Media must meet the demands of technology age, warns Murdoch

By Zoe Smith

The main challenge facing traditional media is how to engage with the new generation of demanding consumers who want to access news where and whenever they wish, News International boss Rupert Murdoch warned this week.

Speaking to an audience of industry figures at the Worshipful Company of Stationers and Newspaper Makers in London, Murdoch said: "I believe traditional newspapers have many years of life left, but equally I think, in the future, newsprint and ink will be just one of many channels to our readers.

"Crucially, newspapers must give readers a choice of accessing their journalism in the pages of the paper or on websites such as Times Online or, and this is important, on any platform that appeals to them — mobile phones, hand-held devices, iPods, whatever."

Murdoch, whose empire includes the Fox TV network and BSkyB, warned that TV also faced a huge technological challenge. "That old square television box in the corner of the room may soon be dead, but the television industry is seizing the opportunities thrown up by the technology revolution," he said.

"PVRs — personal video recorders — streaming live TV onto mobile phones; beaming programmes onto computers via IPTV; internet broadcasts — this wave of innovation gives the consumer huge choice at relatively low cost."

Murdoch insisted that journalism had a future in this technological age, pointing out: "Great journalism will always attract readers."

He added: "Never has the flow of information and ideas, of hard news and reasoned comment, been more important.

The free flow of information is not just a building block of our democratic system, it is also the fuel of technological revolution.

"For the traditional media, the key to survival is the ability to adapt."

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