Silicon Valley Watcher - Former FT journalist Tom Foremski reporting from the intersection of technology and media

Leave Murdoch Alone... Pathetic Criticisms Abound

Posted by Tom Foremski - March 27, 2010

Rupert Murdoch wants to put up paywalls on some of his newspaper properties and he comes under a barrage of criticism from geeks and journalism watchers such as Jeff Jarvis, an associate professor of journalism at City University in New York, and he also writes the influential BuzzMachine blog.

I like Jeff Jarvis but I wonder why he's so passionate about proving that Rupert Murdoch is about paywalls.

In his Guardian column, Jeff Jarvis writes: Rupert Murdoch's pathetic paywall

Rupert Murdoch has declared surrender. The future defeated him.

By building his paywall around Times Newspapers, he has said that he has no new ideas to build advertising. He has no new ideas to build deeper and more valuable relationships with readers and will send them away if they do not pay. Even he has no new ideas to find the efficiencies the internet can bring in content creation, marketing, and delivery.

Really? Having a paywall doesn't mean you have no advertising, it doesn't mean you have no new ideas. You can have both.

Why does Mr Jarvis think one excludes the other? Surely Rupert Murdoch now has more to play with, he can experiment with creative paywall ideas and creative advertising. He can play around with what content goes behind the paywall and what is free.

Jeff Jarvis writes:

I used to work for Murdoch at his American magazine TV Guide. I respected his balls. It is a pity to see them gone.

No balls? Really? He has the balls to try new business models, he has the balls to be doing well running a media giant that makes big bets in movies, newspapers, TV, radio, and online.

If Rupert Murdoch succeeds in figuring out an online media business model we all benefit, because many other media businesses will be able to adopt or adapt similar approaches.

There's nothing to be gained by criticizing business leaders for challenging accepted notions of doing business -- that's precisely where the potential breakthroughs can be found.

What puzzles me is why Jeff Jarvis is so passionate about proving Rupert Murdoch is wrong?

Jeff Jarvis runs the new business models for news project -- you'd think he would keen to see if Rupert Murdoch can create a new business model for news.

What Rupert Murdoch is doing is a fascinating media experiment. We need more of that kind of experimentation -- not less.
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Here is a PearlTree on New Media Business models:

 New Media Business Models 

Please see: The "Heinz 57" Media Business Model


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