The initial shots in the inevitable smackdown in earnest between Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal and the New York Times are being fired in cyberspace. Considering the lackluster August performance of print papers, perhaps a newspaper cyber war is a precursor of media to come. Today The Wall Street Journal Digital Network announced record web traffic. This announcement comes on the heels of yesterdays Nielsen/NetRatings ranking of The New York Times as the top rated online paper (WSJ.com came in fourth).
In another competitive arena The New York Times announced today that it is ending its paid content forum TimesSelect. Not to be outdone in the opening skirmishes of the cyber war, Murdoch announced today that he was veering towards dropping the online subscription fee for WSJ.com.
Organizations in conflict tend to become like one another, states the Iron Law of Emulation. How else to explain the ubiquity of widgets in newsrooms around the country? The Wall Street Journal will launch a stock market tracking widget later this month while The New York Times is already out of the widget gate.
Finally, we cannot fail to mention the fact that Charles Hurt’s aggressive reporting in The Post uncovered that fact that The New York Times gave MoveOn.org a discount — though not a ”family discount” — on their controversial Petraeus ad. That was an article that launched a hundred warm and buzzy blog conversations.
An NYTimes.com-WSJ.com cyber war: it’s on like Gray Poupon!
(image via clipart)