27 March 2010

The Oscars, by someone we do care about

Since it's not part of Murdoch's empire, here's a link to Neil Gaiman's take on the Oscars (for Coraline).

I am wondering if the demand is there for Murdoch's charged online Times/Sunday Times (1 UKP per day or 2 UKP for a week). He's managed it for the Financial Times and the Wall St Journal (both pay sites before he bought them), and intends this to be the point of the spear, with the Sun and News of the World to follow later.
From sitting here, there is too much competition with papers here, the Indie has just been bought, and all papers currently make their paid product available free of charge. When in NZ, this was an excellent thing. Over here, I can see why it's causing problems for the bottom line. Why pay when you can get it free? The curse of the download generation.
I'm lucky that my workplace has subsidised papers, so 40p per edition rather than the 1 quid the rest of the country pays (I think that's right anyway). But even then I do like to chill out reading it, and I'm not the biggest convert to reading on a laptop. But I'm not against it, and therefore I do see the use of the iPad when it's released.

Will consumers go for Murdoch's online Times? I'm not so sure. The two papers he does own with paid access, are niche interest, and I suspect, largely paid for by companies or as a tax deduction. No, I have no evidence for that. But the Times, for all it's history, has I feel, lost it's lustre. I used to read it, but now I just get bitter and shouty. Maybe it's the newspaper, maybe it's me.

I guess time will tell, but a new model for news gathering does need to pop up - the more money they lose, the less investigative journalism we get. And that would be a real loss. Summary article here.

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