Incredibly, I agree with Rupert Murdoch

24 Nov

One of the best outlooks on the newspaper industry I’ve ever heard, from Rupert Murdoch:

I know industries that are today facing stiff new competition from the internet: banks, retailers, phone companies, and so on. But these sectors also see the internet as an extraordinary opportunity. But among our journalistic friends are some misguided cynics who are too busy writing their own obituary to be excited by the opportunity.

Self-pity is never pretty. And sometimes it even starts in journalism school—some of which are perpetuating the pessimism of their tribal elders. But I have a very different view.

Unlike the doom and gloomers, I believe that newspapers will reach new heights. In the 21st century, people are hungrier for information than ever before. And they have more sources of information than ever before.

Amid these many diverse and competing voices, readers want what they’ve always wanted: a source they can trust. That has always been the role of great newspapers in the past. And that role will make newspapers great in the future.

If you discuss the future with newspapermen, you will find that too many think that our business is only physical newspapers. I like the look and feel of newsprint as much as anyone. But our real business isn’t printing on dead trees. It’s giving our readers great journalism and great judgment.

It’s true that in the coming decades, the printed versions of some newspapers will lose circulation. But if papers provide readers with news they can trust, we’ll see gains in circulation—on our web pages, through our RSS feeds, in emails delivering customised news and advertising, to mobile phones.

In short, we are moving from news papers to news brands.

Yeah. What he said. (Plenty more at the link above.)

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One Response to “Incredibly, I agree with Rupert Murdoch”

  1. Jon November 24, 2008 at 9:56 pm #

    Great link. Thanks.

    Step 1: Transition newspaper from print-based business model to internet-based business model

    Step 2: ? (In this case, “?” represents “Monetize internet-based business model through advertising,” which pretty much nobody has figured out yet)

    Step 3: Profit! (Or, in this case, “Reverse incredibly steep profit declines.”)

    It remains surprising how many people still seem stuck on Step 1, rather than focusing on Step 2….

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