One of the key points we've raised in the past about the futility of newspapers putting up paywalls is that doing so would only open up a huge opportunity for other, smarter journalism organizations to take their market share by remaining free. And, indeed, more and more organizations are starting to point out that's exactly what they would do. Reader Jamie writes in to let us know about a speech by the managing director of ABC in Australia (not the Disney owned ABC in America), Mark Scott, taking on the "old media" thinking around such things
Scott's most virulent words were saved for News Corporation (owner of The Australian) chairman Rupert Murdoch and CEO Europe and Asia, James Murdoch.
He called Rupert Murdoch's recent call for content providers to charge online distributors for content as "a classic play of old empire, of empire in decline. Believing that because you once controlled the world you can continue to do so."
"When you have been so powerful and dominant for so long, it is hard to believe that empire is slipping away," he said.
Scott argued traditional media companies had been out-thought by technology companies in strategy.
And... oh yeah, if Murdoch goes paywall, Scott promises to do the opposite:
He reiterated the ABC would continue to provide free online news content and said the ABC must remain audience-focused
Not just that, but he seems to be recognizing that the way people interact with news has changed, and they want to be much more involved:
... he noted the only media organisations to survive will be those that: know and accept that all the rules have changed; are endlessly inquisitive about the new; empower their audiences to contribute, to create and share media....
Nice to see some news business execs who seem to recognize what's happening.