Rupert Murdoch In Beijing: ‘The Philistine Phase Of The Digital Age Is Almost Over’

News Corp (NYSE: NWS) Chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch took to the stage at the World Media Summit in Beijing Friday to quote a little Confucius and paint his version of the digital future for his Chinese hosts. Murdoch’s endeavors in China have met with mixed success and some of that frustration showed, especially when he talked about India doing a better job of welcoming foreign investment. Murdoch urged the Chinese to see the internet as an opportunity, using the example of the potential he sees in having “2 million or so” Chinese-language readers of WSJ.com. His most scathing words, though, were reserved for news socialists (not his term, mine after reading it) who want to resist his paid-content movement and his media colleagues, describing the large media submission “in the face of the flat-earthers who insisted that all content should be free all the time. The sun does not orbit the earth, and yet this was precisely the premise that the press passively accepted, even though there have been obvious signs that readers recognize the reality that they should pay a price.”

Murdoch blames “inarticulate institutions which were unable to challenge the fallacies and humbug of the e-establishment. … The Philistine phase of the digital age is almost over. The aggregators and the plagiarists will soon have to pay a price for the co-opting of our content. But if we do not take advantage of the current movement toward paid-for content, it will be the content creators, the people in this hall, who will pay the ultimate price and the content kleptomaniacs will triumph.” Full text is embedded below.

Prepared text of Rupert Murdoch’s World Media Summit speech
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I am delighted to come to Beijing and share thoughts with my colleagues in the media and my friends from around the globe. Confucius noted that those who seek constant happiness must often change