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Pay for websites? That's so 1990's

May 8, 2009

Rupert Murdoch has once again made headlines (pun intended) by telling CNN that visitors to the web sites belonging to some of the numerous newspapers that his News Corporation owns will soon have to pay to access certain content. Instead of having free access to the Wall Street Journal or the New York Post, a visitor would have to “pay handsomely”, according Murdoch.

I know the man is old, but is he really that out of touch with technology and the development of new media?  Does he really believe that people cannot live without his newspapers?

When a news organization is failing, as many newspapers are, why would it benefit them to make it more difficult to get news to people who could use it?  Their goal should be to gain readers, not drive away the few they have left.

If a person has to pay to find out a piece of information on one site, they will simply find it on another site for free.  Instead of arrogantly thinking that they can just muscle people into giving them money, they should try earning it.  Give people a real reason to come to your web site.  Come up with something innovative that makes your site worth their time.

We live in an age where media is interactive, collaborative, and, most importantly, open to all.  If News Corporation or any other mega-news conglomerate fails to realize that, it might very well be the last mistake they make.  And maybe the world will be a better, more truthful place without them.

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