Once again, Rupert Murdoch is sounding a lot like a media exec ready to play the hardest kind of hardball when it comes to protecting newspaper content. The “river of gold” offered by the news industry to search engines such as Google may soon run dry, he prophesies.
The News Corp. chief said “we’re going to stop people like Google and Microsoft and whoever from taking our stories for nothing.”
Search advertising had produced a “river of gold” for Google, he said, “but those words are being taken mostly from the newspapers. And I think they ought to stop it, the newspapers ought to stand up and make them do their own reporting or whatever.”
Mr Murdoch said he did not expect search engines would pay for access to newspapers. “We’ll be very happy if they just publish our headline or a sentence or two and that’s followed by a subscription form,” he said.
He dismissed concerns that readers used to getting news on the Internet for free would be reluctant to pay.
“I think when they’ve got nowhere else to go they’ll start paying,” he said.
(A side note: interesting that Mr. Murdoch refers to Google and Microsoft as “people.” Does the metonym tell us something about the bare-fisted, personal quality of his mercantile vision?)
In response to a New York Times story The Unpaid Intern, Legal or Not, the publisher of The Atlantic, National Journal, and Government Executive magazines and related Web editions has decided to offer only paid internships in the future, and to pay last year’s interns retroactively, according to at statement at AOL’s DailyFinance.com (linked to by Romenesco).
Atlantic, which has a deadline this Friday for its July-December intern openings, said it felt it already had an appropriately educational plan: Interns work side by side with editorial and business staff, and there are lectures, case studies, homework and exercises. However, the company explained the change to Daily Finance’s Jeff Bercovici:
Thinking about the internship program through the lens of Saturday’s New York Times story, we found ourselves revisiting the concept. We had thought this was the way to structure unpaid internships but if it sits near a grey zone, it’s not for us.
The Internships link on Atlantic Media‘s own site, didn’t have a statement of the new internship policy today, presumably because the details are still being worked out. The ad for July-December and January-June editorial internship sessions doesn’t mention compensation. (A separate media research internship ad still uses the word “unpaid.”)
The Times story hadn’t mentioned Atlantic Media — or any newspaper internships — in its discussion of state and federal investigations not-very-educational unpaid internships, but did highlight an unnamed magazine with echoes of “The Devil Wears Prada”:
One Ivy League student said she spent an unpaid three-month internship at a magazine packaging and shipping 20 or 40 apparel samples a day back to fashion houses that had provided them for photo shoots.
Clyde Bentley at the University of Missouri offers a timeline for “Mobile Newspaper Success”… The road to 2013: A timeline for newspapers.
Responding to a Gartner Research study that forecast mobile devices will replace PCs in Web access by 2013, Bentley built a timeline from the endpoint to the present.
Result: If you’re a “key editor” at a newspaper, you should get a smartphone this month, or you’re already playing catch-up.
By August-September, Clyde says, newspapers should be training their news and ad staff on “mobile potential,” if they want to stay on track with the Gartner deadline. Within a year, mobile reporters should be producing niche-market features for mobile customers. Clyde’s examples: “Smoke-break wraps, during-game scores, pre-commute weather.”
More on that, and my own dumb experience with smartphones, here:
Tell Clyde I’m on the road to Floyd with a Droid
“On Deadline: Is time running out for the press?” by Connecticut Public TV focuses on the near-demise of the Bristol Press — and to a lesser extent, the New Britain Herald — in 2008, with an update regarding the papers’ present situations.
The 55 minute documentary, co-produced by John and Rosemary Keogh O’Neill and Jeff Young, is online here: National Newspaper Association | On Deadline: Is time running out for the press?.
The program includes optimistic accounts of both a print-newspaper rescue in Bristol and veteran newspaperman Paul Bass’s innovative online-only project, the NewHavenIndependent.com, as well as a discussion of the search for business models that can pay for quality reporting.
I’d recommend this for newspaper-focused classes, Web-focused classes, and video/documentary students, too.
Suggested “bacronym” for LOON: Lovers of Old Newspapers. Count me in…