Murdoch’s Capitulation

Friday, August 14th, 2009

Too many articles from Germany have been brought up for discussion lately in this forum, I know. But I still want to briefly discuss the treatment by Thierry Chervel of Rupert Murdoch’s recent announcement that people will soon have to pay for access to his on-line journalistic properties. (And that treatment is to be found on the website – German for “pearl-diver” – that isn’t even any recognized newspaper but rather just an on-line “culture magazine”!)

Right then, Murdoch has announced he will be putting his properties’ content behind a pay-wall soon, and the New York Times is reportedly considering the same thing. You can cut to the chase and read Chervel’s summing-up of his reaction in a paragraph at the mid-point of his piece: “A few years ago the withdrawal of newspapers from the free Net would still have been painful, today one would miss a few sources, but the Internet has also developed sources and formats that would quickly compensate for that loss.”

He cites the New York Times and the Guardian as the best newspapers currently around. Why? Because they have so successfully woven together what’s on paper and what’s on-line. For example, you can read the Times’ review of a particular book in the paper edition, and then go on-line to read the free extract from that work itself (and then of course click on over to Amazon to purchase it, if you desire). Chervel is particularly enamored of the Times’ “Lede” news blog, which did in fact distinguish itself covering the Iranian civil demonstrations back in the second half of June. (more…)

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