To free or not to free?

For over 10 years we have had free online news at the click of a mouse. As Murdock plans to implement charges for viewing his sites and others following in suit, what will this mean for online news?

 Many have already moved away from the daily broadsheet to getting the headlines off their iphones on their way to work.  We must consider whether these people will simply drop their news intake in an instant or reach again for the trusty ink stained sheets once more?

According to an American survey conducted in October 2009, only 48% of Americans said they would pay to view online news.

Closer to home a study found that as little as 5% percent of people in European countries such as Britain would be willing to pay for online news.

So when it comes down to the crunch are we Brits really ready to whip out our wallets for our morning news? Looking at the results from a study by the harris group, the answer is no. 

Mr Murdoch, chairman of News Corporation, said in a 2009 BBC interview that the conglomerate would “assert its copyright” over all its newspapers online in order to  prevent stories and photographs being copied.

  He said: “Our policy is to win and we will make our content better and differentiate it from other people, If we’re successful, we’ll be followed by other media.” 

 Mr Murdock is under the impression that people will be happy to pay for online news, according to Sophie Hammer from timeout London’s online magazine.

 He gave no idea of how people could be charged, although some critics have said there is likely to be either a pay per article or some form of subscription.

 He said he did not think charging was a risk, and that each of News Corp’s major papers had enough strengths to succeed online.

Murdoch said in another BBC news interview thatQuality journalism is not cheap, and an industry that gives away its content is simply cannibalizing its ability to produce good reporting”.

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