Rupert Murdoch was interviewed by one of his own news agencies recently when he visited Australia. During the interview Mr. Murdoch made mention that when his news organization goes to paid content, he will prevent Google from indexing his sites. Mr. Murdoch also states that:
Here’s how Murdoch replied when Speers asked why he hasn’t blocked sites from being seen by search engines: “I think we will. But that’s when we start charging. We do it already with the Wall Street Journal. We have a wall, but it’s not right to the ceiling. You can get the first paragraph of any story but if you’re not a paying subscriber, you get a paragraph and a subscription form.” He also raised the idea of challenging the doctrine of “fair use” in court, then reigned it in a bit. “We’re getting a lot of advertising revenue so we’ll take that slowly.”
Soon after that Murdoch talks about how newspapers may evolve: “Everyone can afford a newspaper. They’re the cheapest things in the world and what you get out of it is fabulous. And it will be even cheaper when you get it electronically.”
Which makes me have to ask. When did the light bulb go on for him to understand that printed newspapers are a thing of the past? We live in a new world in which the news is delivered to us via the Internet, TV, or on the radio.
But this is what I believe will happen when Murdoch goes dark on his news sites and starts to charge for news content. Someone, somewhere is going to step up and provide the news for free. Not only will the news be free but those who set up the new news sites will make money.
Just my two cents.
P.S. Another thought. Why didn’t Murdoch block out his sites from Google before he started losing money?