07 December 2009

Publisher, Know Thyself

If it weren't sad - and serious - this would be hilarious:

Springer, which publishes the biggest daily in Europe, the tabloid Bild, as well as other newspapers in Germany and Eastern Europe, says it wants publishers to get paid for their work on the Internet, at a time when many people assume that online news should be free.

“The meta-philosophy of free — we should get rid of this philosophy,” said Christoph Keese, Springer’s head of public affairs and an architect of its online strategy. “A highly industrialized world cannot survive on rumors. It needs quality journalism, and that costs money.”

OK, that sounds fair. So what exactly had Herr Keese in mind?

What kind of content would come at a cost? Any “noncommodity journalism,” Mr. Keese said, citing pictures of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi of Italy cavorting poolside with models at his villa in Sardinia — published this year by the Spanish daily El PaĆ­s — as an example.

“How much would people pay for that? Surely €5,” he said.

Er, no comment.

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7 comments:

Hugo said...

I still think it's hilarious :)
But that may be my cynical side.

glyn moody said...

@Hugo: certainly - but also profoundly depressing...

Anonymous said...

The trouble is that both he and Murdoch agree that this is quality journalism. Personally, I can live without those images in my brain.

I truly hope that these people try to take their content behind a pay wall. I think that for (currently) powerful people a lesson in how the Internet routes around such damage would be a good thing.

In much the same way I hope that the copyright/patent cartels help push ACTA through, and that Mandelson gets his way on his new bill. Things probably have to get much worse before they can get better and maybe it's worth living through 10 years of increasingly stupid protectionism to come out of the other side with these laws ripped down completely.

glyn moody said...

I agree about the paywall, not so sure about Digital Economy and ACTA - they are *very* nasty...

The Mad Hatter said...

Murdoch isn't totally stupid. He's hoping that Microsoft will pay for him to go behind a paywall, so that his papers will prosper, even if (especially if) Microsoft loses money on the deal.

It is amazing what "news organization owners" think is quality journalism. I have a strong suspicion that most journalists will disagree with them.

guy said...

I remember the editor of the Sunday Sport being challenged on what counted as news and his definition was that it was anything that you didn't know before you read his paper. Hence "WWII Bomber found on Moon".

Incidentally as a London commuter, I find the London Evening Standard is rather good. I didn't read it until it became a free sheet. I hope it succeeds.

glyn moody said...

@guy: sounds a little broad, that....

And yes, I've noticed the ES too: will be interesting to see if the numbers work out...