Murdoch’s love for newspapers is undying, nevermind the near-death throes of the medium itself, and he reads it out (literally, on the radio) as part of a series of Australian radio lectures titled, “The future of newspapers: moving beyond dead trees.” Compare and contrast this to his famous speech on April 13, 2005, to the American Society of Newspaper Editors, which shook up the newspaper industry with its predictions about the digital future of newspapers. And this was before he bought MySpace (three months later) and Dow Jones (NYSE: NWS), in 2007.
As he said in the ASNE lecture then, he remains an optimist: “Unlike the doom and gloomers, I believe that newspapers will reach new heights….we are moving from news papers to news brands. For all of my working life, I have believed that there is a social and commercial value in delivering accurate news and information in a cheap and timely way. In this coming century, the form of delivery may change, but the potential audience for our content will multiply many times over.” And then he goes on about his favorite topic: “Complacency and condescension that festers at the heart of some newsrooms.” Much has been said about that, especially as Murdoch is now on his way to remaking the Journal newsroom.
More after the jump…
Besides that, an interesting bit about WSJ.com: “One way we are planning to take advantage of online opportunities is by offering three tiers of content. The first will be the news that we put online for free. The second will be available for those who subscribe to wsj.com. And the third will be a premium service, designed to give its customers the ability to customize high-end financial news and analysis from around the world.” The last part is what may be a new tier in the works, though Murdoch has talked previously in generic terms about increasing rates for WSJ.com subscription service and adding more content/services to it. One thought: it could be that the third tier will add content from other DJ brands like Barrons’, Dow Jones’ enterprise group brands like Factiva, Venturewire and others, and even bundle business/financial news from News Corp.’s international brands like Times UK, The Australian, and other TV news outfits worldwide. More as we find out….
Meanwhile, WSJ is doing some changes to the print: several data tables, including stock lists, will be reduced in length and appear more-fully on WSJ.com.