael Lyons, last night highlighted its remit "to strengthen the BBC for the benefit of licence fee payers, not to emasculate it on behalf of its commercial interests". Mr Murdoch added that a "radical reorientation" of regulation is necessary to secure "dynamism and innovation" in the UK broadcasting sector. Regulators, he said, are intervening too much, which is leading to a fall in innovation and creativity. The answer, he said, is for regulators to intervene only on evidence of "actual and serious harm" and in the interest of consumers, "not merely because a regulator armed with a set of prejudices and a spreadsheet believes that a bit of tinkering here and there could make the world a better place". He added that too much regulation of broadcasters is responsible for Google's ability to gain a higher percentage of advertising spend in the UK than anywhere else in the world. Mr Murdoch believes communication regulator Ofcom's "repeated assertion of its bias against intervention" is becoming "impossible to believe". He argued that the UK broadcasting sector is wrongly governed by "creationism" – the belief in a process managed by a single omniscient authority – and it needs to be more "evolutionary". Creationism serves to create "unaccountable institutions", mentioning the BBC Trust, Channel 4 and Ofcom. Topical, he says, being the 150th anniversary of Darwin's On The Origin of Species. "The creationist approach is similar to the industrial planning which went out of fashion in other sectors in the 1970s," he said, adding that this approach only serves to penalise the poor with "regressive taxes and policies – like the licence fee and digital switchover". There was some clear self-interest in Mr Murdoch's speech. The comments follow repeated criticism of UK broadcasting regulation by BSkyB, the satellite broadcaster that Mr Murdoch chairs. Proposals from Ofcom that BSkyB could be forced to share premium content with rivals were unsurprisingly disputed by BSkyB. The broadcaster slammed UK regulators for effectively discouraging innovation by taking such an approach. "You don't need to scratch the surface to see that opportunities for media businesses are limited, investment and innovation are constrained and creativity is reduced," he said, adding: "A radical reorientation of the regulatory approach is necessary if dynamism and innovation is going to be central to the UK media industry." Mr Murdoch said the decline in advertising is making the situation for UK broadcasters difficult enough, with the heavily-controlled UK industry as dreary as "the Addams family" and over-regulated UK media groups worse off than those in other countries in which News International operates. "Thanks to Darwin we understand that the evolution of a successful species is an unmanaged process," he added, suggesting that continuing with the creationist approach will damage UK broadcasters.

Rupert Murdoch is a media genius; His son is ..well...daddy's boy. We might as well give all of Einstein's offspring Nobel prizes as listen to this overpromoted office junior. Eric Skelton 29 August, 2009
Watching Skys output here, I can see most is not actually true, Skysports so far this month has come up with any number of football transfer stories quoting "Sky Sources" which in my mind is a couple of hacks in the office bouncing stories off one another. Pulling a players name out of one hat and then a club out of another. Stick to what we know, Sky will either make up news or put their own biased slant on stories. Mike August 31, 2009

Here Here Mr. Murdoch! The State controlled organ of media does not participate in the marketplace of ideas. It forces fees on everyone and delivers a sole point of view. if someone disagrees, they have not the resources of a forced tax to broadcast the opposing view. Whatever one thinks of Mr. Murdoch's politics is irrelevant, all should be concerned where news becomes an organ of the State, rather than of free individuals. It is not wrong for Mr. Murdoch to be self interested, it is wrong that all in the media aren't self interested enough to have their ideas sink or fall on their own merit, rather than on a forced tax. El Jefe August 31, 2009
Here here to what Andrew from SoCal said...American posters please stay out of this debate (read it yes, but do not post). I posted a comment on a science magazine website about US healthcare and a lot of Brits logged on to chastise me with zero knowledge of our system. I likewise believe we Americans should stay out of this conversation. We fought a war once and are now amicable exes. Would you get into your ex's business? I think not. (I hope to visit you soon though!) Jerry August 31, 2009
As I have said before paying the BBC licence fee is for me like being foirced to contribute to the IRA "hat" in a bar in Kilburn in the 80s. I utterly disagree with pretty much all that they stand for, yet am compelled to pay as the consequences of non-payment would be worse than swallowing my pride and my ethical and moral reservations. The BBC having become so highly politicised in the worst sense of the word mhas lost its right to make claims on the average person's purse since there is a very good chance that the person paying will feel the same way as I do about their politics and worldview. If those who share its worldview wish to continue to contribute, fine it is their money. But for the rest of us, the Tories should once elected free us from payment of this unfair poll tax. Billy Barnett. August 31, 2009
I do wish the next Conservative Government would abolish the license fee and let the BBC live in the real world. I do not listen to or watch the BBC. It is left wing and anti USA and anti Israel. It extorts ?3.5 billion per annum from we taxpayers whether we watch it or not. That money is used to pump out pro EU, anti American and 'Michael Moore' type versions of world events. It is also a money trough for its own overpaid employees as recent scandals have shown. I do not care what stance the BBC takes but why should I pay for it ? The BBC licence fee is extorted money. Can one imagine having to pay a compulsory tax to say Tesco when one always shops at Sainsbury's ? Same situation.
I am no fan of the Murdoch Empire because they are in search of their own monopoly. But I watch all the TV I want for free and if I wish to subscribe to Sky or Virgin etc I can do so freely - and not be prosecuted for avoiding any fee Mike August 30, 2009
Government is nothing but organized crime in which politicians (via the army of like-minded government employee) forcibly take your freedom and your property to keep or use as they see fit, skimming off some of your property for themselves and redistributing some to people who vote for them. News Corp and other private entities cannot seize your freedom or property unless they become a wing of government like the BBC. The Third Way socialism (where politicians extort private entities to act on behalf of government officials) implemented by Hitler, FDR and others in the 1930's is alive and well. It is, and always will be, us against government employees and those they press into service for them. The only healthy government is one whose politicians fear its well armed (physically and intellectually) citizens. SharpShtik August 30, 2009
As an American, I can tell you that the BBC, though left leaning, does attempt to provide accurate news and to better the world. The Murdochs, who are citizens of neither of our countries, care about their own money and nothing else. The Fox network does its best to whip up hysteria and promote conflict between 'liberals' and 'conservatives' in America. This is all for ratings and has nothing to do with the common good. Joe August 30, 2009
Are you suggesting that ABC, CBS, CNN don't tell people what they want to hear? They wouldn't be guilty of the same thing 100 years ago? You don't like FOX news so they are either racist now or 100 years ago. The difference between the BBC and FOX is that one is a service provided by Big Brother and the other has to pay it's own bills.BJ
Rupert Mardoch is a stupid and greedy conservative. He is just trying to harm BBC, the only independent News organization in UK, so that in future he can try to grab it for his own agenda. What a crook. Hope the UK people are not that stupid chou August 30, 2009
FOX News has made a fortunate telling people what they want to hear. Everyone knows that if FOX News was around 100 years ago that they'd be spewing racist rhetoric because FOX News tells people whatever they want to hear, regardless of it's consequences for society or whether it is right. It's ALL about the money for FOX News BJ
Under cover of objectivity, government programming will always promote greater government control and increased tax burden on citizens for services they don't need or want. That is in the interest of the government employees who run these services. Marcia August 30, 2009
The difference between BBC and BSkyB is that you don't have to pay for the latter if you don't want it or like it. It lives or dies based on making its customers happy. BBC, on the other hand, has no need whatsoever to present anything valuable to the public because its customers are politicians - not viewers. Oh, and you have to pay for the BBC whether you want it or not. How honest can you possibly be when you report on your own paymaster? (and then ask them for more money and regulations hampering your competitors) The rest of the world has other options because of satellites. BBC is a relic. Just like Pravda Bruce Stravinsky. August 30, 2009
Thank you all so much. After reading this article and the comments, I immediately turned to Fox and looked for advertisers to support. It's sad that most of you are so scared of thinking or having to make your own decisions. I work with a person from England, he likes to say he is English not British. He hates Fox as much as you. He repeats the socialist party line as if it was the only truth. Anyone who doesn't agree must be stupid or an agent of some mysterious right wing conspiracy. Since he doesn't even understand the content of what he is saying, he always responds with personal attacks. Enjoy your oil. Dan August 30, 2009
Can anyone here refute James Murdoch's point that the taxpayer-funded BBC has no business buying a majority stake in a travel guide publisher? Paul August 30, 2009
For all it's faults, if the alternative to the BBC is the "fair and balanced' Murdoch news i know what i want. Paul Kingsley August 30, 2009
I would like to suggest that my fellow Americans stay out of this debate. Let the Brits sort it out for themselves. They don't need our stupid advice. The notion that there is any parallel between tv in the UK and tv in the States is strained to say the least. And to my mates in the UK; please don't listen to the over-blown cliches about FOX News over here. The fact that their audience has grown enormously in the last few years can be due to at least two possibilities: 1) the American public is a bunch of Right-wing gun-toting religious bigoted whackos who FOX is feeding the raw meat they want to gobble up, or 2) Fox is the only news group willing to question why the Yankee lemmings are rushing lock-step toward the cliffs! I have actually gone days here in the States without seeing a single gun-toter, or bunch of white-hooded guys riding around in gas-guzzling pick-up trucks ...hard to believe isn't it? Andrew from So California. August 30, 2009
Padraig, Hitler, Khan, Hannibal, The Romans!!!, Alexander the Great, and Murdoch. Are you serious right now? Don't compare him to Melon or Rockefeller or somebody, he is much more like Genghis Khan and every last Roman. Give me a break. J August 30, 2009
It beggars belief that the Murdoch fiefdom can crticise the BEEB for a 'land grab' about pot calling the kettle black....they have strangled the satellite network and stuffed it full of rubbish with increasing Advert %'s.
Along with this the creeping amount of premium rated content is ripping off all subscribers. Shidifu August 30, 2009
paying twice on sky for total dross just cancelled my times paper money saveing,one year new laptop,this is murdochs big problem. Terence Sullivan August 30, 2009
Alexander the Great, the Romans, Hannibal, Genghis Khan and Hitler - they all wanted to dominate the world. Rupert Murdoch has tried to improve on their global efforts in terms of being The Force in media. In many ways, he has had an appallingly negative effect in the UK and US by virtue of exerting political pressure by media. Essentially, he has been the modern day William Hearst of newspapers, whilst having the shadow political influence of Joseph Kennedy. Who cares what vision he or his family have for the world? That's called megalomania. However, having got into financial difficulties again, the dynasty is desperately trying to save itself by hypocritically complaining about the "dominance" of the BBC. Padraig August 30, 2009 Before anyone is allowed by law to read a newspaper of their choice they will have to pay for the Guardian even if they do not wish to read it. Makes sense doesn?t it? Marky August 30, 2009 The biggest flaw with the licence fee is that it makes the BBC dependent on the goodwill of politicians. Thus Government, rather than the licence fee payers, is regarded as the paymaster. The BBC sacrificed its independence when it caved in over the WMD affair. It needs a strong Director-General who will concentrate on the core business, of making programmes the public want. The BBC Trust is a travesty, which will consider complaints only if they do not have to do with "editorial and creative content". Which rules out most of what people complain about. And the way the complaints process is operated also needs radical overhaul. But, we don't need James Murdoch to tell us what we already know. Barry McCanna 30 August, 2009
Well you would expect this from James Murdoch. Sky is a monopoly and of course he will want any competition dismatled! David August 30, 2009
We've found over here in the US that our National Public Radio (NPR) and our Public Broadcasting System (PBS) pushes a patter of cartoon-like pablum of 'serious-minded adults'. They sound so 'reassuringly mild and intelligent' to the ears of wannabe smarties eager to self-display their magically gained "intelligence" simply by having listened to any NPR/PBS outlet. So easy. These publicly-funded intelli-clowns keep their cozy, highly-controlled sounds so falsely upbeat as to stifle all inquiry into their stealthily-embedded lies which they cleverly produce for us, their would-be compliant kool-aide drunk audience out here. BBC is similar, cleverly boring in it's government committee-approved presentations, paid for by the endlessly deep pockets of the collapsing British economy. Hapless Brits do what many Americans do: cling to their MSM engendered religion of Big Daddy Government Knows All. They desperately cleave to BBC, CNN, or NBC: to fearfully keep at safe bay any real news. Orwell knew his stuff. Miguel
"This coming from a man whose religious clique has decided views on the rest of us non-believers." So you are saying "all Christians" prejudge you some way? Are you not prejudging "all Christians" yourself by assuming that? J. 30 August, 2009.
Pot calling the kettle black? Thomas Mortley August 30, 2009
Living in the USA these days, I could be subjected to Fox News - part of the Murdoch empire. I shan't go into why I refuse to watch it other than to say that the use of presenters like Beck,Hannigan and, to a lesser extent, O'Reilly makes me realise that, for all its many faults, the BBC is fortunately not in the same league of ultra right-wing/quasi religious/synical gun law support as Murdoch's media. In this age of exaggeration for effect I merely invite opponents of the BBC to tune in to Fox News USA. Most exiled Brits I know over here feel exactly the same revulsion. The latest travesty was when Beck denounced Obama as a 'racist'. This coming from a man whose religious clique has decided views on the rest of us non-believers . Ken Hall 30 August, 2009
Simon Coulter thinks you would "pay only for what you want" under a Murdoch regime. Simon, have you ever heard of bundling? To get what you want from News Corp's pay TV arm anywhere in the world, you have to pay for many channels that you don't want, because you can only pick and choose between bundled packages of channels. Be careful what you wish for, Simon. The NHS was never the envy of the world, but the BBC is, and always has been. Keith McLennan
The UK has the best publicly owned bradcasting company in the World. The last person to take notice of is a member of the Murdoch clan, whose only interest is accumulating a greater powerbase at the xpense of honest reporting. I don't and never have watched Sky or any other of the Murdoch networks and would advise everyone else to do likewise. I can go to many coutries around the world and watch well produced articulate and intelligent programmes from the best publicly owned bradcaster around.The UK has the best publicly owned bradcasting company in the World. The last person to take notice of is a member of the Murdoch clan, whose only interest is accumulating a greater powerbase at the xpense of honest reporting. I don't and never have watched Sky or any other of the Murdoch networks and would advise everyone else to do likewise. I can go to many coutries around the world and watch well produced articulate and intelligent programmes from the best publicly owned bradcaster around. John Scruton 30 August, 2009
It's not Fox news, it's Faux News. Thomas Mortley 30 August, 2009
Murdock is partly right but misses the point that:
It is bad enough for the public having to tolerate the left wing, politically correct, minority focused, corrosive brainwashing we endure 24 hours a day, WITHOUT THE ADDED INSULT OF BEING FORCED TO PAY FOR IT!
SCRAP THE LICENCE FEE. James Bradley 30 August, 2009
Obviously Murdoch is speaking out in the hope of getting something. As for some of the other comments about which side Murdoch is on, well the answer is that Murdoch is only on Murdoch's own side. I see comments that he is a fervent supporter of Bush but on this side of the Atlantic he favours Zanuliebour, so goes with whomever is going to give him the better deal, in effect a prostitute. Hersh, the BBC is as independent minded as Bush is an avid Obama supporter. Auntie does exactly as Zanuliebour tells it, it has the various monikers of Brown Broadcasting Corp, Brown B*llsh****ng Corp, and some other tasty names to reflect its subservience to Zanuliebour policies and thinking. Its international news reporting id very partisan, and on many occasions positively deceitful. Zanuliebour has vitually free access to airtime and definitely toes the party line and handles ministers with kid gloves, but roasts the opposition parties and is way back in the queue when a govt scandal breaks to dare to castigate or criticize Zanuliebour and/or ministers. when the expenses scandal broke, it must have been about 10 days before it ventured critical comment, and then mild in terms. I do not pay my license fee for them to be Zanuliebour's lapdog/mouthpiece and distort news to favour the govt view or be politically correct. I can do without that labour tax when I do not view them that much, because they are now so inaccurate on what they report! The nagging feeling is, 'what is it they are not telling me?'. News reporting should be balanced, but then in the UK I know what wing most papers are in and they all break the rules, to varying degrees. And then there are the lavish use of taxpayers money (licence fee) in its expenses and entertainment, with a surprisingly large in house entertainment budget, bugger the taxpeyer. Hugh 30 August, 2009
Murdoch is a toerag. Both he and his father - and anyone else - should be banned from owning ANY media of any kind unless they and the company are UK tax payers. The BBC may have many things wrong with it but it does not screen adverts and it is not a tool in the Dirty Digger's plan to control all the Uk media. Murdoch - you are a scumbag. I have cancelled my Sky+ subscription in disgust at your plans. Paul Atherton 29 August, 2009
Rupert Murdoch is a media genius; His son is ..well...daddy's boy.We might as well give all of Einstein's offspring Nobel prizes as listen to this overpromoted office junior. Eric Skelton 29 August, 2009
I am so glad to see how James Murdoch's comments have spectacularly backfired on him. its about time the British people started standing up for themselves and their institutions. it has been rightly said that the BBC is a world class, highly respected instituition. We should never sit back and let a blood sucking viper like James Murdoch try to besmirth it for his (and his family's) own gains. Kris 29 August, 2009
eraint : 'This is worse than in Russia'? Not trivialising the issue then? I loath the bloated overpaid BBC but get a grip man! Eric Skelton 29 August, 2009
Of course, speaking as a completely impartial observer Murdoch and his News Corp with no vested interests in seeing the BBC broken up, are speaking from the heart - if I believed that I would be certifiable. Every time I see Murdock I am reminded of the megalomaniac villain, Elliott Carver, and his Carver Media Group. Peter Marton 29 August, 2009
The bloated BBC may ironically soon face the market quicker than it expects - brought about by its own technical developments. The BBC has been at the forefront of pushing terrestrial digital TV, but it is not generally realised that the licence fee could be rendered redundant in a very short time since all BBC TV channels could be sold now as individual subscription channels accessed by currently available digital set top boxes that accept prepaid viewing cards.
Then we will see how the market values its services and what it really needs to spend to provide those services. The sooner the better. Edward Forster 29 August, 2009
Black Paul C 29 August, 2009
You can like Murdoch TV or you can hate it. But at least you have a choice whether to pay for it or not. If people love and trust the BBC as much as they say then surely they will continue to pay for it on a voluntary basis. Of course we shouldn't allow any corporation to become so dominant that they can unduly influence the market, but that applies to state-owned corporations as much as private ones. If we only end up with one news channel, either through anti-competitive practices of a private company or a state run organisation removing the economic incentive for others to compete, then we are on the road to serfdom. The only route to individual freedom is through fair competition. Stephen August 29, 2009
Pitiful special pleading from someone who only has his job because of who his father is. The creationist vs evolutionist analogy is embarrassingly silly - he just seems to object to the existence of any independent institutions - presumably on the grounds that they create competition for viewers rather than competition for advertisers. If he doesn't like the way we do things in this country, why doesn't he (to put it politely) go somewhere else? Andy 29 AUGUST, 2009
The BBC is now just a mouthpiece for the labour government and the politically correct liberal elite. Paul Hardy 29 AUGUST, 2009
murdeauxbolleaux. Toby Wilkinson 29 AUGUST, 2009
We live in a lunatic left wing country where we need to ask permission from the state before we are allowed to watch tv. This is worse than in Russia. Scrap the licence.Geraint Hughes 29 AUGUST, 2009
I am sure that he majority want the BBC licence tax to be abolished. douglas 29 AUGUST, 2009
If the BBC were to close down tomorrow I would miss their services. If all of the many media outlets of the Murdoch empire were to close, I wouldn't miss them one bit. The fact that to watch cricket, football and rugby you must give money to Murdoch is not in the consumers interests. ljd 29 AUGUST, 2009
Anything that will further the break up of the BBC gets my vote. The BBC has been a tool of the left for as many years as I can remember and has played no small part in belittling and destroying all things British, or to be more accurate all things English. More right wing views are needed in broadcast media to counterbalance the pernicious socialist influence which has brought this country to its knees. Murdoch is right wing so all power to his elbow and smash the BBC Steve
These comments are barbed because the Murdoch's only close competitor is the BBC. If there were no BBC, we would be all watching Sky tv and paying a large payment for it. The BBC licence fee is less than the payments to Sky. The way Sky controls sports coverage is almost a monopoly but not mentioned. Why? william knights 29 AUGUST, 2009
And what exactly has James done to deserve the position he finds himself in? To the manor born and survived in a corporation his siblings fled from. And a comment for Tony who seems to think the Times is quality, when exactly did you last pick up a copy? It is full of drivel like the rest of the print media. The more power Murdoch Media Inc get the lower the standards and the fatter their profits will be. At least the BBC has a hint of democratic oversight which is what we pay for surely. Changing that would be like making those who live in remote areas pay for the full cost of their roads, postage and other services. Sometimes a flat rate for all for public service is the most efficient and only effective way to operate, and thank goodness there are a few channels with no advertisements. Don't like it, don't buy a telly, the choice is yours. SAM .29 AUGUST, 2009
Compare the bias of the Murdoch-owned Fox News with the BBC World News channel and you will immediate perceive why the BBC service is esteemed in the USA and Canada. The Murdoch SKY network offers little value in terms of either high quality or culturally stimulating material. The BBC has developed into a truly world-class organisation. Let's keep it that way. Brit living in Canada since 2006. Vic Morford 29 AUGUST, 2009
As a US citizen, I would warn any and all to avoid any connection with any Murdoch. Fox News in the US is essentially a voice for the Neo-Conservatism ideology as well as a hysterical voice whipping up support for the privileged and powerful individuals and corporations. They are still firm backers of George Bush and his craziness. News Corp entities are as slanted in ideology as they are vicious. They do lasting damage to American Democracy. I love the BBC. Its independent, tough minded and thoughtful. Embrace anything "Murdoch" and you'll find these qualities gone forever. The BBC is a treasure to others. WH. Birmingham, Michigan, USA Hersh 29 AUGUST, 2009 29 AUGUST, 2009
Matt, if you have evidence of political bias at the BBC, you can address it publicly - that is your right. So you can make your "BBC are all leftys" arguments and hold them to account ... IF.. you can substantiate them
Are you seriously trying to claim that Newscorp doesnt follow a right wing agenda because the sun supported labour? Labour is centre-right in case you've been living in a bubble since john smith died.
If you have such a principalled objection to paying the licence fee, sell your TV and dont pay it. Or is it really just because you want to save a few quid and carry on watching pets do the funniest things in HD courtesy of mr murdoch? Nick
Although no fan of the BBC, which has become the government's Ministry for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda, I would hate to see the television industry in Britain dominated by Newscorp. jg
Apparently Mr.Murdoch said: "The consensus appears to be that creationism " "the belief in a managed process with an omniscient authority " is the only way to achieve successful outcomes."

I don't know if Mr.Murdoch's perception is true. Surely any authority the BBC has is an effect of all the feedback individual licence payers and other citizens concerned may voluntarily contribute or donate. So I see this so-called "omniscience" Mr.Murdoch attributes to the BBC as more likely to be the properly managed result of millions of individual ?inputs??ie individuals and families pay licence fees voluntarily and/or we can all contribute to eg Trust consultations at one end of the scale and/or "haveyoursay" debates at the other.

I don't think it's fair or wise for any business to concern itself with "micro-managing" our traditional cultural norms and expectations without being respectful of the generous voluntary input of citizens. We are free to buy what we want and express our opinions as we will and these are very valuable. Thus Citizens like to freely browse any market and quite naturally seek and find the easiest and most efficient way to both inform each other and be informed by each other, whether we have an appointment/contract/licence or not. Perhaps we are becoming "spoiled" " but UK pubic services are designed to attend to such like concerns first. It's not an issue. It's what we normally do!

So in my view, continuing support for institutions such as the BBC may actually help keep all of us safer in the market from unnecessary or inappropriate regulatory burdens that may spoil all our jobs and lives
Mrs.Josephine Hyde-Hartley 29 AUGUST, 2009
I'll send this again;

Apparently Mr.Murdoch said: “The consensus appears to be that creationism — the belief in a managed process with an omniscient authority — is the only way to achieve successful outcomes."

I don't know if Mr.Murdoch's perception is true. Surely any authority the BBC has is an effect of all the feedback individual licence payers and other citizens concerned may voluntarily contribute or donate. So I see this so-called "omniscience" Mr.Murdoch attributes to the BBC as more likely to be the properly managed result of millions of individual “inputs” –ie individuals and families pay licence fees voluntarily and/or we can all contribute to eg Trust consultations at one end of the scale and/or "haveyoursay" debates at the other.

I don't think it's fair or wise for any business to concern itself with "micro-managing" our traditional cultural norms and expectations without being respectful of the generous voluntary input of citizens. We are free to buy what we want and express our opinions as we will and these are very valuable. Thus Citizens like to freely browse any market and quite naturally seek and find the easiest and most efficient way to both inform each other and be informed by each other, whether we have an appointment/contract/licence or not. Perhaps we are becoming “spoiled” – but UK pubic services are designed to attend to such like concerns first. It’s not an issue. It’s what we normally do! Mrs.Josephine Hyde-Hartley

So in my view, continuing support for institutions such as the BBC may actually help keep all of us safer in the market from unnecessary or inappropriate regulatory burdens that may spoil all our jobs and lives.
Mrs.Josephine Hyde-Hartley 29 AUGUST, 2009
There is no doubt that a neutral and objective broadcasting body is a valuable asset and worth some demand upon the public purse. If the BBC were just that then fine but unfortunately it has been allowed to indulge in an extension of its legitimate role, which is essentially to educate and inform, into areas of wider entertainment and downright self indulgence of dubious merit best left to the commercial provider where the acceptance of the consequential risks is more appropriate. The BBC seems to be incapable of controlling costs even in its dissemmination of news. Why for instance do we so frequently see a news desk refer to an outside journalist for comment when all we see is another body complete with crew standing in some anonymous location offering observations that could just as well have been delivered by the anchormen/women on the news desk. Peter.
"Matt on August 29, 2009 at 01:22 PM"

Have you actually understood what James Murdoch is suggesting? Your opinion might be that the BBC is left wing (an organisation designed to benefit everyone might be left wing by definition but that's a different argument) but the BBC is required to be balanced by legal statute- this is ensured and enforced by politicians' comment, 'feedback' programmes and facilities for views such as yours to be heard within BBC broadcasting. It may not be perfect but broadly speaking it works. James Murdoch however is expressly asking to be allowed to broadcast news with a political bias- perhaps you need to think again. Mr Orwell 29 August, 2009
1. As Cicero said: cui bono? I am sure Mr Murdoch's comments are not intended to produce benefit for the British - but rather a benefit to his bank account.
2. This comment, made above is quite correct: "By supporting the BBC, the British public provide an invaluable service to the entire world." Actually, the BBC does more for Britain at home than and welfare service; and more for the nation abroad than the FO.
3. Has anyone actually seen the nonsense and rubbish that Murdoch's media outlets publish abroad? He may do a few quality things (The Times) but by and large it is unadulterated drivel.
4. Public broadcasters are needed to st the standard - which they generally do. Occasionally they go haywire, but they set a better, higher standard more frequently than the commercial broadcasters.
5. Has anyone watched US commercial TV recently? It is no wonder Americans behave as they do. Tony 29 August, 2009
At first I was chocked with the headline on SkyNews: "BBC online is a threat for newspapers that want to charge for news access". So I logged on to to find what's behind the "shocking" news - I found that no one else was broadcasting this news (BBCWorld, CNN, Aljazeera, Euronews) and by itself it drew my suspicion that this was no news. On I found that James Murdoch is the Europe&Asia CEO of News Corporation (a conglomerate company owning other companies like SkyNews, Wall Street Journal, MySpace, etc). Convenient...I see a conflict of business interest here! My conclusion of this "news" is that it is no news but instead propaganda from owning company NewsCorp. to put pressure on legislating against BBC and for the profiting of its own holdings! Shame on Skynews for reporting it as news on TV, once again showing that large corporations use, what viewers consider reliable news channels, to advertise their own profit agenda.
My 2nd point is that tax funded BBC is as much of a threat as the new free newspapers distributed at all the major train/metro stations in European capitals - yes, they rocked the boat for the traditional newspapers (e.g. Evening Standard) but none of them drowned! This is part of business: change and the capacity to re-invent the business model. Similar claims were made about the advent of internet and just look great it is today for business :-)
Journalism and reliable news: is this the end of an era or the opportunity for a new era? ms11af 29 August, 2009
I bet the Times wouldn't post any of these comments. If the roles were reversed the BBC would always publish critical comments even against the corporation's interests. That is the nature of an organisation under charter, compared to an organisation of dog eat dog profiteering. Spread the word- comment online and stop buying Newscorp. Mr Orwell 29 August, 2009
Nick, the BBC is the one guilty of Bias and drivel, it is well documented that the BBC is hugely left wing, the only people denying it are the BBC themselves.
I admit that fox is a little extreme right but Sky is not so right wing as to be unfair. Remember that the Sun (also owned by newscorp) has backed Labour in the last few elections where as the Times is inevitably conservative. The difference of course is that I can watch Sky 3, Sky news and Sky sports news for FREE and CHOOSE to pay for the rest. As a Conservative, I am FORCED TO PAY for the BBC to ram down my throat, their idiotic left wing ideology! Matt 29 August, 2009
Start taping Radio 4 now- that way our children can have the opportunity to listen to something that is not purely of entertainment value. Or we could stop worrying about acquiring knowledge and opinion- its far too much effort anyway. Lets just sit in front of Fox News, Sky One, and Babestation and dribble in to our microwave dinners. All hail the Murdochs. Double think, double dirty diggers. Mr Orwell 29 AUGUST, 2009
**Murdoch targets BBC** Heck, for a minute there I thought they were going to buy it - damn! My God, it would be bloody as the new owners Slashed and Burned at the Corporation. Huge fillip for the state privatisation coffers. No licence fee.
Pay only for what you want - or go elsewhere for free... YUK!! More Murdoch media - I don't think so. 290809-12:58 Simon Coulter
Nobody can seriously suggest that the E.B.C., sorry, freudian slip is not biased.
The bias towards the S.N.P. is palpable, the latest poll suggesting the majority are against the decision by Kenny McAskill is an example.
Ilistened on both days to the 'phone in on goodmorning Scotland and more than 90% agreed with the justice secretary. Seumas
As someone who is regarded as to the right of Margaret Thatcher I support the beeb wholeheartedly. Murdoch's News Corps is the threat, he disregards the fact that they have a monopoly on satellite in this country. It's constant price rises put the licence fee in the shade. News Corp is driven by greed not a desire for fairness. IAN
The BBC is unique in the world at large as an organisation that stands as unbiased, and invites scrutiny as such. News Corporation/ Fox however gives the world uber right wing drivel, and dumbed down celebrity dross and general scuminess. If murdoch wants to complain about one of the worlds few media good guys, then he will always struggle to make his point when his family is one of the worlds most insidious and aggressive media dynasty's. Nick
I have no problem with public service broadcasting but that is not what the BBC is about. It is a self serving nepotistic bureaucracy that conviscates almost ?4 billion a year from tax payers to hand back to us Radio 1, Jonathan Ross, East Enders, numerous repeats and keeps fat salaries and pensions for friends and families. Its news reporting is irredeemably supportive of the big state and related institutions and suppresses individual choice. Simon
Ignore James Murdoch! The Murdochs' communications organizations are disseminators of media trash, propaganda machines for right-wing politics, and nemeses of intellectual discourse and entertainment arts. By supporting the BBC, the British public provide an invaluable service to the entire world. Gerald West
Between the two of them. "Dirty Digger 1 & 2" they have ruined sport worldwide. The Football Association has fallen hook, line & sinker for their filthy lucre and yet no one has caught on to their antics. Why the Hell do they not return to this homeland and teach their fellow countrymen how to play cricket ! Ulsterman
One of the whole purposes of the BBC is that it was founded to provide independent , objective and non biased news coverage . This is specifically intended to be such an alternative to the likes of the Murdoch media . When the BBC was founded it was set up as an alternative to the media of the day as well as a pioneer in new forms of technology and a quality provider . Murdoch's media was not around then but equivalent , but better quality , media was . However it still meant that the British people needed an organisation like the BBC .
What Murdoch peddles is total and utter CRAP and dangerous crap at that . Irrespective of whether the BBC existed I would not read or watch any Murdoch media so I certainly see Murdoch's attack as utterly futile . It's Murdoch media that's the big problem - not the BBC . The World would be a far better place without the Murdoch media . Britain without the BBC . Britain dominated by the Murdoch media . A horrific and nightmarish world - shades of A Clockwork Orange and then some . Although the BBC is far from perfect and it certainly needs a good solid boot up the back side it is a good alternative to the likes of Murdoch .
Murdoch media is a commercial purchase option - a consumer option - as such we can choose whether to buy it - whether it is of sufficient quality . IE. it's a cost benefit analysis . The thing is the cost is very high for a quality that is very low . What people are purchasing is programming of very low substance , vacuous news programming that is biased , poorly researched and poorly presented , vacuous entertainment programs etc. etc. etc. . The consumer looks at this and says "NO WAY !" "I can get far better quality at a far cheaper price elsewhere !" so the consumer goes elsewhere . What Murdoch wants to do is to get rid of all these elsewheres . However even if he did that he would not get the customers because people would still not pay for crap . What's happening at the moment is that Murdoch's chickens are well and truly coming home to roost . Murdoch snr. has played a big part in the demise of the USA and elsewhere and , largely indirectly , in the economic crash . We are now at a time of massive paradigm shift - it's very much evolution kicking in - monoliths , such as the Murdoch empire , are the dinosaurs - they are being evolved out of the picture . Setups that are structured in completely the opposite manner are being evolved into the picture . The BBC license fee is a tax , so the only control that we , as a consumer , have is to demand that the license fee be well spent .
1) it needs to be far more professional . General presentation at times can be far too familiar - not standing back . There is far too much - low cost low value - reality TV and radio . The jingle on BBC World Service Radio is dicky . And likewise there are too many dicky programs . I largely avoid the BBC because of all the dicky content . I also avoid parts of it because it has become rather biased - I suspect that it was got at post the Hutton enquiry .
2) it needs to be far more efficient . This is a management issue - putting in proper management - getting rid of the management that just gets in the way - putting in good editors , for example . Localising management decision making - utilising the ownership principle .
3) it needs to largely get out of commercial activities - it is not meant to be a commercial organisation - it is meant to be a taxpayer funded organisation of general benefit to the public at large - not in business and not to niches .
4) it needs to have a clear picture of where it is going , of it's form and shape , of it's charter - of it's raison d'etre . It needs to be able to picture itself and to be able to see itself within the larger World scene .
5) it needs to be a producer of quality . It does produce quality - that's without a doubt - but there is also a lot of crappy programming coming out of the BBC and it needs to change it's approach - this is largely management change - and , yes , it needs good management .
6) diversity is very important . Progressive evolution works through diversity . The BBC , because it is tax payer funded , has the opportunity to be diverse KIm L.
Please stop bashing the BBC - its the only TV and radio that I watch. Most US programs are crap, especially the comedies. Please save the BBC! Steve
James Murdoch is hardly an unbiased commentator without an axe to grind - is he? The reason he hates the BBC is because they are so SIMILAR to News Corporation. Both have - and want - monopolies. The BBC with the iniquitous licence fee, and Sky with its stranglehold over satellite TV. Both want to spread into all the media, from TV to the internet. Both are internationalist, instead of nationalist. The BBC refer to 'British' troops, or the 'England' football team, for instance, instead of talking about 'our side'. And Rupert Murdoch even chamged nationality for commercial reasons! And both are EQUALLY politically correct, biased and untruthful - just look at the way News Corporation and the BBC both slander the BNP. The only thing News Corporation care about is making even more money. This is immoral. They should care about the people of this country, and want to give us the best service at the lowest price. Instead they even want to charge to access their website. Just wait till they do and the number of visitors they will get will completely vanish. Look Rupert and James - life is NOT about money, it is about being NICE to one's fellow nationals. Of course the problem is that they are not British, so they don't love, really, truly, LOVE, this country and its people. Timon
The BBC is without a doubt the best broadcast media organisation in the world. There is just no other company that compete with it. Its programmes are sold all over the globe and it is BBC news that people turn to to get the most unbiased reporting. I'm not surprised that competitors want to bring it down. Far better to have the BBC than a private media company whose support for a political party in an election could alter the result of that election. The potential for corruption and cronyism is huge. Keep the BBC as it is. Ollie_Cromwell
Father and son should be barred from our shores, non EU and non contributors, would love to see there financial details laid bare. David Wilson
""james allen on August 29, 2009 at 11:26 AM""
Why do you want to tear down the BBC? Can someone at least make some reasoned argument as to why the BBC is a problem- I don't even know what you think the problem is- let alone agree with you. Please give me something to chew on! Mr Orwell
If the Murdochs hate the BBC so much, how come they carry so much BBC-derived content on their satellite service? Not just every BBC channel, but also the UKTV channels and others who rely almost solely on old BBC shows. One week of BBC original programming shows more creativity and imagination than a year on Sky's shallow, repetitive and derivative channels. Nialli
I didn't ask for Murdoch and his minions to take over the media in this country. The BBC was coping quite well before he poked his oar into the water. The only result of this was that the BBC has lowered its standards in programming to equal the rubbish on Sky. Johnty
Does anyone remember Blair's visit to Oz prior to the first election he won? Mainly due to Murdoch's media support. One of the first pieces of Nu Labour legislation was to hugely benefit the Murdochs. This was soon followed by government ministers visiting Murdoch in the US. The BBC have lost much respect in the past few years and rightly so but they are far more acceptable than the corrupt Murdoch empire, which has spewed out more rubbish than the government he supports C Donnelly
Murdock's sour grapes, he would like complete monopoly,all the better to make Britain as his family would like it. Something to be avoided. Jane Prior
money grubbing news corp must be tamed. Does this man have no shame? No one elects news corp to have the undue influence over politics and elections that they do, yet they are allowed to continue this... Break news corp up and hand the bones over to the BBC to run, no more than one newspaper or TV channel should be owned by a single group. Jack Tar
Having been a subscriber to sky with its constant repeats and overwhelming amount of promotions give me the beeb anytime. I now have free view which is an even bigger selection such as Aljazeera English, Russia today and France 24 which carry a much wider scope of news. Sky news spends all of its time on really insignificant rubbish whilst there is a really important world out there. The real key will be the internet and this is where the beeb score again. Their website is amazing and hopefully if it can avoid too much influence from Zanu Liebour then we can be proud of it. Murdoch and his tribe are the last ones to talk about manipulation they are the universal masters of it. michael
Hypocrite. Land grab = Fox corporation. Unaccountable institutions = Fox corporation. Go back to Oz. john
Not too sure about Murdoch's comments but definitely feel that the BBC have become the current government's poodles. I was censored on Nick Robinson's blog this week for suggesting that his holiday substitute Laura was balanced because she wasn't just feeding the line from No 10. It appears many others were similarly censored [the BBC describe it as "moderated" ] Murray Croft
Break up the News Corp monopoly and ban any of the greedy, smug, self serving Murdoch clan for holding directorships in any media organisation for a generation. Sam
No need for a debate - the BBC should be scrapped. If we organised a national drive and stopped paying the licence fee - they would fold overnight. That is people power which is the only way left of getting anything done in this wretched country. James Allen
LOL, Mr Wright. All news is biased and you're naive to think otherwise.
Now, given the choice between the liberal Left (eg. BBC, MSNBC, CNN, SKY) and conservatives (eg. FOX) I'd pick conservative every day of the week. If only the conservative side of news was permitted in this country. John
Do you know what you are saying about political bias? The BBC is streets ahead of any commercial print or broadcast media provider in maintaining independence. Taxpayer's money doesn't fund the BBC. The BBC is funded by the license fee and exports of valuable content to other countries. I don't understand people who complain about paying less than 40p a day for the best television and radio service in the world. Do you work for a commercial broadcaster??? As for a boycott you can avoid Sky News, Sky Movies and Sky One because the BBC offers alternatives at next to no cost to the consumer but try convincing people not to watch footballDo you know what you are saying about political bias? The BBC is streets ahead of any commercial print or broadcast media provider in maintaining independence. Taxpayer's money doesn't fund the BBC. The BBC is funded by the license fee and exports of valuable content to other countries. I don't understand people who complain about paying less than 40p a day for the best television and radio service in the world. Do you work for a commercial broadcaster??? As for a boycott you can avoid Sky News, Sky Movies and Sky One because the BBC offers alternatives at next to no cost to the consumer but try convincing people not to watch footbal. Mr Orwell
Now we are going to lectured to by "DIRTY DIGGER 2" ! When is someone going to stand up to this gang of crooks, whose main objective on this earth is to fill their own coffers. Ulsterman
The murdoch brat is describing his own family's stranglehold on news reporting. Their news is always slanted especially about israel brutality in Gaza. The family is jewish after all. Phillipp Dunn
I am sure that James Murdoch would agree to leave the country and never work in the media again if:
i. His corporation was carrying out illegal electronic surveillance of my PC at Flat 4, 25 Clarendon Road, Leeds tel 0113 234 1087, including knowledge of files on my PC never shared with the outside world.
ii. He was receiving such information from the West Yorkshire Police, Fylingdales or GCHQ or any other third party tasked with illegally downloading such information without my consent.
iii. He was engaged in any way in using Mr John McArthur to organise surveillance of that flat for the benefit of his corporation. I am sure that Mr Samuel Allardyce's loss of employment in January 2008 had nothing to do with that and I am equally sure that M. Arsene Wenger's comments that he 'likes people who negotiate hard' was equally unlinked to that either........
I remain 100% confident that Mr Murdoch will agree to these terms, since if he could not, it would say that he was a confirmed criminal whose words in public fora would then be taken with the relevant contempt that his father, a US citizen, normally reserves for UK nationals who believe that this country is not an overseas outpost of the private world empire of that autocratic, dictatorial and extremely cruel man Rhys Jaggar
Fox News = Biased reporting Muppet journalists and terrible analysis.
BBC News = Biased reporting Muppet journalists and terrible analysis.
Get rid of em both... don't watch. Mr Wright
Nobody in their right mind would listen to the ramblings of anyone from the Murdoch family. Their record speaks for itself - self-serving, manipulative and pure greed. I have one message for him - go back to Australia, USA or where ever else it is you come from and ruin their culture and society John
totally agree with him. The BBC has always had a lefty bias, but recently it's reached fever pitch. Labour are ?big? government and the BBC is equally a centralistic lumbering project. Taxpayer?s money cannot and must not fund the sort of political bias we are seeing from our national broadcaster. It's almost laughable that the BBC is afforded the opportunity to self regulate and yet another Government (Sponsored) department oversees the commercial sector totally differently. The fact that the BBC unavoidably is the voice of the liberal, is absolutely fine, but the organisation as it is, comes with one VERY big problem. It's forcibly funded by ALL taxpayers. You can choose your daily newspaper, but with a TV License you're forced to pay for political persuasions that otherwise you'd prefer not to digest. The world is all about choice. If I don't like watching SKY sports anymore, I stop paying for it. With the BBC we ALL have no choice.
Doug Snowden
Long live the beeb. For all of it's faults so often highlighted in this paper it is still a thousand times more valuable than any of the trash peddled by this man and his father. Anybody fancy a boycott Sky (evil empire) campaign? Neil
suggest he goes to pastures new, he can al;ways change his nationallity to suit the situation and then inflict his advertising rubbish on his new compatiots. like you know who. Londoner432
"peter eisner, August 29, 2009 at 10:06 AM Long live the BBC and our freedom."
Surely you jest? M.O.
Advertising revenue for Newspapers is falling due to the impact of the Internet as an alternative source of information and the far more efficient advertising packages offered by the likes of Google. The advertising competition argument against the BBC is a smokescreen. If the public want an Orwellian, powerful organisation to fear with unwholesome involvement in the running of government policy take a look at Newscorp. - Government press releases via the SUN, - Surprisingly little state or police interest in crimes committed by Murdoch newspapers in using illeagal phone taps, - Competition between political parties to win the approval of Rupert Murdoch etc. etc. The BBC exists to broadcast quality content, Newscorp exists to make profit any way it can. Mr Orwell
The time is long overdue to take the Murdoch empire into public control and run by competent people committed to decent,intelligent broadcasting and reading.
The BBC must be brought under democratic and committed management producing high quality broadcasting. Will it happen? Not whilst our politicians cosy up to the like of Murdoch and crew. Roy
Shine Tv does okay out the BBC and that's a Murdoch owned company Jimmy's sister ! Ms Jeanette Eccles
The time is long overdue to take the Murdoch empire into public control and run by competent people committed to decent,intelligent broadcasting and reading.
The BBC must be brought under democratic and committed management producing high quality broadcasting. Will it happen? Not whilst our politicians cosy up to the like of Murdoch and crew. Roy
Of course the last thing Murdoch & News International would want is to dominate the media themselves. If any media organisation should have its power reduced it is News International Peter S
Murdochs comments are unreasonable. Would'nt father & son love to control our TV & press. That is what this is about. Long live the BBC and our freedom. The licence fee is great value to pay for quality media compared to Murdochs so called package of choice which to a large extent is low grade 'filler' Peter Eisner
James Murdoch's Newscorp is and always has been the threat to independent news publication. The BBC is one of the only remaining British institutions we can be proud of as truly world beating. We all enjoy it's output and pay each month about a quarter of the price SKY subcribers pay for Americanised, formulaic rubbish content. At a time when we are all questioning the contribution big business makes to society perhaps we shouldn't constrain a truly wonderful, INDEPENDENT and not-for-profit organisation purely to line the pockets of the Murdoch dynasty. Any doubters should watch FOX News. Mr Orwell
Why doesn't he just be straight with us and say he wants to charge for online content, after all this is what he's lining us up for. If the licence fee goes, so does free online BBC content, which is one of the main threats to News Corp. I'm sure this guy already has enh money, now go rest Mattoug

Can Rupert Murdoch save online news?   Murdoch: Google is mortal and together we can kill it
Would i pay to be lied too by the murdock press? No i think i get enough lies told to me for free.


7 Aug 2009, 1:52AM

Would i pay to be lied too by the murdock press? No i think i get enough lies told to me for free.


7 Aug 2009, 7:39AM

I can understand why newspaper's would want to charge people to read them online - there must be so many people these days who, like me, rarely buy print papers and instead get their content online for free. But charging won't work because there are so many alternative news sites these days - the BBC site being one obvious contender. Plus there are so many other alternatives as well - political blogs such as ConservativesAtHome, polling sites, specialist sites on every current affairs topic under the sun, and so on. Then there are RSS feeds, Twitter and so on to keep you constantly updated on breaking stories, plus the advent of so-called "citizen journalism".

I don't know what the answer is for the traditional press. I strongly suspect that its days are numbered. The Murdoch press is losing money. The Guardian Group is apparently in dire straits. The trajectory seems pretty clear.

Murdoch: Google is mortal and together we can kill it
Murdoch: Google is mortal and together we can kill it
Bing Tries To Buy The News
Rupert Murdoch is pointing a gun to Google’s head, and Microsoft is helping him pull back the trigger. For the past few weeks, Murdoch and his officers at News Corp. have been very vocal about their distaste for Google and their desire to lead other media companies in a boycott of sorts. Murdoch keeps threatening to stop letting Google index the and his other media sites, and wants other news sites to join him in this self-imposed silence. The folks at Microsoft’s Bing think this is a great idea. Not only that, but the FT reports that Microsoft is in fact in discussions with News Corp. and other publishers about the possibility of paying them to remove their sites from Google’s search index. This report comes on the heels of a meeting in Europe where Bing dangled the prospect of premium spots in search results to publishers and outright money for search R&D. Microsoft is not afraid to buy search market share, which is what it’s doing with the Yahoo search deal and even its Cashback program. But with these latest talks, it is literally trying to buy the news, or at least exclusive access to the news. Bing can’t buy all the news, it can only buy certain brands. If Bing can somehow become the only place you can find news results and working links to the Wall Street Journal and other top papers such as the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the LA Times, for instance, that would be a big reason to switch for a lot of folks. But it’s not clear how much Bing would have to pay the news companies of the world for them to give up all the traffic Google sends them in return for a fraction of that traffic and some cash. Even Google couldn’t afford to strike such deals. Says Murdoch, of Google, “If they were to pay everybody for everything they took from every newspaper in the world, and every magazine, they wouldn’t have any profits left.” In order to actually make a dent in Google’s market share, Bing would have to pay such exorbitant sums to so many different news companies that it would be difficult to recoup its investment. Bing certainly get some marketing buzz out of any such move, but that’s about it. The big problem with a search engine trying to buy market share by buying parts of the news is that information spreads so quickly these days, exclusives last about 30 seconds. That information will end up on a site that is indexed by Google. Or the same news will be broken by someone else on the Web before the even gets to it.
Exclusive indexing goes against the Web’s inherent openness. Companies that try to curtail that openness don’t last long on the Web.
The Register wrote:
Everyone's missed the clever part of Rupert Murdoch's broadside against Google last week. Murdoch said he'd block Google from spidering his websites' content, and may use litigation against public broadcasters such as the BBC, who use material spawned in his papers. The conventional wisdom from web gurus was that he was off his rocker, and his comments were the last gasp of a Luddite. And that shows you what the conventional wisdom of web pundits is worth. What Murdoch has done is say the unspeakable. He's offered a roadmap for taming Google - and a re-ordering of everything we take for granted about the web today. He can't do so alone, which is why his real audience included media and entertainment executives who lack the courage to think such heresies. But he invited the prospect that without its expensively-produced material, Google stops being the omnivorous destroyer of their livelihoods they suppose it is today. And this, in turn, means Google's own investment decisions today may be horribly misplaced.

Photo: Peter Thiedeke

Can Rupert Murdoch save online news?

By James Silver|30 June 2009

It’s hardly a hot scoop that the newspaper industry is caught in a perfect storm of haemorrhaging ad revenues and dwindling readerships, exacerbated by a deep recession. Across the US, newspapers are failing and big-name titles teetering on the brink. The Los Angeles Times’s parent company, Tribune, filed for bankruptcy last December; in February, Hearst Corp warned it may close the San Francisco Chronicle, which lost more than $50 million in 2008, if it failed to slash costs or find a buyer; the same month, the owner of The Philadelphia Inquirer filed for bankruptcy protection, loaded with $390 million of debt. In the UK, the once-unassailable Daily Mail & General Trust reported a first-half pre-tax loss of £239 million, with operating profit for its national Associated Newspapers titles down 59 per cent, and by 85 per cent at its regional division, Northcliffe Media. Newspapers are in deep trouble. If they survive, albeit in digital form only, then one event in May this year will surely be seen as a turning point in this narrative. It was late afternoon at News Corporation’s New York HQ, and reporters around the world had called in to hear Rupert Murdoch discuss a pretty dismal set of third-quarter results at a teleconference earnings call. News Corp’s operating income had plunged by 47 per cent year on year from $1.4 billion to $755 million, with its newspapers hardest hit. Evaporating advertising meant that operating income in that segment – which includes The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) and the New York Post in the  US and The Sun and The Times in the UK – were down from $209 million to just $7 million year on year. Strangely, given this flurry of bad results, Rupert Murdoch was in a surprisingly upbeat mood. The usually gruff 78-year-old declared that “the worst is over”, before talking about “bright spots”, especially in the group’s “booming” movie business. But it was his calculated comments about failing newspapers which went on to spawn more than 7,000 headlines across the world – as well as blogosphere cacophony. “That it’s possible to charge for content on the web is obvious from the [WSJ]’s experience,” he drawled. Visitor numbers at doubled from 13.4 million in April 2008. “[We’re] now in the midst of an epochal debate over the value of content and it’s clear that, for many newspapers, the current model is malfunctioning.” Of News Corp, he said portentously: “You can confidently presume we are leading the way in finding a model that maximises revenues and returns for our shareholders.” To this end, a team of News Corp execs has been convened to consider all possible digital business models. Murdoch added that “the very bright people we have at our SlingShot Laboratories” – an incubator launched in 2008 to develop new digital ventures – “are devising clever ways to monetise the content of some of our long established print properties”. And if that weren’t enough to create a buzz, there was more to come. Just as three leading American newspapers – The New York Times, The Boston Globe and The Washington Post – agreed a deal to offer long-term subscribers a discount on Amazon’s Kindle DX, Murdoch hinted that he was planning to launch a News Corp branded rival to the Kindle. “I can assure you we will not be feeding our content rights to the fine people who created the Kindle,” he informed his audience. “We will control the prices for our content and we will control the relationship with our customers.” Sounding every inch the Old Testament behemoth, he then pronounced: “The current days of the internet will soon be over.” For Murdoch, it was a no-brainer. As print classified and display advertising revenues slumped by 21 per cent year on year at News Corp’s UK titles, by 16 per cent at its Australian newspapers, and by 33 per cent at the WSJ,’s figures were soaring. According to data gathered by Omniture, had an average of 6.8 million visitors in the first quarter of 2006 – up to 26.5 million visitors by this April. Following a similar trajectory,’s page views rose from an average of 109.6 million in the first quarter of 2006 to 224 million in April 2009. But for Murdoch and his lieutenants, including Robert Thomson, WSJ managing editor, the figures that really matter are paying subscribers. In the first quarter of 2006, 761,000 people subscribed to By the first quarter of 2009 this figure had risen to 1,067,000. A subscription to costs $1.99 a week. An annual online-only sub typically costs £72, and a print-and online package is £163 a year. No wonder that Thomson has revealed plans for “a sophisticated micropayments service” for individual articles on, which began charging in 1996, as well as “premium subscriptions” for access to niche fields such as energy, commodities and Dow Jones wire stories later in the year.
  Meanwhile, Murdoch’s digital team will also have been crunching the numbers at rival, which first introduced a pay barrier in 2002. In 2007, the website switched to a “hybrid frequency access model” which allows the Financial Times to continue to charge “heavy users” of the website, while enabling “casual” visitors to surf for free. Currently, a visitor to the site can read three articles a month without registering, and up to ten after registration. If they want to read any more than that, they hit a paywall. Across 2007, averaged 5.3 million monthly unique users and 43 million page views with “almost zero” registered users. A year later, that rose to an average of 7.1 million uniques, 72 million page views and 400,000 registered users. The latest figures are 11.4 million uniques, 82.2 million page views, with 1.3 million registered users. In the past year,’s base of paying subscribers has grown eight per cent to 109,609. In 2007, the site had 101,000 subscribers and around 90,000 in 2006. The FT Group – which includes the FT, Interactive Data, The Economist, FTSE and Mergermarket – has a publishing business which is now two-thirds digital. Print- and advertising- based national media companies (including the Recoletos group in Spain, Les Échos in France and FTDeutschland in Germany) have been sold off, and digital businesses such as Mergermarket, Money- Media and Exec-Appointments acquired. In 2008, digital services accounted for 67 per cent of FT Group revenues – a rise from 28 per cent in 2000. Significantly, print advertising accounted for 25 per cent of revenues in 2008 – a drop from 52 per cent in 2000. An FT spokesman told Wired that, like Dow Jones (publisher of wsj. com), is mulling the launch of a micropayments system. “[It] is certainly something we’re looking at. We want to be as innovative and flexible as possible with how we monetise,” he said. “Every publisher should be looking at whether they can charge for their content online, and micropayments are one of the key ways they can do that.” None of this will have been lost on Rupert Murdoch, for whom the story is yet more evidence that the content free-for-all on the web needs to be shut down and, as print advertising and circulation nosedive, the business model is paywalls or bust. Take the case of the stricken New York Times, which announced a loss for the first quarter of 2009 of $74.5 million, compared with a loss of $335,000 in the same quarter of 2008. But although profits and newsprint circulation were on the slide, it was faring far better on the net. In March 2009, according to Nielsen Online, had 20.1 million unique visitors, compared with 18.9 million a year earlier. Chairman Arthur Sulzberger had already told shareholders that he was “exploring a new online financial strategy”. But a few days after Murdoch’s comments, a reporter on the paper, Jennifer 8 Lee, revealed in a series of tweets during a briefing by managers that a number of pay models were being considered urgently, including “metering” – charging readers after a certain word count or number of clicks – and a “tiered membership system”. Lee also tweeted that lessons were being learned from the failure of TimesSelect, a now-defunct subscription programme which charged $49.95 a year for online access to the work of its columnists and the paper’s archives. TimesSelect launched in 2005 and drew 227,000 paying subscribers, generating about $10 million a year in revenue, but was closed in 2007 after growth projections were deemed too low. Instead, the site embraced a traffic-driven digital display advertising model – to the relief of the paper’s columnists, who disliked being shuttered behind a paywall. In the UK Martin Morgan, chief executive of the ailing Daily Mail & General Trust, echoed Murdoch by telling theFT that DMGT was considering paywalls and micropayments for its consumer titles. “What is in some ways exciting is that the game is moving on from the broad-brush approach that nearly all content has to be free,” he said. The clamour against “free” from industry execs is growing. As Murdoch pledged a new era, publisher Rob Grimshaw explained on an industry website that, without paywalls, advertising-only online businesses struggle. “If you start doing some simple maths on this thing, it becomes clear what a challenge it is. If you’re aiming to make $50 million a year from your online advertising business, which is not massive, you’re going to need 833 million page impressions per month at CPMs [cost per thousand page impressions] of $5 a time. If they drop to $1, you need 4.1 billion.” The decision to offer free online content, with digital advertising the only revenue stream, has come back to bite the industry hard – and should never have been taken at all, says the FT’s chief business commentator, John Gapper. “There was an awful lot of nonsense talked about the desirability of making everything free on the net. But it was never a business strategy, only a slogan. And a lot of that nonsense was talked by people who had motivation to want all content to be free – Silicon Valley people, aggregators, hardware manufacturers, software manufacturers. “They wanted all this information to be free because it improved the value of their businesses. And they sold everyone else a pup, saying that if all content owners didn’t make their content free, then somehow they didn’t get it. “Actually, they were just bullying a lot of people with completely different interests from their own into adopting their interests. Now, that kind of worked as long as the graph showing online advertising revenues carried on going up pretty steeply, but as soon as it flattened out the penny dropped that maybe it wasn’t such a good idea to make all content free. At which point a lot of people have now got to the point that Murdoch’s arrived at, which is to say, ‘Sheer traffic is not going to bridge the gap, therefore we’ve got to think about subscriptions.’” As flip-flops go, it was a spectacular of the genre. In November 2007, as the ink was still drying on News Corp’s $5.6 billion acquisition of Dow Jones, Murdoch addressed shareholders in Adelaide and gave an interview to one of his titles, The Australian, in which he made a series of comments which came as a surprise to many WSJ staffers. “We have been studying [] and we expect to make that free,” he said. According to Reuters, he informed shareholders that he envisaged “instead of having one million [readers], having at least ten to 15 million in every corner of the Earth”.  Fast-forward to The Cable Show, a TV industry conference in Washington some 18 months later, and Murdoch had a very different message. In a foretaste of his comments at the earnings call, he said advertising on would not make up for revenue declines on the print side of the business. “People reading news for free on the web, that’s got to change.” So why the volte-face? Simple: Murdoch got a look at the books. Steve Brill, who founded Court TV and American Lawyer magazine, has just launched Journalism Online, a venture that he hopes will save newspapers by recalibrating their business models to maximise revenues from digital distribution. “My partner, Gordon Crovitz, was the publisher of The Wall Street Journal. He said it would take him an hour to convince Rupert to change his mind when he saw the real numbers,” says Brill. “Rupert saw the numbers and changed his mind. “There were two really important numbers that he saw. The first was that the WSJ has 85 to 90 per cent of the traffic it had before it started charging. You don’t lose traffic when you charge, if you continue a rigorous effort to let people sample, let some content be free on any given day. You can keep up the same traffic, but your core readers – 10 per cent – will buy it so they never hit a paywall. So it’s not like you flip a switch and either you have [digital] ad revenue or circulation. WSJ has both. “The second thing he saw was that the cost of getting a print subscriber went down because, quite obviously, if you’re giving something away [online], it’s harder to get people to buy the print version. But if you attach a value to the online version then it’s easier to sell the print version and, most importantly, it’s much easier to sell the print version if you bundle the print subscription with an online subscription, which is what the WSJ and FT do.” But some find it difficult to buy Murdoch as digital pioneer. Steeped in the worlds of newspapers and satellite TV, the notoriously technophobic News Corp chief was initially reluctant to invest in digital, balking at the high prices for online brands in the early stages of the bubble.  He appointed James, his youngest son, as executive vice-president with responsibility for overseeing News Corp’s global internet strategy, and his attitude towards the web began to defrost. In July 2005, the acquisition of Intermix Media (including the star property MySpace, as well as 30 other sites) for $580m was seen as a watershed moment in News Corp’s internet ambitions. But although the deal was hailed at the time, much of the gloss has since worn off. Indeed, Murdoch’s entire digital division (which News Corp refers to as “Other Assets” on its website) had a distinctly lacklustre showing in the most recent third-quarter results, posting an operating loss of $89 million. Journalist Michael Wolff, who spent nine months interviewing Murdoch for his biography The Man Who Owns The News, is dismissive of News Corp’s digital credentials, arguing that the group lacks any genuinely coherent strategy. “Throughout News Corp there is just no premium on digital anywhere,” he says. “In the case of MySpace, they’ve screwed it up. They arguably had $25 billion in value in that. Today it’s worth, I dunno, $600 million? It certainly is heading south, and they’ve been trying to get rid of it. And as far as is concerned, they bought that, so they get no credit there. "There is just no evidence up and down this company that they have any expertise, nor any commitment to digital. Everything that happens at News Corp happens in Rupert Murdoch’s image. Nobody is empowered to do anything he doesn’t want done. And Rupert Murdoch doesn’t use a computer, cannot get email, cannot get his mobile phone to work – it just doesn’t interest him.” Interview requests with Rupert and James Murdoch, and other News Corp executives, were declined. Similarly, Wolff, who has form in the digital game as founder of, dismisses the hiring of Jonathan Miller as head of digital strategy. “Hiring someone like Miller is just a Hail Mary pass. Someone at News Corp said: ‘Oh my God, go out and find someone who knows about this digital stuff!’ And someone else said: ‘This Miller guy ran AOL!’ And someone else said: ‘Hey, that’s a big company, get him!’ That’s the level. These guys are saying stuff that they think people want to hear.”Of Murdoch as the possible saviour of digital papers, he says this: “They have no idea what they’re talking about. As for an actual digital strategy? Totally forget it.”
 Wired understands that James Murdoch has been addressing NI staff in London about digital strategy; given the dire situation, a variety of business models are urgently being explored. More visitors to NI websites are likely to have to register, so that marketers can target them. “Higher value” content – such as The Sun’s celebrity news and football coverage – may be placed behind a paywall. There may be charges to access The Sunday Times. The company is also seeking ways to attract “quality” rather than “quantity” to its sites, perhaps discouraging high volumes of overseas traffic, which has little commercial value. Of all the options under consideration, one is known to be gaining traction at the highest levels. That idea is to launch a Sky TV-style tiered-subscription platform – available on a mobile device, e-reader or computer – featuring all News Corp content. The content of rival newspaper groups and perhaps even the BBC will be available too. The group will not officially confirm it, but it is believed to be in development. Yet although there is a proven market for financial news online, doubts remain that anyone used to a decade of free digital content will pay for news – particularly if they can still get it free elsewhere. “It’s tough to charge for general content,” says John Gapper. “The Wall Street Journal has a solid subscription model, but as you go down the spectrum from The Times to The Sun, it becomes tougher to sustain.” Nor does Gapper see the point of offering subscriptions for “a bundle” of sites. “Why would I want to subscribe to all those things? Why would a Times reader want to be bundled into the same digital club as a Sun reader? No insult to Rupert Murdoch, but I don’t think he knows what he’s doing with this, because no one really does.” But some people think they do – Steve Brill among them. Newspaper groups which sign on with his venture will get a raft of services, including a spot on an “all-you-can-read” platform. At a cost of around $20 a month, this will allow subscribers to read content from “thousands of sources without hitting a paywall”. Brill says he is in talks with six of the largest newspaper groups in the US, but declines to say whether News Corp is among them. A separate line of enquiry suggests it is.
 “It’s going to be a tough transition,” says Brill, “but it’s the only alternative. We’re not saying that all of a sudden everyone’s paying. You start with offering a little paid content, then gradually wean people off this ridiculous free business model.” Of Murdoch, he adds: “It probably never made sense to him to give content away. When he was presented with evidence at Dow Jones, then it certainly didn’t. Now he’s the most passionate sort of evangelist for paid content – the convert.” James Silver, a contributing editor to Total Politics magazine, reported for the “Hidden persuaders” feature in July’s Wired UK.
Want more Wired UK magazine? Make sure you get your copy every month -  subscribe online today.


Great assembly of the issues but one element I'd like to read a lot more about in this debate is advertising. There are two ways to improve the revenue from content online. 1. the blunt and old-fashioned way of charging directly for access. 2. the more challenging and ultimately more desirable way of creating truly effective high value advertising which sustains the model. Far more demanding a task to take the alternative route and work with advertisers to truly monetise the audience. That is the real prize, not just closing off access -- charging a fiver and wondering where the readers have gone. Read The Times and thelondonpaper together sometime and you will start to see that charging isn't necessarily a defence of quality. One is converging towards the other...the wrong way.

Peter Bale Wednesday, July 08, 2009Really? That is what the smart people he has working for him have come up with. How about a different direction? Yes charge people a subscription fee but make it truly useful. Let people be the editors of their own daily newsfeed tailored to their interests and downloadable for printing or onto an ereader or ipod type device as and when they want it. Let the user decide what they want and where it coems from and act as a conduit for payments back to the content providers (professional and amateur) - so I want world, national and local news, Mark Steel from the Independent and Charlie Brooker from the Guardian, the crosswords from the Glasgow Herald and the Times, cartoons - Dilbert, Nemi and penny-arcade and sport missing out out cricket and rugby. Even let it graze and pay my favourite bloggers for their efforts. Hell - for the fun of it put the occasional lolcat in the comics page Yes you could do all that with clever rss feeds but it would take time and too much effort for most. If you want people to pay for it you're going to have to make it tailored and put them in control. A for news. You never know if it is genuinely targeted and useful I might actually read the advertisementsAlistair Reid Tuesday, July 14, 2009 8:31:06 AM


Chairman and CEO of News Corporation Rupert Murdoch Photograph: Hector Mata/AFP

Rupert Murdoch is the spitting image of Emperor Palpatine. Check out those jowls.

  2. The Times, they are a-charging Rupert Murdoch claims that he will begin charging for internet content such as Times Online. Web guru Jeff Jarvis is adamant that it won't work. Who do you agree with

  1., Thursday 6 August 2009


6 Aug 2009, 12:11PM

Hardly anyone's going to pay for a non-specialist online newspaper when all the others are still free.

  1. toonbasedmanc

    6 Aug 2009, 12:11PM


    It won't work - people are too used to getting online news content for free. Besides, Times online is rubbish.


6 Aug 2009, 8:33PM

Public comments should go on ,to be absolutely Free. As if they are about to stard even thinking to experiment with such a negative idea ,most newspapers in the world will find out in a question of no time ,that they would immediately face ,the general public's participation .Consequently it will quite naturally effect badly any newspapers advertising revenius ,as their publics readership will be reduced to the maximum degree of the very minimum.-----------------------------------------------------------I think that the public will tolerate more advertisements,rather than becoming charged in any kind of given form. On the other hand all those readers who do not wish to be disturbed, with extra advertisements should be subjected into an extra little resonable cost, to cover the expenses of the any given ,newspaper in our world . I think that will be a resonable solution ,that might bring some serious extra revenius to the Newspapers Industry. As any other Radical disitions of charging Cif CONTRIBOUTIONS OF FREE COMMENTS & OPINIONS, will be a terrible downfall disasterous decision into any newspapers popularity. As in my humble opinion to build a Respectable home, and an International Readership of any newspaper in the world , it normally takes more than several lives time , but it will take no time to destroy the support of millions and millions of steady people throughout the WORLD who are for many years good faithful readers and Supporters . Having said that ,i think it best to rest my case, in the hope that Rupert Murdoch ,will find his way to increase his much needed Extra Revenue's to support his Empire of newspapers ,without losing ,the successful proven eccelent record of his newspapers readership. For all i know it might end up to be a simple give and take decision.---------------------------------------------------------------Regards ,Daniel Salaman London UK.


6 Aug 2009, 8:39PM

People will just use the other free sites, like this one. The Times is not a BSKYB monopoly.


6 Aug 2009, 9:09PM

You say Jeff is adamant it won't work, from which I inferred that it would be unfeasible (sic) technically. Turns out that's not what he's saying. Instead he's saying that financially it won't be viable.

I think that the GMG is flying a kite here with three blogs in one day on the same issue. We all know that the GMG, along with many other parts of the print media, is currently running an unviable operation anyway and will be hoping that Murdoch's experiment works so that they can follow the lead. So you're really testing the water to see whether CiF is worth paying for in our view. Well......I wouldn't have any objection to paying a monthly subscription for GU, particularly if it meant that, as a paying customer, the mods treated me and other posters making constructive criticism of arguments by, oh let's pick a name out of the air, Nick Cohen, as customers rather than unwelcome guests. And the truly unwelcome guests, the rabid drooling loons who would never dream of buying the paper would be equally unlikely to subscribe for the online version. Yeh, win-win. Bring it on.


6 Aug 2009, 9:46PM

A quick tip to improve your web experience, and shut down unwanted advertising Install Firefox as your browser, fast efficient, and not cluttered with ads. The Grease Monkey add-on switches off annoyingly distracting Flash ad animations unless you choose to play them. Not perfect, but has greatly improved my browsing experience.


6 Aug 2009, 10:04PM

Why on Earth would anyone pay for something they can get for free. It's not as though Times Online is offering premiership football & film premieres to woo the punters & padding it out with dross and repeats.


7 Aug 2009, 12:47AM

chrissetti: He can charge what he likes, all it takes is one free-content blogger to recycle the articles into a free blog and that's where people will go.

ClareLondon: Which would be copyright theft, I think you'll find. And just the sort of copyright theft that some people might find particularly rewarding, just because it's Rupert Murdoch. Of course it would be foolish to republish all the news - just the most popular columnists, the sudoku, racing tips, crosswords, obituaries.... zorro1x The major newspapers / cable TV channels / wire services should all agree to start charging for stories. It's the height of stupidity to gave your content away free. Bloggers, aggregators and other Internet leeches can't live without the stories/photos provided by the major institutions. All those who whine that people are used to getting their information free are a joke. Screw those idiots. They'll pay when they have no other choice. Period.

And then they'll post it and we can see it for free - if you mean the leeches. Or they'll go and read it on the leeches' blogs - if you mean the whining idiots, or the people. And as more content is charged for, and presumably ad-free, the value of free news sites to advertisers will increase. The magic of the market. (Does one of your parents work at News International?)


7 Aug 2009, 12:52AM

Since the revenue is generated by advertising, what would be the point of reducing the number of "clicks" by requiring people to pay? An addendum to whatyoumakeofit's post: as well as Firefox, install the Firefox add-on "No-Script". When I read the comments about ads, I had no idea what people were talking about - I never get ads and pop-ups.


6 Aug 2009, 4:25PM


6 Aug 2009,

The Guardian may well follow Murdoch's commercial lead. If it does, I think Cif should remain free, with only the rest of the site being charged for.

After all, it would be deeply ironic if comment became unfree; and it would surely go against the political beliefs of the bulk of the contributors both above and below the line to make people pay to express their opinions. Some may object that if you can afford a PC, then you can afford to pay in order to comment. But some Cifers might well be doing so through a PC at a library or other public place. Also, would paying to comment actually improve the quality of comments? I'm not at all sure - I did wonder if it would reduce the number of puerile or ad hominem comments, but I think some people would happily pay in order to carry on doing so. What would happen if a paying Cifer had a long comment deleted? Could they argue to have it re-installed on the basis that they paid for it? I don't want comments on Cif to be reduced to a form of vanity publishing.


6 Aug 2009,

I wouldn't read that crap if Murdoch PAID ME...!!!


6 Aug 2009,

>The Guardian may well follow Murdoch's commercial lead I doubt that the Guardian would be silly enough to do that, they are doing very well with their current policy and if it isn't broken nobody's going to fix it.


6 Aug 2009,

06 Aug 09,  He can charge what he likes, all it takes is one free-content blogger to recycle the articles into a free blog and that's where people will go. Which would be copyright theft, I think you'll find.


6 Aug 2009, 7:40PM

06 Aug 09, 6:54pm (44 minutes ago) A couple of questions, maybe someone can answer... If the entire mainstream media elite got together and agreed to charge for accessing their websites would it be illegal? (like price fixing) would any government have jurisdiction over it? The media getting together to agree to charge wouldn't be price fixing. Deciding on the price together would be.


6 Aug 2009, 7:36PM

I'm sorry? News International media publications have "content"? When did this start?I'll give him this though, its a novel business model, charging online internet users money for the equivalent of empty calories.


6 Aug 2009, 6:54PM

A couple of questions, maybe someone can answer... If the entire mainstream media elite got together and agreed to charge for accessing their websites would it be illegal? (like price fixing) would any government have jurisdiction over it?


7 Aug 2009, 7:39AM

I can understand why newspaper's would want to charge people to read them online - there must be so many people these days who, like me, rarely buy print papers and instead get their content online for free. But charging won't work because there are so many alternative news sites these days - the BBC site being one obvious contender. Plus there are so many other alternatives as well - political blogs such as ConservativesAtHome, polling sites, specialist sites on every current affairs topic under the sun, and so on. Then there are RSS feeds, Twitter and so on to keep you constantly updated on breaking stories, plus the advent of so-called "citizen journalism". I don't know what the answer is for the traditional press. I strongly suspect that its days are numbered. The Murdoch press is losing money. The Guardian Group is apparently in dire straits. The trajectory seems pretty clear.


7 Aug 2009, 7:54AM

I find that the idea that the working class are simply suckers of the media to be - yet again - the frivolous piffle of the nauseatingly reactionary bourgeoisie, creeps who talk left and act right.


7 Aug 2009, 6:17AM

The Murdock Enterprises bottom line no doubt is hit hard and his rouge financial empire is sinking. The old uncouth shyster with the rest of his kind for all the loot, plundering and his ultra conservative perverse ways of of inequality and rights only of his kind deserves what is coming his way. Unfortunately his empire is not too big to fall. The sooner he disappears the better for man kind. The next should be his Fox News that is riddled with the usual lies and the assholes right wing nuts that work for him. They should soon face what goes around , comes around.


7 Aug 2009, 8:00AM

Can't believe it will work unless *all* the major newspapers decide to start charging simultaneously. Otherwise readers will simply migrate to the free online news presences. Even if they did, how many would simply rely on BBC Online? (that said, 30 years ago, how many relied on the 6 O Clock News rather than buy a paper? Plus ca Change...) Would I pay for Times Online? No, but I don't buy the Times. I just might pay for access to the Guardian if it was sensibly priced. I am subscribed to a number of small specialist sports magazines on the internet - they charge a relatively small proportion of the cost of buying the dead-tree edition


6 Aug 2009, 6:51PM

The major newspapers / cable TV channels / wire services should all agree to start charging for stories. It's the height of stupidity to gave your content away free.
Bloggers, aggregators and other Internet leeches can't live without the stories/photos provided by the major institutions. All those who whine that people are used to getting their information free are a joke. Screw those idiots. They'll pay when they have no other choice. Period.


6 Aug 2009, 6:22PM

He can charge what he likes, all it takes is one free-content blogger to recycle the articles into a free blog and that's where people will go.


6 Aug 2009, 6:26PM

I vote for Jeff.

Then again, I thought Sky would go bankrupt and nobody in their right minds would pay £50 a month when we had perfectly good "free" telly... it doesn't pay to underestimate Rupert.

Schweik 6 August, 2009


>The Guardian may well follow Murdoch's commercial lead I doubt that the Guardian would be silly enough to do that, they are doing very well with their current policy and if it isn't broken nobody's going to fix it The Guardian Media Group lost nearly £90 million in the year to March 29 and is considering closing the Observer as a cost-cutting measure. According to the Times article where I got the above information.

A wide range of cost-saving ideas are expected to be considered, but not all of them will be acted upon. On Friday, Carolyn McCall, the chief executive of Guardian Media Group, said that The Guardian and The Observer could not sustain the current level of losses for the next three years — and savings would be found by looking at our structure, although that was intended to signal an examination of overheads in the business. Here's the link:



6 Aug 2009, 12:12PM

You mean like pay for Cif? More bicycles for Matt Seaton and more pizza for Jessica Reed with a G? No-------------with regret.

  • PhilippaB

    6 Aug 2009, 12:15PM


    Heavens. Timesonline already charges for the archive access. I'm happy to pay for that - do I agree with Rupes? - but wouldn't pay for general news coverage - do I agree with Jeff?. If Grauniad started charging for access to the news, would I pay? That would depend how much. If there was an 'ad-free' option that required payment, would I choose it? Nah, probably not - always helpful to be reminded that M&S now delivers to France. And the 'themed' google ads between ATL and BTL can occasionally be causes of unexpected hilarity. Who do I agree with there? We're nitpickers here, remember. This standard of polling just won't do, damnit! écœuré de Montpellier. (Mind you, if you started charging for access to CIF, I'd pay - whatever the cost - I just can't help myself - it's like crack cocaine but without having to sit in a stairwell.)

  • 29FR

    6 Aug 2009, 12:23PM

    Great article btw.

  • hogswatch

    6 Aug 2009, 12:24PM

    You can talk the talk, Rupert, now lets see you walk the walk.

  • cbarr

    7 Aug 2009, 1:52AM

    Would i pay to be lied too by the murdock press? No i think i get enough lies told to me for free.

  • Erdington

    7 Aug 2009, 2:05AM

    Go ahead Rupert. Make my day.

  • frugalbear

    6 Aug 2009, 12:31PM

    It's The Sun wot dumbed-down Britain innit

  • TMAP

    6 Aug 2009, 12:34PM

    Most web adverts are (especially the FLASH animated ones) are so bloody annoying that I might pay if the delivery was entirely ad free. Although I probably wouldn't, because I would go one of the fabulous free news aggregators like Just because he's a rich bastard doesn't mean Rupert is smart. He is generally very poorly advised, and he's made lots of wrong moves in his time but a few right ones where he basically got lucky - like his chum Lord S'ralan. This just isn't a right one.

  • saturatedlies

    6 Aug 2009, 12:43PM

    Good business idea there! - make your site free to begin with, then slowly increase the amount of annoying in your face pop out flash ads until you piss off your readership so much that by the end there demanding for an ad-free paid service!

  • Macnelson

    6 Aug 2009, 12:44PM

    Rupert Murdoch may choose who is Prime Minister of this Country but no one will pay for internet content which is free for all to see other than MPs seeking higher office also known as arse lickers.

  • thaumaturge

    6 Aug 2009, 12:48PM

    It'd be a cold day in hell before I gave that bastard any money.

  • MartynInEurope

    6 Aug 2009, 1:01PM

    Both, and neither. There is no conclusive proof either way, maybe Murdoch has some genius plan for hooking people in to paid content, maybe as part of a bundled package deal with other media services, although I don't have details of course.


    6 Aug 2009, 1:22PM

    First the megacorporations take over the mass media. Then, furious over the fact that they can't squeeze as much profit out of it as they'd like despite slashing and deforming it beyond recognition, they announce their master plan: squeeze more money out of consumers! The only problem is that as the recession drags on (you know, the one people like Murdoch created) more and more people aren't able to afford discretionary purchases like premium internet services, or internet connections, or even the computers to connect to the internet. Murdoch is notorious for introducing soft core porn into daily newspapers. Now hard-core porn can be had for free all over the internet. How frustrated Murdoch must be.


    6 Aug 2009, 1:23PM

    Looking at the above photo, and many others of Rupert leads me to ask a question. Was there a spitting image puppet of Murdoch? And if so, did it just look like a normal person? I'm sure he's actually melting.


    6 Aug 2009, 1:30PM

    Hogswatch. Murdoch might be able to 'talk the talk' but as for the walking part, he would be hard pushed to manage the stairs without the help of a stana-lift...


    6 Aug 2009, 1:35PM

    It would be no loss to me. I haven't and will not ever stump up money to watch Sky. Murdoch, repulsive as he is, is an astute businessman. He will do it, if it is to his business advantage, and he will make it work. But the question is how? Saturatedlies makes an interesting point. Internet ads are even more annoying than their TV equivalents, which have established such a baneful hegemony that the programme is now a parasite of the advertisement. The advertising is the raison d'etre of the programme on Sky. Consequently, I can't believe Murdoch proposes to offer ad-free content. Murdoch understands that the majority of people want news issues simplified, sensationalised and presented in a package that 1. panders to current popular prejudices (paying no heed to political allegiance, chronological consistency or internal coherence). 2. supports intolerant and anti-intellectual viewpoints. 3. includes a high percentage content of low-brow entertainment and titillation. It's my guess that it is the last of these which Murdoch will exploit with "exclusive" access to films, music, soft porn, celebrity interviews, comedy sketches, tickets for events for prescribers. What Murdoch will need to do is to establish rights to the content and destroy the possibility of any competitor establishing more than a small percentage of the market.


    6 Aug 2009, 2:13PM

    its not only online content thats free dont they give away massive numbers of free copies f the paper to boost circulation figures?


    6 Aug 2009, 2:14PM

    go on Rupert, do it I dare you


    6 Aug 2009, 2:19PM

    I would prefer it RM charged for the Sun website. Here he should be allowed to charge whatever he likes. As long as it keeps vulnerable working class people away from his vile, divisive propaganda


    6 Aug 2009, 3:04PM

    What an arrogant old fool. Let's watch the dinosaur shoot himself in the foot. Natural selection, init.


    6 Aug 2009, 3:41PM

    Murdoch is slightly lower than pond slime. Fortunately that too passes


    6 Aug 2009, 3:46PM

    In the war between Murdoch and the people, Murdoch doesnt stand a chance. He is like the recording industry, or Obama in Afghanistan. He is beaten before he even begins. There is so much ingenuity combined with determination to keep the web free, that he is an ant fighting the species. What is remarkable, though, is like the recording industry and Obama, he actually thinks he can win. That shows us how useless it is to have lots of money and a high IQ when it is fatally mixed with ego and hubris.


    6 Aug 2009, 3:47PM

    Punters will just move away to a free site.

    However the issue of how to generate revenue to pay for on-line content when ad-budgets are being slashed is a tricky one.

    The answer might come if it is possible to attach or charge micro payments via your ISP as ringtone and other content providers can via your mobile phone provider.


    6 Aug 2009, 4:00PM

    Is this a WAPPING BIG moment for Murdoch.


    6 Aug 200

    Rupert Murdoch claims that he begin Charging for Internet Content ,such as Time Online ? In my humble ,opinion ,although i respect and i have always admired his genius business abilities ,i quite feel strongly that he will put at tremendous risk much against the odds ,his entire Newspaper Empire. Therefore if i was Rupert Murdoch,i would payed serious attention in to Jeff Jarris opinion . As i understand quite strongly that the Cif = its the Chicken that produces the Golden eggs. To cut it short, i would have concentrated into my advertising news-paper departments ,to make a little better profits ,to cover the expense's of the Empire news papers + To be making a little profits ,so to keep the Empire going Through the financial Crisis.-----------------Never the less ,i do indeed have a great appreciation to Rupert Murdoch Great Media Services , and power inspite of the fact ,that many people , much to my sadness ,at all given times, in the past they have expressed their negative opinions ,against such a genius man. Having said all that, i am more than confident that Rupert Murdoch ,will arrive at the right decision and the right conclution ,not to damage his unique,News Empire,creation . Furthermore i like to thank him for keeping so many people at work .---------------------------Furthermore i like to clarify my position as i have never earned a single penny -or a cent , out this great man ,but for the fact that that he has managed to provide a good living into many of my compatriots for so many years ? I have no hesitation to thank him for his kind of ,eccelent employment SERVICES . Therefore i am wishing to pass over ,my greatest respects and admiration of a superlative man ,that are indeed in their kind much fewer ,than the majority that has throughout of the years Supported him strongly ,without any particular Self Interest ,or ever to get to knowing him ever in person .------------Hesitance and jealously are always much against the Greatest Successful people in our Jungle world ? Thats a part of our sad Hyman's nature . As many of our People on our Cif have nothing realy to offer in a constructive manner ,other than , an Inferiority madness of destructive political opinion , other than of sad many times political Complexes . No one can deny the truth that Mr Murdoch has given YOU the greatest Democratic ,chances of Expression within our legal standards of rules and Regulations . Ones again i feel the need to rest my case and to remain faithful to a great man ,that has given ,and continues to give a decent Job into many people that are my true compatriots. ----------------------------------------------------------Daniel Salaman London UK .

    1. Ben Bradshaw's Blog » BBC

      18 Sep 2009 ... When I asked them why they listened to the BBC, rather than the much ... to which the public continue to attach importance – impartiality in news, ... Since JamesMurdoch's speech the BBC has another review of itself, ... - Cached -
    2. BSkyB chief rails at BBC licence fee - The Scotsman

      His speech reflects a growing frustration within Rupert Murdoch's broadcasting empire at the recent growth of the BBC's digital channels and other ventures. ... - Cached 
    3. BBC - Oliver Brett's Blog: The rise of the English South Africans

      Surely, to attach too much significance to any perceived recent trend, ..... I have no problem with a team called 'Mr Murdoch's cricketers', which happens ... - Cached - 
    4. Who is right about paying for online news: Rupert Murdoch or Jeff ...

      6 Aug 2009 ... The answer might come if it is possible to attach or charge micro payments..... Even if they did, how many would simply rely on BBC Online? ... - Cached -
    5. Wired UK magazine issue 08.09 - Can Rupert Murdoch save online news?

      But if you attach a value to the online version then it's easier to sell the ... The content of rival newspaper groups and perhaps even the BBC will be ... › ... › Start  Can Murdoch save online news? - Cached - 
    6. 9/11, 7/7 & the War on Freedom :: View topic - Murdoch: Google is ...

      23 Nov 2009 ... Rupert Murdoch is pointing a gun to Google's head, and Microsoft is helping him pull back the trigger. ... broadcasters such as the BBC, who use material spawned in his papers. ... You cannot attach files in this forum ... - Cached 
    7. Couchtripper :: View topic - Peter Wilby: BBC bias? The joke's on ...

       MEDIA ALERT: TRUST IN PROFIT: JAMES MURDOCH, THE BBC AND THE MYTH OF IMPARTIALITY ..... You cannot attach files in this forum ... -
    8. [DOC] 

      Royal Television Society

      File Format: Microsoft Word - View as HTML .. core values to which the public continue to attach importance – impartiality in news, ...Since James Murdoch's speech the BBC has another review of itself, .... In his Edinburgh speech, James Murdoch described it – actually you, ... -

    Jay Williams Job Title: Chief Creative Consultant Joined 72 Point:2001 Click to read more

     Clients: Works on all client accounts. What he does: Creative idea generation, copywriting, news generation and training.

    Before 72 Point: Jay's career in journalism began in 1981 when he landed the job of assistant news editor on the legendary music magazine Sounds. In 1985 he moved into mainstream journalism, running the Newcastle bureau of CNA News Agency where he was one of the first reporters on the scene of the 1988 Lockerbie air disaster. Jay joined SWNS in 1990 and was quickly promoted to Chief Reporter. After heading the reporting team which broke the Fred West story amongst numerous others, he was made SWNS Partner in 2000 and later went on to set up 72 Point Ltd with John Sewell. Likes: Elvis, and his son Alfie's band Phoenix Cult - "the best unsigned band in the UK". Dislikes: Stalkers, surly non-smokers who make him step off the pavement, Richard Gere, wine bars.

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