Murdoch to charge for news website access

Would you pay for the's "quality journalism"?
Would you pay for the's "quality journalism"?

In what can only be seen as an 'interesting' move, Rupert Murdoch has announced that you will have to pay to access The Sun, The Times and News Of The World websites as of next year.

Currently all of these websites offer free access to stories that are in their newspaper equivalents that day, but this is all set to change according to Murdoch.

Speaking to journalists, the owner of News Corporation said: "Quality journalism is not cheap. The digital revolution has opened many new and inexpensive distribution channels, but it has not made content free. We intend to charge for all our news websites."

Difficult year

As for a time-frame for this, according to the Guardian, it will be "this fiscal year".

It will be interesting to see if people pay for the news on the website, and how much the charges will be. Considering you can buy The Sun for a mere 20p, would you really pay more to read the same stories on a website, regardless of its exclusivity?

Murdoch's words seem to be spurred on by a $3.4bn (£2bn) net loss for News Corporation for the financial year to June. This is something that has been put down to restructuring, writedowns and a slump in commercial revenue.

"The past year has been the most difficult in recent history," explained Murdoch. "And our 2009 financial performance clearly reflects the weak economic environment that we confronted throughout the year."

Despite the downturn, Murdoch is confident his 'pay-for' plan will work: "We're certainly satisfied that we can produce significant revenues from the sale of digital delivery of newspaper content," he explained.

Unless every other newspaper service does the same thing, then Murdoch might find it to be tough going.

Via The Guardian

Marc Chacksfield

Marc Chacksfield is the Editor In Chief, at DC Thomson. He started out life as a movie writer for numerous (now defunct) magazines and soon found himself online - editing a gaggle of gadget sites, including TechRadar, Digital Camera World and Tom's Guide UK. At Shortlist you'll find him mostly writing about movies and tech, so no change there then.