In his column this week, New York Times media critic David Carr took on News Corp. head honcho Rupert Murdoch and his recent pronouncement that all of his newspaper and television news channels would soon charge for access to their online content.
“Quality journalism is not cheap, and an industry that gives away its content is simply cannibalizing its ability to produce good reporting,” Murdoch said during News Corp.’s earnings call last week. “The digital revolution has opened many new and inexpensive distribution channels but it has not made content free. We intend to charge for all our news Web sites.”
Although Murdoch boasted that, if his model was successful, other media companies would follow his lead, Carr pointed out that many publications have already tried pay models, with varying levels of success. Instead, Carr questioned Murdoch’s level of commitment to his plan:
“Setting aside the execution risk of such a plan, it’s difficult to tell how serious Mr. Murdoch is, given his history of grand statements that were only that. Perhaps he was making an unsubtle effort to change the subject during a bleak earnings call for News Corporation…”