As print newspapers struggle to make a profit in the Internet age, Rupert Murdoch has threatened to remove News Corp. stories from Google’s search index as a way to encourage people to pay for content online, reported England’s Guardian newspaper on Monday.
Murdoch has called Google a "parasite" for taking news from the Wall Street Journal and other outlets and posting the stories on its search engine. Murdoch said he would consider blocking Google entirely once they had enacted plans to charge people for reading their stories on the web, the Guardian said.
"I think we will, but that’s when we start charging," he told the Guardian. "We have it already with the Wall Street Journal. We have a wall, but it’s not right to the ceiling. You can get, usually, the first paragraph from any story – but if you’re not a paying subscriber to WSJ.com all you get is a paragraph and a subscription form."
Murdoch’s assertion, however, is not actually correct: users who click through to screened WSJ.com articles from Google searches are usually offered the full text of the story without any subscription block, the Guardian said. It is only users who find their way to the story through the Wall Street Journal’s website who are told they must subscribe before they can read further.
The question here is: Would you be willing to pay a small fee to read stories on duluthnewstribune.com? With job cuts at the Star Tribune and rumors swirling this week about a possible closure of the Washington Times, print newspapers are searching for a new profit model that might need to include paid online subscriptions.
Locally, the Mesabi Daily News has begun charging readers for access to news.
A few months back, Time magazine suggested an iTunes format: charging a nickel or a dime for a story. So if you want to read Twin Ports Business, for instance, your PayPal account would be charged, say, 10 cents to read it.
Would you do it? Post a comment either way…