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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
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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...

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