Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Media Roundup: Murdoch, Paid News Sites, Science, Caijing, & More

The latest from the worlds of media:

  • Now, this is a move by yellow-press baron Rupert Murdoch that I can get behind: He is threatening to sue Google and BBC for using material from his media empire on their sites. Google, of course, links to (mind you, links to, doesn't copy) news from around the world on its Google News service. I use it. I like it. It does not in any way prevent me from visiting media sites, and in fact I've got several dozen newspapers, TV, radio, and magazine web sites bookmarked that I visit throughout the day. (And readers of this site know that nothing has stopped me from subscribing to magazines -- in fact, I just sent in a one-year subscription order for British science fiction media mag SFX.) What I don't have bookmarked is anything from Murdoch's empire, because I think he puts politics before truth, and I think he plays in the gutter too often. Here's my point: I've often wished I could select some feature that would remove Fox News and other Murdoch sources from my Google News results. I don't want to accidentally click on them and end up helping his click-through rates. Now, Murdoch will be making this happen on his own. Hooray. Google, of course, said Murdoch can just choose not to have his newspapers indexed by Google. The FT report on his response when told about that suggests to me that he's not quite clear on the concept of links on the internet: "Asked how he reacted to the challenge of Google and others for newspapers such as his to remove their newspapers from search results, Mr Murdoch said that once they had in place the means to charge for news, 'I think we will.'" Huh? Why doesn't he remove it now? Does he know what he's talking about? 
  • Mediaite has a nice collection of magazine covers featuring the Berlin Wall, which recently celebrated its 20th year of non-existence. (For more on the Wall anniversary, see here and here and here and here.)
  • Discovery Communications -- the overlords for the Discovery family of channels -- is launching a science news web site. More science news is always a welcome move, especially coming from a group that has been as successful as Discovery at popularizing it. Bookmark its new site -- I don't think Murdoch will care!
  • If you remember my recent post about the upheaval at anti-corruption Chinese magazine Caijing, you might be interested to know that the pioneering editor, Hu Shuli, has officially resigned and is going to be dean of communications and design at Sun Yat-sen University. (By the way, I first learned about that from a link on Media Bistro's newsletter to a story in Murdoch's Wall Street Journal. But since he doesn't want people to come to his web sites, I decided to include a link to the Forbes article instead.)
  • Despite circulation of more than half a million, Metropolitan Home magazine is closing, with its December issue being its final number.
(My previous media roundup.)

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