It's somewhat ironic that while many of Rupert Murdoch's media outlets have been breathlessly reporting on the so-called new 'economic greenshoots', his media empire has recorded a $3.4 billion loss. Last year Murdoch's News Corp reported a $5.4 billion profit. It's a big reversal for the media tyrant.

Clearly the 'economic revival' has ignored dear old Rupert, with News Corp struggling with declining advertising revenue. This isn't just purely the product of the recession though - the revenue from the print media is beginning to dry up. Recent newspapers closures are a testament to this.

Murdoch has also been suffering in other areas too. His purchase of MySpace back in 2005, for example, is proving to be a costly failure. The social networking site is losing market share to Facebook.

Now Rupert wants to stem the losses by charging online customers for news content across all his websites.

Murdoch thinks this is a great idea and he believes News Corp will quickly be followed by other media.

"The current days of the internet will soon be over," he has said - as if he thinks he can shape the internet to serve the needs of News Corp.

Here In New Zealand that could mean you might have to pay to read, say, any of the online content of the stable of INL newspapers (eg the Dominion).

But the subscription model has been tried before and it hasn't worked. When the New York Times abandoned its subscription model - visits to its website jumped from about 12 million per day to almost 20 million per day,

For those of us with a left wing bent, Murdoch's news outlets have always been handled at arms length and with a healthy measure of suspicion.

Personably, these days I go to one of to my favourite alternative news sites for news and commentary - as well as my favourite blogs. And then there are the sites that are attached to left wing parties and groupings.

For the right wing clowns among us there's a whole load of right wing sites and blogs available where they can have their egos massaged and prejudices stroked. Right now there's a right wing blogger somewhere in the world writing a blog post bashing welfare beneficiaries.

Murdoch is trying to close the stable door long after the horse has bolted.

The internet is stuffed with news, opinion, comment - and its all free.

What's more a lot of it is better written than the conservative dross that features in the corporate press.

Would you pay to read Paul Holmes praising the Minister of Unemployment Paula Bennett?

It certainly doesn't sound like much of a deal to me.


  1. I agree, can only result in FAIL in my opinion.


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