Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Rupert Murdoch Sincerely Believes We Need His News

Powerful Media Tycoon Rupert Murdoch is always keen to get people to pay for the content his organisations create. At a basic level this is only fair and natural.

It is clear that he is operating from a particular mind-set that might, just might be slightly out of touch with a changing world. This mind-set is one that belongs to the 20th century. It is an exploitatitive and extractive mind set that flourishes in the world of transaction and not the world of relationships.

Don't get me wrong. Origination and creation are prized possessions that the originators have every right to benefit from to the fullest extent. But there is something troubling about Mr Murdoch's attitude and intention in regard to his ambtion to stop search engines such as Google citing headlines created by his organisations in search lists.

Can I put my finger what I feel the issue is here? I think it has something to do with the several interconnected things. Firstly the Murdoch Empire must benefit in some way from doing searches to their content mustn't they? Secondly the headlines (whilst orginated in the Murdoch-verse) are merely 'cues' not full content and are no different to newspapers being displayed in shops and on forecourts. Are we going to be charged for 'looking' at his newspapers as we walk past the shelves in shops next or pulling up on a garage forecourt? Thirdly in his bid to control content is he under-estimating the relational and knowledge dimensions of nature of social media? Google and other search engines are primary methods by which people get information about the world. Do we really need, are we really so dependent on Rupert Murdoch for what we know about the world. We have choices too. I don't rely on his organisations to tell me about the world. I'm even thinking that wall to wall 24/7 news coverage is bad for the general psyche of the nation anyhow.

If I have to pay him to find out what he would like to say then I'm not really interested. Imagine...if I was powerful enough and technically sophisticated enough to block him and his staff from reading this post unless they paid $20,000. Now of course he would say that it all about perceived value and that his news headlines are worth more than my blog post. He might have a point, and yet my readers might think otherwise.

If enough people vote with their clicks then Mr Murdoch might just find that he pushed media readers a little too far. What do you reckon?

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