This is saber rattling, plain and simple. Businessmen usually make this type of statement during a negotiation to strengthen their position, though I fail to see how this helps Rupert/FOX.
I actually WELCOME Fox News being removed from Google. I've been requesting that Google News give me the ability to EXCLUDE FOX News from their iGoogle News module since launch. I don't WANT to see them, but I can't seem to filter them out of the aggregator's feed.
I was once a very junior executive in Knight-Ridder, fresh out of B-F Indiana. After a rather informal meeting with other executives, a senior executive pulled me aside and said, "I can't believe that I heard the word 'irregardless' come out of your mouth -- that is not a word! You're not a hayseed. You work for the second largest newspaper chain in the country. Speak like it."
Was he a jerk? You bet.
Have I ever said "irregardless" again? Not even once.
Take the criticism and an opportunity. Grammar matters.
There is much less context and fact checking in the news today.
When you loose context/fact checking in favor of opinion/dogma, you end up with a bunch of people yelling at each other.
I agree with the president on all three points. Obama is fond of standing in Detroit or Ohio and saying "these jobs are gone, and they're not coming back. We need a new plan." He needs to say the same thing to newspapers.
Unfortunately for newspapers, as they were bought up by large conglomerates, corporate management found that it was cheaper to make a paper that consisted largely of ads (display and classified) with syndicated content wrapped around them. Actual reporting, when it occurred, was limited due to the expense of actually reporting.
This worked fine when there were only one or two sources for this syndicated content in any given region.
But the internet exploded that monopoly on syndicated content. Now there are literally thousands of sources for the same content. Oh, yeah, and there's Craig's List. Suddenly, people don't want to pay for day-old syndicated content printed on dead trees.
If Obama rescues newspapers -- which I'm betting he won't -- you can be assured that he'll make actually reporting on your community a requirement for rescue.
After their horrible week(s) of botched .Mac service following the iPhone launches in 2008, Apple credited all .Mac customers 3 months free without anyone asking.
Nice move, but I still turned off auto-renew & let my service lapse.
I'm betting that proactive credits are more common that you think. Large, faceless corporations are still run by human beings. And a certain percentage of those human beings understand the positive marketing value of not acting like a large, faceless corporation.
The book industry provides three kinds of value to authors:
Production/Distribution - so you get paid
Marketing/Promotion - so people know about your book
Professional Editing - so your book doesn't suck
Robin Sloan appears to have the first two covered, but does anyone know if he's self-editing? Seems that this business model has to cover #3 if it's going to take off in a big way. Even Salinger had an editor.
When I first had access to the AP wires in the early 1990s, I thought it was Nirvana. Perusing (relatively) unfiltered news in (almost) real time was stuff of science fiction -- and I was using a PDP-11 green screen terminal. I felt like I could make my own, personal newspaper. I read the wires incessantly.
Then I beta tested MyYahoo, and it WAS my own personal newspaper.
My point is that like most of the newspaper industry, the AP has become a bit player in a business that they once owned. And while this idea is the best one they've come up with yet, it's a decade late.
The AP is struggling for relevance in world of free information. And by blocking/charging for/restricting information, they will become increasingly irrelevant.
My prediction is that in a year or so, you'll see the AP move to a more Wikipedia-like format where more people are allowed into their distribution channel as both creators (expert bloggers) and consumers (aggregator blogs). But that will only be after the company has been de-valued by half again. And they'll be struggling not to stay relevant, but to stay alive.