Murdoch eyes the future

RUPERT Murdoch has hailed the just-launched iPad as the saviour of the printed press. Speaking at the National Press Club in Washington, he reportedly has said that the new gadget will rescue the press, albeit in electronic form.

Writes The Guardian correspondent Paul Harris on his newspaper’s website today, media mogul Murdoch “was happy to embrace the device”. Murdoch is quoted, saying: “I got a glimpse of the future last weekend with the Apple iPad. It is a wonderful thing.”

The quote continues: “If you have less newspapers and more of these … it may well be the saving of the newspaper industry.”

The iPad, commonly described a ‘tablet’ and boasting computer and internet functionality, is larger than a mobile phone but smaller than a computer laptop. It can operate like an eBook.

Murdoch is also reported launching a stinging attack on internet sites that reproduce his newspapers’ content. Again writes Harris: “Murdoch renewed his attacks on search engines, such as Google, whom he accused of stealing journalism from traditional media outlets.”

Murdoch is again quoted, saying: “We are going to stop people like Google or Microsoft or whoever from taking stories for nothing … there is a law of copyright and they recognise it.” According to Murdoch, sites that aggregate news content free of charge have tapped into a “river of gold”.

According to The Guardian, Murdoch’s recent announcement that his newspapers will start charging for online content has been met with criticism. However, Murdoch remained bullish on this front saying: “When [consumers] have got nowhere else to go they will start paying.”