back to article Murdoch to Zuckerberg: Cough up cash, nerd

News Corp executive chairman and internationally despised publisher Rupert Murdoch has waded into the fake news debate – and demanded that internet giants pay journalists for their work. "Facebook and Google have popularized scurrilous news sources through algorithms that are profitable for these platforms but inherently …

  1. Andy Mac

    Forget about the pot...

    This is the super-massive black hole calling the kettle black.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  2. jameshogg

    No doubt more folk are moving towards traditional news media and even paying when they don't have to as they recognise the value of (reasonably) legitimate news, though the problem remains: lack of exclusivity of stories is causing a money shortage.

    Before the internet there would be a bottleneck - you'd have to wait for tomorrow's papers or tune into TV or radio, and that bottleneck was the natural advantage news organisations had to steer advertising etc in its favour. But now this particular bottleneck is gone - any story that a paper will take ages to research with lots of labour behind will not see the rewards reaped, as the main abstract of said story will be on Twitter for all to see without costing a penny.

    Unless we want to extend copyright law to cover ideas as well as expressions (and good luck enforcing that even if it did come about), papers are going to have to contend with the reality that they have no choice but to compete with free. Asking everyone to stop talking about a major news story online for the sake of forcing everyone to hear it from the paper that produced the story is asking too much.

    There is one bottleneck that does remain though, and papers should utilise it: hold back the findings of the story until everyone puts in their share into a big pot. It is not true to say that crowdfunding is a "pay-what-you-want" system where you donate, as everyone seems to think. It's a payWALL. And it meets the definition of protecting fruits of labour: everyone pay up this price, or you don't get the goods. And it works: tickets for gigs, pre-orders, subscriptions are all forms of assurance contracts too with simultaneous payments, and they've protecting fruits of labour long before the internet.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Hold back the findings until you pay?

      So you have reputable news outlets with bland headlines typical of reputable news outlets, and less reputable outlets with the sort of sensationalistic headlines internet outlets use to get more clicks.

      I'm afraid that would only further empower rags like the National Enquirer, not lead to better funding for those doing real journalism like the New York Times and Wall Street Journal.

      1. jameshogg

        Re: Hold back the findings until you pay?

        It works well enough for, picking one example of many, Private Eye. Their monthly subscription model is a working, regular assurance contract: getting simultaneous payments from your customers in that way as a condition for the work to be published at all is no different from crowdfunding. Same goes for the magazine shops, only they buy the copies in bulk (bigger "pledges").

        That seems like a working method of demanding payment for labour to me.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Pay Journalists

    Says Murdoch while he sacks large swathes of his own journalists.

    Those that are left do little more than cut and paste from Reuters News feeds, and make up leftist feminist articles, constantly criticising the white male.

    1. Roj Blake Silver badge

      Re: Pay Journalists

      If you think that Murdoch's media are either leftist or feminist, then I can only conclude that your politics are somewhere to the right of Benito Mussolini.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Murdoch, do the world a favour and just shuffle off it.

    NB Crosses, garlic and wooden stakes required to perform the above.

  5. The Nazz

    Don't forget the forced subscribtion sites

    Such as the UK's BBC "News" website.

    Genuine news? Rare. Garbage, getting worse by the week too.

    But for it being part of the forced subscripton model, it would have been allowed to die away by now, let other "news" types provided one's own flavour of agenda and propaganda.

    To paraphrase the Mrs Merton situation "What is it about the succesful mult-ibillionaire business man Murdoch is it that you despise so much?"

    Personally, i very much dislike the effect that such as Sky/Sky Sport has had on "sport" but it would appear to be the case that virtually all sports bodies, administrators and a huge number of participants simply can't grab the cash fast enough. And tbf, the vast majority of the public provide.

  6. SVV

    Oh, where to start......

    "Facebook and Google have popularized scurrilous news sources through algorithms that are profitable for these platforms but inherently unreliable," complained the octogenarian in a formal statement issued Monday.

    Whereas you did exactly the same your whole career through the use of the most despicable, conscience free scumbags you could pay wages to instead of algorithms. Yes, there are problems there, but your Fox News channel ain't really a shining counterexample.

    "Recognition of a problem is one step on the pathway to cure," Murdoch huffed, "but the remedial measures that both companies have so far proposed are inadequate, commercially, socially and journalistically."

    Look in the mirror walnut face : this has been your problem all your life, apart from the "commercially" bit. And thats why you never recognised it as a problem. Feel free to expand below on phone hacking, and its' precursor the syxstematic harassing of victims by the lowlife hacks that made you alll that money.

    "Recent efforts to introduce subscription models to fund journalism online were also given short shrift by the wrinkly mogul"

    Maybe because not enough people are willing to pay money to see whatever The Sun and The Times (which you own) are spewing out these days to make you even more money that you won't be able to take with you when you shortly shuffle off this mortal coil.

    "the social value of professional journalism,"

    No, I'm just at a loss to even think of a riposte to this when it's emerged from his brain.....

    1. Thought About IT

      Re: Oh, where to start......

      The best thing Zuckerberg could do to prevent further damage to democracy is to buy Fox News and then close it down. He could usefully follow that up by lobbying to repeal the legislation which allowed Murdoch to create Fox News in the first place.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Murdoch the voice of professional Journalism?

    Well, _he_ gets paid, so he's a pro.

    And I have no doubt the other pro journalists agree with him when he says that journalists should be paid.

    I have the impression from another news site that Murdoch was trying to suggest that FB should pay for _quality_ news and most everyone else was reacting to the notion that there was anything "quality" about Faux News.

    The rubes and the hicks in the flyover states – the ones that don't want to be called rubes and hicks – keep on watching Faux News. It's going to be tough shedding that rubes and hicks reputation if they're going to keep on doing the same old thing; i.e. watching Faux News.

  8. Big-nosed Pengie

    News? Since when has the Murdoch Propaganda Factory had anything to do with news?

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    One of my definitions of "Fake News" is when the slant, bias or propaganda aspect of a story is so great that it undermines the actual truth in the story or to put it another way the truth is buried under too much bullsh*t.

    News Corp regularly fall into this category if not all the time so for the immortal prince of darkness to be claiming others are pushing fake news has left me scratching my head wondering what sh*t is he smoking?

    1. AMBxx Silver badge

      >> slant, bias or propaganda

      Do you think this Register article contains no slant or bias?

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

  10. Andy 73 Silver badge

    Not just journalism

    > There is undeniably a shift occurring as the public finally comes to terms with the fact that there is inherent value in professional newsgathering.

    Change 'professional newsgathering' to 'decent content' and it's not just journalists who *should* benefit from being generously encouraged to share their content. How long will YouTube hold on to the better quality creators when Amazon, Netflix and others are showing that people will pay for reliable entertainment?

  11. Forget It
    Thumb Up

    Gratis-dom for Everyone ™

    > ... there is inherent value in professional newsgathering

    Long live The Register

    Long live the FREE press

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Content providers should be paid where profits are made by selling it

    Facebook, Google and YouTube are nothing more than content hosting platforms.

    They make money by stealing others content, loading it up with adverts (which is where they make billions) and hosting it for others to consume.

    These billion dollar megacorp would fail over night if people stopped feeding them with free content.

    And yet they won't because these megacorps have figured out one key truth - People are easily entertained narcissists.

    They love making content and giving it away. They like watching cheap. They like buying stuff they see in adverts.

    If the news barons wanted to stop this happening with their content, then make it high quality and convince people it's worth paying for.

  13. peterm3


    In fairness to Murdoch* cutting costs, the cash flow to traditional print media is in decline from both falling readership and therefore advertising revenues.

    However Murdoch presides over the most disgusting xenophobic propaganda machine, second only to the Daily Mail / Hate.

    However this is a trend. Over Christmas I saw the Telegraph and was shocked how like the Mail it has become. The reader of that copy were in there 70s and believe all of it. Sad state of the country's press, not wonder populism and Brexit happened.

    * For an even more friendly take on Murdoch's early years, Ink at the Duke of York's Theatre was entertaining.

  14. peterm3

    Stop Press. Murdoch will have trouble taking over Sky

    Competition and Markets Authority doesn't like the Sky takeover- Hooray!!

    1. Roj Blake Silver badge

      Re: Stop Press. Murdoch will have trouble taking over Sky

      But why is there only one Competition and Markets Authority?

  15. Detective Emil

    Zuck to Murdoch

    "Great idea! We've taken it on board: FB will pay trustworthy news providers for content. None of your platforms qualifies."

  16. not_my_real_name

    Dinosaur to Meteor

    Colliding with Earth here will cost you an arm and a leg.

  17. illuminatus

    So, let's get this right

    Rupert Murdoch, a man who OWNS A LOT OF PUBLISHING COMPANIES AND NEWS OUTLETS, wants Facebook to cough up and give publishing and news outlets a bunch of money.

    No, I can't see any problem with the wrinkly old wraith pocketing a bunch of cash for providing such quality news and "information" as The Super Soaraway Shite and Fucks News. I mean, what could *possibly* go wrong there?

  18. ukgnome

    It's like he forgets about his advertising revenue when people click on this despicable mans links.

  19. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

    Give Murdich his dues...

    ...he did say Trump was a fucking idiot. (allegedly)

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is that true?

    Or did you see it on FOX?

  21. D Moss Esq

    Reducing the number of news publishers does not improve democracy.

    "Google, Facebook et al are mere platforms"? Naïve.

    Their services are not free.

    Hate speech and prejudice will not be ended by using hate speech and prejudice.

    Rubes and hicks are people.

    So are titanic heroes like Watson, Gates, Jobs, Bezos, Brin, Zuckerberg and Murdoch.

    One force that can help to keep their absolute power in check seems to be competition with each other.

    Another is innovation – IBM seemed once to be invincible and is now disappearing.

    Whatever, democracy needs objective journalism, or the nearest humans can get to it, and informed comment. The question is how we can promote that. It's hard, how do we replace the advertising-funding-makes-everything-look-free-and-a-human-right model, answers on a postcard please, but let's start by at least not making it harder.

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