Thursday, 6 August 2009

The end of free news? I think not…

I read with interest today that Mr Mudoch (spot the Roger Taylor reference if you dare) has declared that free news is at an end - http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/8186701.stm

Maybe access to The Times and The Sun will no longer be free, but one man cannot declare the end of free news, no matter how much of the media he controls.

News happens and nowadays it’s on Twitter before the newspapers even know it’s happened.

Yesterday, some gunshots were fired quite close to where I work.  I had been reading about it for 45 minutes on Twitter before BBC News picked up on it.  And Sky News weren’t much ahead on that – but more interestingly when Sky News reported on it, then did so by taking pictures and videos I’d previously seen on Twitter.

Rupert Murdoch claims that other news organisations will follow suit when they see the success he makes of charging for access to his sites.  Maybe he’s missed the fact that one of the key conversations happening in the online community over the past few years has been trying to solve the conundrum of giving stuff away free, yet still making money for it.  Charging for content is not even an option considered by most people with an online presence anymore.

Does Rupert Murdoch know something the rest of us don’t, or is he really so arrogant to think that he can lead news organisations back into a world where they require a credit card number in return for their output?

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