Well known Turd Goblin and Cave Wight, Rupert Murdoch, has said that News Corporation will start charging for access to their newspaper web sites within a year, claiming he’s trying to fix a “malfunctioning” business model:
Encouraged by booming online subscription revenues at the Wall Street Journal, the billionaire media mogul last night said that papers were going through an “epochal” debate over whether to charge. “That it is possible to charge for content on the web is obvious from the Wall Street Journal’s experience,” he said…”The current days of the internet will soon be over.”
Okay, a few things. First off: Epochal? Really? Settle down, Rupert, you’re talking about access fees. Second, if there’s one thing we’ve learned in recent years it’s that we should take what old people have to say about the internet very seriously. I’ll refrain from quoting Ted Stevens. And third, the Wall Street Journal gets away with charging access fees because it’s the fucking Wall Street Journal. You are high off your ass on crack if you think I’ll be paying to read a goddamn thing at the New York Post.
Anyway, as you might expect, there’s been quite a reaction on the internet from various journos, “pundits”, bloggers, and just plain-old internet folk. And that’s made for some humorous reading. Jenna McWilliams wrote a pretty funny article over at The Guardian:
If print media executives want to keep pace with the social revolution, they need to begin by letting go of the outdated assumption that their job is to first filter and then broadcast information for the public good. From now on, we’ll decide what matters, thank you very much, and if newspapers know what’s good for them, they’ll do what they can to not get in the way.
Yeah! You here that, newspapers?! We’re in charge now! We want unfiltered, unabridged information and we’re going to actually take the time to go through all of it and sort out for ourselves what’s important. The days of important stories going unreported are over!
*Sound of me rubbing the bridge of my nose with my thumb and index finger*
Apparently Jenna has forgotten what the people have actually decided they want:
I can’t wait ’til the New York Times is being published by Flynt Publications.
Bottom line = Who Fucking Cares? So Murdoch is gonna start charging for access to his news sites, so fucking what? If you want people to go out into the world and find out what’s happening and then come back, organize their thoughts, and then write about what they saw in half a dozen paragraphs or so – and then do it again and again and again and again – you’re gonna have to fucking pay for it. For over three hundred years, we were fine with the idea of paying for printed news, but now that we’re getting it online we shouldn’t have to pay anymore? Bullshit, I say. And you know what? You get what you pay for. Maybe if we all started paying for the news again it would stop sucking so much ass (I’m not betting the rent, but it could happen).
Or, we can keep getting it for free and keep getting quality reporting like this. Of course, if journalists continue to use Wikipedia as an actual source, there’s no fucking way I’ll be paying for it.