Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Brown Backs News For Free

One has to guess who is quoted as saying

“People have got used to getting content without having to pay. I don’t think you are going to be able to put things behind paywalls in the way that people think. People will pay for certain things, and should pay for certain things, but I think there’s a whole sort of element of communication that’s got to be free. People mind paying for basic news.”

The quote is from UK Prime Minister, Gordon Brown and was given in an interview with the Radio Times. So at a time when the Digital Economy Bill is hardly dry and on the table and a general election is only weeks away, Brown has decided to speak his mind against Rupert Murdoch's plan to implement paywalls to access the Times and Sunday Times online, arguing that internet users will not abide being told to pay for news content.

Murdoch plans to start charging for online content from June, with the Sunday Times and Times, with the Sun and News of the World to follow.

So is Brown's opposition based on the fact that Murdoch's Sun recently switched allegiance from supporting Labour to backing the Conservative, a support for the creative industry and journalists who the recent bill said needed to be rewarded, or is it a realisim that business models must change and the ‘free’ economic models are here to stay?

It will be interesting to read how Murdoch’s editors react.

The Radio Times has a weekly circulation of 1,000,648.

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