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His response:
thanks Frank
 On getting news from Paris, no there aren't sufficient other ways. If you don't have a reporter there, you use news agencies. They also charge money and are making it harder to pirate. There is all the difference in the world between having someone in London/Dublin/New York watching French media and "reporting" France and having someone on the ground in the country. The same applies everywhere of course.



Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Jul 3rd, 2010 at 01:48:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
H'mmmm.

I note Mr. Bremner acknowledges it's the "reporter on the ground" providing the Value Added NOT The Times.  What the The Times is doing is providing the money for the "reporter on the ground" to do his/her 'thing.'

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sat Jul 3rd, 2010 at 01:58:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Charles Bremner, Times Paris Corresponden:
There will be fewer and fewer free sources as they go out of business.

In which universe?
Where I live, more and more "free sources" are actually getting into business rather than out of it; for instance: TPM, Gigaom,...

It is rather the conventional news operations that are in trouble and having to undergo rescue operation such as Le Monde.

I'm not advocating a "all news must be free" kind of pollyanish ideal. I stated in my comment that my position was not based on any such principle; this is just the facts.

And this free content trend is not absolute either: there are certainly niches for exclusive high added-value paid-for content. I mentioned "Le Canard Enchaîné" in France, but one could find several examples. With no offense intended to Mr Bremner, I don't think that the Times of London falls into that category.

The trend is there and it is not going away. No matter how hard you wish to, the world is not going back to horse buggies. It's another "There Is No Alternative" (TINA), so to speak. Curiously, some people are not too happy when it applies to other trends than neo-lib policies.

by Bernard on Sat Jul 3rd, 2010 at 02:33:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Progress is all well and good provided the downsides only effect the other guys...

Since Neo-libs are by definition the brightest sparks in the Universe they know that innovation can only be good for them and bad for the bad guys. Only bad innovation damages Murdockland... where will the teabaggers and Eurosceptics get their marching orders if they don't have Fox et al to "inform" them?

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Jul 3rd, 2010 at 02:40:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My response (by e-mail):
Thanks, Charles.

Your comments have generated some interesting discussion at http://www.eurotrib.com/story/2010/7/3/103031/5670  (not all of it as critical as you might expect from Bloggers who often see themselves as an emergent alternative to the MSM).  The blogging community on the European Tribune could fairly be described as news and comment junkies, so I think, long term, The Times has a problem if they all regard the Times disappearing behind a paywall as not much of a loss.  Many would have spent time reading The Times (if only to critique its perceived Eurosceptic and neo-liberal economic biases) and some might  welcome any loss of influence which might ensue from any such "disappearance".  But if The Times simply stops being noticed (positively or negatively) by such emergent opinion formers then I think it has a long-term business survival problem. In the long term, as Keynes observed, we will all be dead anyway, but I would give this paywall experiment less than 5 years.  (The Irish Times paywall survived a couple of years).



Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Jul 4th, 2010 at 09:55:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thank you Frank

Your commenters make interesting points but it reminds me of the debate in the 1970s about the "new information order". If you remember, the idea was that the nasty bourgeois mainstream media (as they weren't called then) could be replaced by collective, communal reporting by engaged citizens, especially in the third world. I also remember, because I was in Moscow at the time, that Soviet-style news reporting (run by a police state) was given moral equivalence with the western version. The alternative model never appeared. I expect that the internet news system will shake out in a few years to be something very different from the rather idealistic version sketched by your readers.

best regards

Charles



Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Jul 4th, 2010 at 01:17:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I suspect the shake-out is going to look different to the model proposed by his rather idealistic boss.

Nice, if slightly confused, attempt to put bloggers in an adjacent box to Soviet media though.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sun Jul 4th, 2010 at 01:28:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
could be replaced by collective, communal reporting by engaged citizens, especially in the third world.

The difference being that the 1970's  your average engaged citizen couldn't lay his hands on, or get access to a printing press.

I expect that the internet news system will shake out in a few years to be something very different from the rather idealistic version sketched by your readers.

It would be interesting to know where he thinks things will actually end up.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Jul 4th, 2010 at 07:11:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Charles Bremner:

I expect that the internet news system will shake out in a few years to be something very different from the rather idealistic version sketched by your readers.

One, Charles Bremner is now dealing personally with a new internet news system - that may work or not. He "expects" that times will change.

Does he think so because he's experiencing the change right now or what is to be expected that could shatter our idealistic take on internetional news gathering?

Is his expectation based on a feeling or facts?

Two, there's always interest by Big Business and Politics in the Media as long as they can have an impact on them - in which case news can be a valuable asset, provided that content doesn't run wild but is controlled within certain parameters, as in Murdoch's top-down business model. IF it works (readers pay and benefactors subsidise the business), it may spread. (??)

As the free for all barrier is falling, and people are asked to pay for - first specialised and then increasingly general news content, it may become more difficult for sites like this one to survive because of copyright issues et al.

Murdoch has taken this enormous step, and news continues to flow without him. The question is, will there be more to follow? Or, in what other way might access to world-wide news change in the years to come?

 

by Lily (put - lilyalmond - here <a> yahaah.france) on Fri Jul 9th, 2010 at 01:20:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Up until the advent of the internet, virtually all news gathering was paid - either by advertisers, subscribers or by taxpayers (in the case of public broadcasters like the BBC).  That model broke when the internet provided virtually unlimited news content for free - and only a very few relatively specialised journals have managed to maintain a paid subscriber base on the web.

Now Murdock has tried to buck that trend by introducing (low) subscriptions for his mass media outlets (in addition to the WSJ).  Perhaps he will succeed and the paywall won't lose him so many readers that his advertising revenue goes down more than the paywall generates.  However the mass media is also called mass for a reason: its about volume and influence, and if both falter his entire business model and empire is at risk.

I suspect the publishing and general business community are rooting for him as he supports their agenda on his pages.  Perhaps they will "subsidise him" through overpaying for advertising.  But if he loses eyeballs and influence he is probably toast.  I suspect very few franchises might get away with a paywall model - The Times, The New York Times etc. because they have a large and wealthy subscriber base.  However I suspect the vast majority of papers will have to remain free - and that gives them an opportunity to increase their readers and advertising at Murdock's expense...

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Jul 9th, 2010 at 06:16:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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