Thursday 21st of October 2021

Murdoch and Blogs and Editors (or simply afraid) ?

As usual I have no clue where to put my intentions since, as you all know, I think it is difficult to navigate this site.

However, I paste it here since it looks like Murdoch does not like Blogs. On the other hand maybe Murdoch just don't like to be edited.

We ignore internet at our peril, Murdoch warns editors

Murdoch speech: full text

Chris Tryhorn, City correspondent

Thursday April 14 2005

The Guardian

Rupert Murdoch has admitted he "didn't do as much as [he] should have" to confront the digital challenges faced by his newspaper business, which owns the Sun, Times and News of the World in the UK as well as titles in the US and Australia.

Describing himself as a "digital immigrant" in contrast to his young daughters, who would be "digital natives", he said the internet was "an emerging medium that is not my native language".

In a speech to American editors in Washington, Mr Murdoch issued a stark warning to the industry, arguing that the web was "a fast-developing reality we should grasp".

He said consumers wanted "control over the media, instead of being controlled by it", pointing to the proliferation of website diaries known as "blogs" and message boards.

And newspaper editors simply cannot afford to ignore this, he said, or to look down on readers or ignore what they actually wanted.

'Editors too often ask "do we have the story?" rather than "does anyone want it?"'

"I believe too many of us editors and reporters are out of touch with our readers. Too often, the question we ask is 'Do we have the story?' rather than 'Does anyone want the story?'"

"As an industry, most of us have been remarkably, unaccountably complacent," Mr Murdoch said.

"Certainly, I didn't do as much as I should have after all the excitement of the late 1990s. I suspect many of you in this room did the same, quietly hoping that this thing called the digital revolution would just limp away.

"Well it hasn't... it won't... and it's a fast-developing reality we should grasp as a huge opportunity to improve our journalism and expand our reach."

Mr Murdoch was one of the early pioneers in the internet in the mid-1990s but rowed back in the late 1990s when the dotcom industry overheated with billions of pounds squandered on ambitious but ultimately doomed dreams.

Now, however, the Sun is, along with the Guardian and the BBC, one of the top 10 news websites in the UK but the online operations of the Times and Telegraph, which have not received the same investment, are not ranked in the top tier.

Mr Murdoch, who recently held a summit with his newspaper bosses about forging a new internet strategy, said the industry had "sat by and watched" as circulations had fallen over the past 40 years, complacent because of its historic monopoly on the news business.

A rise in population had masked a relative decline in the TV age, he said, while in the 1990s profitability had held up in spite of circulations falling, further lulling the industry into a false sense of security.

"But those days are gone," he warned. "The trends are against us...so unless we awaken to these changes, which are quite different to those of five or six years ago, we will, as an industry, be relegated to the status of also-rans."

Mr Murdoch's comments came as his News Corp empire, which has interests in TV, film and newspapers, mulls how to best to approach the internet and new media.

Since the dotcom bubble burst, News Corp has concentrated its online efforts around its newspapers in the UK and Australia and its film and television holdings in the US.

Mr Murdoch, who turned 74 last month, admitted it was hard for "digital immigrants" like him to get to grips with the challenge of the internet.

"The peculiar challenge then, is for us digital immigrants - many of whom are in positions to determine how news is assembled and disseminated - to apply a digital mindset to a set of challenges that we unfortunately have limited to no first-hand experience dealing with.

"We need to realise that the next generation of people accessing news and information, whether from newspapers or any other source, have a different set of expectations about the kind of news they will get, including when and how they will get it, where they will get it from, and who they will get it from."

He said consumers between the ages of 18-34 were increasingly using the web as their medium of choice for news and neglected more traditional media.

Young people's attitudes towards newspapers were "especially alarming", he said. "Only 9% describe us as trustworthy, a scant 8% find us useful, and only 4% of respondents think we're entertaining."

He described the shift in attitudes as "a revolution in the way young people are accessing news".

"They don't want to rely on the morning paper for their up-to-date information. They don't want to rely on a God-like figure from above to tell them what's important. And to carry the religion analogy a bit further, they certainly don't want news presented as gospel."

Challenge is to make consumers make newspapers their home page

But in spite of the gloomy picture he painted, Mr Murdoch said he was still confident about the future of the news business. "The data may show that young people aren't reading newspapers as much as their predecessors, but it doesn't show they don't want news. In fact, they want a lot of news, just faster news of a different kind and delivered in a different way."

He said he wanted to turns newspapers into "destinations" that rivalled the success of the internet portals, "the Yahoos, Googles, and MSNs".

"The challenge for us... is to create an internet presence that is compelling enough for users to make us their home page. Just as people traditionally started their day with coffee and the newspaper, in the future, our hope should be that for those who start their day online, it will be with coffee and our website."

The migration of readers online was also affecting advertising revenues, Mr Murdoch said. "The threat of losing print advertising dollars to online media is very real. In fact, it's already happening, particularly in classifieds."

On the jagged edge

I can't get my lousy two lines (A massive resource, Flu Wiki, has 'Preparing for the Coming Influenza Pandemic' by Dr. Grattan Woodson in PDF and HTML Version. For example, the section on The ORS Formula reminds me how much I have forgotten about the simple basics of rehydration.) up to Craig Rowley's Everybody's talking about the bird ... at Web Diary. Maybe it has something to do with TypePad's Growing Pains.

Tracey Moffatt (also at Wiki) was interviewed on Sunday Morning with Julie Copeland, ABC Radio Oct 30th. Tracey talked about her 2005 exhibition, Under the Sign of Scorpio. She said it took a solid year of work in her studio, with just an assistant. Tracey described herself as a visual, not verbal, person. Tracey said she doesn't read contemporary fiction, instead gets inspiration from writers of the South (who she said remind her of our 'north' - Qld) including Carson McCullers.
George Bernard Shaw, like McCullers, began his studies in music. GBS said that it took him a while to realise his gift was writing, because writing had always been with him, like water in the mouth.

At the opposite end of the arts spectrum, from Moffatt's year-long gestations, are the instantaneous creations of the KISSS media art collective. In the MEDIA WATCH (media speak, subtext & information dissemination methodologies) section at KISSS, one of the projects is the 'Citizen reporter'.
[...] Correspondents and Task Forces act as agents in investigating media coverage and presentation. Contributions will be fed into a central archive of material, that will include newspaper articles, television or radio news, photographs of bill boards, video documentary, performances, text or articles etc. The purpose of MW is to question how the media presents information and in particular how the media makes 'news'. [...]

I hope exchange of information doesn't rely on the dynamics of www.typepad.com. (Still dead, at 17.24.) Kurt Vonnegut would not be happy.

I want to stand as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all the kinds of things you can't see from the center.