Monday, 18 January 2010

Six weeks ago, Rupert Murdoch revealed that all News Corps web sites would charge for content. "Good journalism is an expensive commodity," said Murdoch. A few days ago the company changed its management structure for flagship Australian broadsheet, The Australian.

Now, The New York Times has said that it will charge for access "within weeks".

The Times will likely deploy a metered system, meaning you can read a certain number of articles for free before you’re prompted to pay up. However, the system won’t be implemented for a few months – likely in [March/April].

Comments on the Mashable story almost universally decry the move, with individuals writing that they will not pay for their news. Andrew Kuzmin, for example, says "sorry NYTimes- looks like the BBC has won for me".

Fear of public media is already part of the debate, with News Corp executive James Murdoch voicing disquiet about the BBC, in terms echoing those used by his father, who has said that the idea of government intervention "ought to be chilling to anyone who cares about free speech".

Comments from US-based bloggers on Twitter mimic this response. There seems to be deeply-ingrained unease in that country about government-run media, which flies in the face of the experiences of consumers in countries where such a service is popular - Canada, the UK, Australia. In those countries, the public broadcaster has a better reputation than its private counterparts.

1 comment:

LMcKee said...

I live in the UK, and detest the BBC. Many of it's stories go unreported due to it's relationship with the Govt: having worked for them before I've seen this first hand. (I'm a journalist)