Why Rupert will drop charging for newspapers online
Press groups watch as Murdoch charges
International media juggernaut Rupert Murdoch has signalled his next offensive in the internet news game. From May, News International's centrepiece British newspapers The Times and the Sunday Times will be available online for 1 (NZ$2.11) a day or 2 for a week's subscription. Two new websites will replace the existing combined site, Times Online. The sites will be free to subscribers of the print editions of the two newspapers. Declining revenues in print media have forced newspapers and magazines to look at new ways of earning as the public increasingly expects free news online.
Here is why I think Rupert will drop this, it's because it will cost him something much more - influence. By leaving free news content to the BBC's of the world, Rupert will diminish his own editorial influence over the news population. Pay per view on line news will minimize his editorial power and I think that is something that will cost Rupert the wider debate of hard right politics which he is so desperate to weave into the narrative of society.