News & Criticism

Rupert Murdoch Comes Out (From Behind the Subscription Wall)

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murdoch

For those who were worried that Rupert Murdoch's evil global news empire was going to corrupt The Wall Street Journal:

News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch said Tuesday he intends to make access to The Wall Street Journal's Web site free, trading subscription fees for anticipated ad revenue.

"We are studying it and we expect to make that free, and instead of having one million (subscribers), having at least 10 million-15 million in every corner of the earth," Murdoch said.

The horror!

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  1. Murdock doesn’t matter. The WSJ started going downhill the day they printed in color.

  2. Taktix? –

    The quality of a newspaper is inversly proportional to the quantity of it’s color printing.

  3. Caption Contest!

    “Hey, nice ass…between your eyes.”

  4. The WSJ’s opinion section already reflects a FOX-friendly embrace of Facism (Balko contributions excepted, at both companies).

    I’m always surprised (and saddened) when I read another “Don’t Question Torture or it Will Cost Lives!” piece.

  5. The concerns about Rupert Foxifying the WSJ’s news section had nothing to do with distribution, but with content.

    C’mon, Kerry, draw us a map. How does the elimination of the registration fee prove wrong the people who warned that Murdoch would turn the paper’s news section into a propaganda organ?

  6. joe I would argue that all the MSM newspapers are propaganda organs for our government. “Liberal” and “Conservative” yellow journalism for all.

  7. Joe,
    How’s about addressing the correct Reasonoid when you ask for clarification?

  8. Kwix, don’t interrupt joe when he’s attacking his ideological enemies, he might accuse you of being partisan.

  9. As a Greenish-American, I tenatively support Murdoch on the grounds that he can’t possibly make the WSJ any more psycho-conservative, but he does believe in climate change, and will hopefully send CO2-shills like Iain Murray packing.

    Also, their personal finance section is surprisingly useful.

  10. Straight up the WSJ usually has more interesting articles than just about any other major newspaper so this is a good thing!

  11. One of the few redeeming habits of Jay Severin (liberventionist talk show host here in Boston) is calling USA Today “McPaper”. I started using that one a few years ago, and everyone laughs when I explain it the first time. 🙂

  12. DannyK don’t believe in Homogreeneity (noun): The myth that the scientific community has reached a consensus that: (1) the planet is experiencing an unprecedented period of warming; (2) it is dangerous; (3) it is man-made; and, (4) government regulation and increased bureaucracy is the only appropriate response.

  13. McPaper! Ha! Genius…

  14. Well, three responses to my comment, none of them on point.

    Sadly typical.

  15. Seriously, can anybody make sense of the claim that Murdoch’s change of the online registration system refutes the claim that he’s going to Foxify the WSJ news section?

    Anyone?

    Bueller? Bueller?

  16. Yeah, I don’t see the connection either, joe.

    That said, I see the WSJ as just another arm of the establishment media. Sure, the opinion section is more conservative than (say) the Boston Globe or the NYT, but it’s still fervently pro-establishment and pro-state.

    Until there’s a rag with those subscription numbers that reads like lewrockwell.com, I will be unmoved by any change in management.

  17. How does the elimination of the registration fee prove wrong the people who warned that Murdoch would turn the paper’s news section into a propaganda organ?

    Assuming this is true, their news coverage will change from being a pale copy of the NYT to being a pale copy of Faux News. What squarerooticus said about establishment media organs.

    I suspect the people who are most concerned about this (even more so than fair.org) are the editors at Investor’s Business Daily, whose news deptartment is already a pale copy of Faux News (or they were the last time I read it).

    If you think there’s an unserved print market for progressives worried about their stock portfolios, joe, you can always start the Utne Investor or Mother Buffet or something.

  18. Actually, I agree with joe on this one that an open model is a trend towards Foxification of a sort.

    The WSJ news section has always been elitist (and I mean that as a compliment). Fox news has always been populist. By having to rely more on ad revenue rather than subscriptions, there may (and I stress *may*) be a tendency to dumb down the reporting to a lower common denominator.

    However, this is just an untested hypothesis. We will have to see and compare actual ‘before and after’ reporting to see if Murdoch had a positive, negative or negligible effect. (My money at this point would be on negligible)

  19. That wasn’t actually my point. I was saying the looser registration requirement had nothing at all to do with the concerns about the WSJ’s news section becoming another propaganda arm of the Republican Party.

    But that’s a good point you raise.

  20. By having to rely more on ad revenue rather than subscriptions, there may (and I stress *may*) be a tendency to dumb down the reporting to a lower common denominator.

    I think the ad revenue model requires dumbing down the news, as it will be necessary to grab the McEyeballs (does McEyeballs work?…..)

  21. That wasn’t actually my point. I was saying the looser registration requirement had nothing at all to do with the concerns about the WSJ’s news section becoming another propaganda arm of the Republican Party.

    First, our propaganda arms will embrace you.

    Then, when you are lulled into a feeling of security we will crush you like an empty milk carton!

  22. I see the WSJ as just another arm of the establishment media. Sure, the opinion section is more conservative than (say) the Boston Globe or the NYT, but it’s still fervently pro-establishment and pro-state.

    WSJ’s Opinion section is very pro-state with a militaristic-nanny-state bent, whereas (all of) the NYT is very pro-state with a motherly-nanny-state bent. Both suck, but at least the WSJ contains useful market data and news.

  23. One thing about the W$J: A lot of people (like me) have to read it every day as part being good at our jobs. Either we shell out the bucks ourselves or our employers pay for it. We need a source that has timely, detailed, and knowledgeable business coverage. Right now, WSJ is by far the best provider of that coverage. It can almost charge as much as it wants for our subscriptions. If it’s business coverage becomes mediocre, our dollars will be available for a competitor.

  24. Old English Proverb:

    “I’m not rich enough to buy inexpensive things”

    WSJ was only worthwhile when it had the credibility to provide accurate information.

    One constant of good old Rupert is that he morphs anything he buys morphs into a new thing that has ‘synergy’ (one man’s synergy is another man’s tit for tat) and all of a sudden becomes something completely his Sky Satellite system in UK, Fox Corporation in US.

    So OMG! you mean I can get propaganda for FREE???? Awesome!

    Go NeoCapitalism!

    I won’t be renewing my subscription needless to say.

    I hope another news source will fill in the gap, anyone have any suggestions for a good unbiased reporting on the markets?

  25. It is rather amusing to see people who have clearly never read, or at least do not frequently read, the Wall Street Jouranl spout of opinions about what the paper is or isn’t.

    The Journal‘s editorial page is many things, but pro-state it is not. The editorial page is in near lockstep with reason on the issues of markets, taxation, and especially immigration.

    And the Journal‘s news reporting has the same causal liberal assumption bias that the Washington Post and the New York Times have. In fact two researchers from UCLA reported that of the 20 news outlets they studied, the Journal was the most liberal.

  26. How does the elimination of the registration fee prove wrong the people who warned that Murdoch would turn the paper’s news section into a propaganda organ?

    It doesn’t. And, furthermore, you were perfectly justified in throwing a tantrum about our lack of prompt acknowledgement of your brilliance.

  27. Why is it that I have the feeling that if Murdoch turned the WSJ into a mouthpiece for the Republican party a new newspaper would spring up immediately covering the markets and driving the WSJ out of business? Does the WSJ’s ownership of Dow Jones really give them enough clout to overcome a new daily covering the markets in a balanced fashion?

  28. Errr, does Dow Jones ownership of the WSJ… etc.

  29. “Why is it that I have the feeling that if Murdoch turned the WSJ into a mouthpiece for the Republican party a new newspaper would spring up immediately covering the markets and driving the WSJ out of business? Does the WSJ’s ownership of Dow Jones really give them enough clout to overcome a new daily covering the markets in a balanced fashion?”

    Considering that all of the papers I’ve read on the subject (admittedly few) conclude that media bias is determined in good part by demand, I wouldn’t be surprised.

  30. Thank you S. A. Miller, the people around here don’t consider the facts. When they hear WSJ they automatically assume it leans conservative. But if they would think about it, what are the odds a newspaper published in blue New York City is going to be conservative? I find the political news section some of the most left baised tripe anywhere. One day they will piss me off enough to cancel my subscription, but the business news and the editorials are too good to miss.

  31. How does the elimination of the registration fee prove wrong the people who warned that Murdoch would turn the paper’s news section into a propaganda organ?

    If you can identify “news” as propaganda, then it isn’t very effective propaganda. You’re immune to it. It’s futile. Maybe joe is referring to lesser intellects who cannot tell the difference between news and propaganda. This is odd, as joe is a man of the masses, not an elitist.

  32. he can’t possibly make the WSJ any more psycho-conservative

    Written by someone who obviously doesn’t read the WSJ with any regularity.

    One of the interesting things about the WSJ is the obvious divergence between their editorial and reporting. The former leans right, the latter, to the extent it exhibits any ideology at all, is fairly conventional squishy-lib.

  33. It is rather amusing to see people who have clearly never read, or at least do not frequently read, the Wall Street Jouranl spout of opinions about what the paper is or isn’t.

    The Journal’s editorial page is many things, but pro-state it is not. The editorial page is in near lockstep with reason on the issues of markets, taxation, and especially immigration.

    That is complete bullshit.

    I do have a subscription and have seen many many editorials spewing “Don’t Question Evesdropping, or People Will Die” and “Don’t Question Torture, or People Will Die”.

    Have you seen the editorial section? Once in a while it is speckeled with reason, but that is not the norm.

  34. LibertyPlease, your examples don’t refute the assertion that “The editorial page is in near lockstep with reason on the issues of markets, taxation, and especially immigration.”

    They also don’t address the assertion that the paper is pretty conventional squishy-lib on every other page.

  35. One of the interesting things about the WSJ is the obvious divergence between their editorial and reporting. The former leans right, the latter, to the extent it exhibits any ideology at all, is fairly conventional squishy-lib.

    I’ve noticed this, too. Frankly, the op-ed page is one of the least important parts of any newspaper. I mean, every asshole has an opinion, right? But substantive news coverage, particularly of the business world, is something that the WSJ has a near-monopoly on in the USA. I’ve never read another newspaper that had even half-decent coverage of business and markets–in fact, I think the biz page is seen as a bit of a ‘ghetto’ at other papers, with the political beat being the elite one. Which is sad, considering that what goes on in the business world is, and should be, a lot more important to our daily lives.

  36. In line with my previous thought: Could News Corp. fuck up the WSJ? Sure. But hopefully they appreciate the financial value of keeping such a unique asset, well, unique.

  37. R C Dean | November 14, 2007, 11:57am | #

    LibertyPlease, your examples don’t refute the assertion that “The editorial page is in near lockstep with reason on the issues of markets, taxation, and especially immigration.”

    er, if you look again you’ll see I italicized S.A. Miller’s assertion that “..but pro state it is not”. It is frequently, dramatically pro state on the issues of torture, spying, the unitary executive, suspension of habeas corpus, extrodinary rendition, etc, etc, etc. They do agree with reason about markets though…. good point.

  38. Which is sad, considering that what goes on in the business world is, and should be, a lot more important to our daily lives.

    True that. I always read the Business section before the headlines.

    By the way, for anybody who wants to have success at invidual investing, eschew all the day trading bullshit and short-term business gossip and join the NAIC (better-investing.org). The smartest thing you can do with your money is to take some NAIC investing classes and study their Better Investing magazine like a bible.

  39. The concerns about Rupert Foxifying the WSJ’s news section had nothing to do with distribution, but with content.

    So the WSJ turns from a paper you disagree with into a paper you disagree with…why do you care again joe?

  40. concerns about the WSJ’s news section becoming another propaganda arm of the Republican Party.

    I like how making money (like billions) is for the purpose of political manipulation….but not, you know, to make billions.

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