Rupert Murdoch and the media revolution
Rupert Murdoch and the media revolution
Rupert Murdoch is the owner of a sprawling media empire that extends throughout the world and includes books, newspapers and television. Today he faces the internet revolution and is launching a challenge to free news on the web. The latest adventure of Murdoch in the words of an American journalist, opinion leader on the transformation of the media ecosystem and himself an entrepreneur in the sector.
my name is massimo gadji i'm a correspondent for the corer de la serra in america based in new york i've been asked to introduce this panel with michael wolff on the media revolution and new styles of information the title of this panel is rupert murdoch and the media revolution as you know murdoch is a very interesting tycoon he has certainly changed the paradigms of tv information in america and europe and italy as well and he's certainly a protagonist also in the press sector he has a an empire which started in australia and then spread to the uk and us so it's a world corporation and then he even got to the digital sector and he is a lead in a crusade for the so-called payment of the news at a time when we have a dramatic crisis economic crisis for in the area of newspapers in the u.s and to a certain extent also in italy the idea of introducing payments is a crusade which has been brought forward by many publishes and it is laid by rupert murdoch michael wolff is the author of a very interesting biography the man who owns the news published in the us in 2008 michael is a journalist and a an information entrepreneur as some have written he is a sort of a hybrid person i don't know if he recognizes himself in this definition he is the son of a journalist and an advertising entrepreneur so he has grown up in the area of the media in the media industry he started as a news boy at the new york times while he was studying at the university he worked for many newspapers and at a certain point he took a different career he started to write books he became an information entrepreneur he was asked by some analysts by some wall street companies to become to help with the analysis and he created some companies in the book sector and also in the digital sector some of these uh companies have gone very well one was estimated one million dollars he will tell us about that if we have time and some of these companies after the breaking of the bubble had some crisis he went back to journalism and he became the columnist of new york magazine and then vanity fair and in 2007 he set up newser which is a news aggregator and he's i think the owner and of course one of the leading persons so he's a person who can certainly tell us about murdoc and he can also tell us what's happening in the transition between the or the transitions and the changes which are taking places in our industry after the press after the printing invented by gutenberg a lot of things have happened we have now come to the digital era and so now we're going towards a new way of doing information which is more democratic certainly but perhaps a more chaotic and perhaps he will tell us about this i read his book i read also the comments made to his book by some authors and i agree with the many things that have been written about the book so at the end of this presentation i will ask him why has murdoch accepted to dedicate for nine months and many hours of his time for interviews for talks with michael wolff michael even went to australia to speak with a mother which is i think 100 years old and he was able to speak with other members of the family of murdoch and then he wrote a very interesting biography rich of facts and which perhaps doesn't really acknowledge the good time made available by murdock and i think that even murder set out some retaliation measures against him and he will tell us if he wants so he has written in a very free way so as much for the introduction and i give the floor straight away to michael asking him to describe the murdoch that he knew as a protagonist as a person who has a lot of power a lot of influence and i'd like to ask him if he can tell us about this question of payment of the news thank you go ahead if you want great thank you this is um um a real treat to be here um this is a kind of funny title murdoch in the in the media revolution because if if i could um um if i had to describe murdoch i would describe him as the ultimate media dinosaur um uh he's just about the most old-fashioned guy in um uh who exists today in the media business actually i might add another person um uh i spoke to murdoch for for um over nine months and um uh he was um he was incredibly forthcoming um and um he had only terrible things to say about virtually uh everyone in his company and his family um and in the media business and the only person i i i heard him say only incredibly complementary laudatory things about was was silvio berlusconi and i think one of the one of the reasons is that is that berlusconi is the other really notable dinosaur in the media business if there are two guys who have no idea what's happening in modern media it's rupert murdoch and silvio berlusconi um let me just a little um a quick sweep through murdoch's career he grows up in australia where his family has been among the most important families in australia for more than a hundred years um murdoch it's often because everyone else nobody knows what goes on in australia and the rest of the world people kind of think that murdoch suddenly arrived on on the scene and is a self-made man in fact he is um a prince um he he is as much royalty as us as um as any royal personage in the world um and a royal figure in the news business his father was the most important news man in australia for many many years and rupert inherited several newspapers and and then began a lifelong well a lifelong love affair with newspapers and a lifelong love affair with the idea of personal dominance because he was the prince he would continue to be the prince everywhere he went um he uh he took over his um as first newspaper in 1953 um and i really came in in in very short order to absolutely dominate what the australian newspaper market so much so that the only prospects for growth were to leave australia and go into other markets in 1968 he went to um he went to england and um he bought a newspaper called the news of the world it's a um it's a kind of almost indescribably um um a horrific um tabloid newspaper i mean so indescribable and horrific that it's actually kind of fun um um and um and from there after that then he bought the sun which is a tabloid paper which was a failing tabloid paper which he built into the most powerful newspaper in um in in the united kingdom and his his um his sort of method is of of doing this is to buy tabloid papers which don't require an enormous amount of investment um and then um and then make them speak to uh he has he has a very kind of interesting good facility in speaking to a certain kind of kind of um what would be his his ideal demographic is a um is a kind of a working class guy with um who was drunk i would say yes um and in england there are a lot of those so um that really was a winning formula um and then he he did and this is the the the his point of intersection with um with with berlusconi he he was it was to control the media and then to control politics and within an incredibly short period of time he had he had managed to do that in um in the in the united kingdom he created the most powerful newspaper and then essentially elected the prime minister margaret thatcher is became the um rupert murdoch's prime minister and and he had by the way before that done the exact same thing in australia he he exhausted in short order exhausted um the immediate growth possibilities in the united kingdom and had to seek another market and that was logically the us and in um in um he began to come to the u.s in in the mid 70s and made his first substantial acquisition in in 1978 1977 78 the new york post a newspaper which she still owns in the new york magazine which he would which i would ultimately go to work for um after he had after he had sold it um and um at this point so already um and i know that murdock occupies this sort of interesting um has an interesting reputation in in italy as a kind of a good guy or as a positive alternative um um by the late 70s murdoch's reputation was the uh um uh was was i i think let me try not to exaggerate um the worst thing that had ever happened to journalism in its history um he he was looked at as the as the ultimate corrupter of of of all of any good that the journalism business had ever achieved he was the antichrist and it got worse um because because he took his this this sort of beachhead that he that he um that he had created in the us with the new york post than the new york new york magazine um i mean curiously he also in in his deal with the new york with new york magazine also acquired the village voice which was certainly at that time the most left-wing paper in in the in the united states um and in a paper which actually largely kept him at bay not least of all because it wasn't not just the most left-wing paper in the united states but one of curiously one of the most profitable papers so that was it's always been a sort of murdoch um habit if you make money he leaves you alone um if you make money for him that is he leaves you alone uh he he followed up his newspaper and magazine acquisitions um by in 1985 buying a movie studio and and then through them and that was fox and then through the fox movie studio he put together a um the fourth television network in the u.s now this is really important and again it goes to the berlusconi model never before in the history of media had um had a media entrepreneur looked at all media as the same thing prior to murdock there was a newspaper business there was a movie business there was a television business there was a book business and these were all separate disciplines which the people who ran these things would have have didn't occur to them that there was anything in common as a matter of fact the word media um really didn't didn't exist until until um come into popular use until the 1970s um so it was murdoch who invented this idea of of the modern media conglomerate an idea obviously that that that berlusconi would would um would embrace and um and arguably arguably bring to an even greater fruition so it was to control all um that that one man could control all um means of media distribution um and um and that was the real central murdoch accomplishment and it it gave him enormous power um and as i wrote this book i began to think about where murdoch fits in in the in the sort of constellation of of great um influential people in our time and i came to the obvious and logical conclusion that murdoch has held power longer than anybody else in our era more than any politician um any other businessman any other movie star he goes on he has been one one of the central figures of our time for um almost half a century um um and about that um you you can't find anybody else who competes except perhaps sylvia berlusconi um um and then um the the capper of murdoch's career what he saw as as as as reaching the top is that he he bought um what he saw as the second most influential newspaper in the world and he did this in 2007. he bought the wall street journal um and and he really did did see this as as as the the the uh his ultimate triumph um um a paper which he would never have been allowed to buy before because the the um not only did journalists hate him but generally the establishment has always hated him and looked down on him um but the the the journal was in in some financial trouble then and he was able to sweep in and pay 5.6 billion dollars for a paper that no one had ever dreamed anyone could buy no less the antichrist himself um so that marks the high point of rupert murdoch's career it also marks arguably the high point of the media business and at the very moment that murdoch paid his 5.6 billion dollars for the wall street journal the media business started to um crumble crumble as though like sand um if murdoch had waited six months um the wall street journal he could have had the wall street journal for half of what he paid for it if he had waited a year he could have bought the wall street journal for a billion dollars rather than 5.6 billion dollars um if he had waited two years they would have given it to him um and so what we are we are at you know the the curious um thing about murdoch's career is it traces the the rise of the media business and now will arrive at the at the the end of the media business now and i began by saying that murdoch was the worst thing that ever happened to journalism um the antichrist he will end up as as kind of curiously the only man left even believing in journalism or believing certainly in newspapers and he's in the middle of this um quixotic quest now to have um um to people to have people pay for his newspapers online because he he rightly sees the internet as the um um uh as as the as the killer of newspapers now the problem with this is as i said i've spent enormous amount of time with murdoch um and the problem is that murdoch doesn't use a computer has never been on the web unassisted doesn't get email and can't work his cell phone um yes his mobile phone he kind of waves it in the air thinking i don't know what he thinks is going to happen um um he sort of talks like this too as though it's it's a really it's um um um and yet he he he is um as i say this incredible dinosaur um now trying to lead this war effectively against against the internet um the the chances that he will succeed are are non-existent um um he can't possibly succeed because he doesn't even know where the enemy is no less who the enemy is and um and it is i i think just one of those moments in which in which well all of us here we are involved in the greatest for everyone in the world everyone who uses media is involved in the greatest transformation in um in the history of the of the of the industry everything about the media business who runs it how how it how the media product gets to you how it's paid for the very nature of the product itself is is under rapid transformation and um um and i i i think rupert murdoch will be remembered as the as the man who dominated the era before um before the modern media actually began well we indeed we expected a very personal interpretation and indeed mr wolf entertained us and thoroughly informed about mr murdoch i am a part of the world of dinosaurs so either we start discussing technically about the future of the press compared with digital information or i might ask whether the world of dinosaur is really over or as many american professors say we always have to be careful not to throw the the baby with the water i mean if kodak had stopped producing films 30 years ago with the first digital camera by it sony have went the gun bankruptcy as a matter of fact firm production was closed last year and they kept a business which was uh gradually being dismantled well at the same time it succeeded in getting the assets to develop the digital business selling digital cameras as fujitsu and sony well this is not the subject of our discussion so i would like to continue by asking some questions and then maybe involve the audience for a general discussion on uh mr murdoch information in europe and the u.s and so on so though uh not really relevant for the subject well i'm very interested on the uh judgment you gave on the other dinosaur mr berlusconi the impression we have in italy is that mr berlusconi as a matter of fact is not a real dinosaur at least as far as the new technologies are concerned and the way one can use the media as a matter of fact uh he has considered really brilliant in understanding that so much so that uh there is a major crisis where all uh european governments are being depicted defected at the sorry defeated at the elections and for the ability he has to use the media he is still very successful at the elections so the impression that we have is well besides uh any idea on his political abilities he can really use make a veil of the media uh though being a monopolist how are you so critical on berlusconi as a dinosaur the berlusconi model is the old media model it's a simple straightforward if you control distribution you control the media all media monopolies have been made up by the control of distribution what we have seen now what has been um uh happening over the last um 15 years and with increasing ever increasing speed is that there is no longer the possibility of controlling distribution distribution is no longer a um a fixed control point everybody has access to distribution distribution is um um is transparent it's free um and it is um available to all and um most available to those who are technically adept so that means that mr berlusconi's control is eroding as we speak his um um his business empire is in um is um not only is dependent upon upon traditional distribution but really is outside of the the new ways of of thinking about about media i would dare say sylvia berlusconi knows as little about um the digital world as rupert murdoch possibly even less um which would make him really unique um um so just because you look at someone and and and and you see them with a with a with a business that um that still works with control that they still hold um does not in any way mean um that um that that continues um into the indefinite future or actually continues into next week the thing that we have seen again and again and again in this transition is that ends come incredibly swiftly incredibly dramatically um and then there's no turning around um sylvia berlusconi's business is a business that i would sell short there is another uh interesting subject uh for me and i would like to involve michael wolf in that it concerns the new information ecosystem i mean digital information and information in general do you have the impression that in the present media system we are moving towards a more polarized world of information i mean even though there are many channels available and the communication is increasingly more direct because of the web at the same time as the success are seen in the market for media need profits to survive so if you are successful in the market you will survive in italy the press the printed newspapers well the most successful ones are the most polarized very clear positions very overt possessions and those who are more moderate are less uh successful now we have mr feltri newspaper with a very catching headlines uh it's like receiving a fist in your stomach or il fatto and maybe michael um is not aware of this but producing a new printed newspaper that i would have seen a lunacy that newspaper was created a couple of years ago michael indeed is in uh should know that uh some newspapers concentrate on the proceedings of uh trials and such type of press is very successful in in the field uh major cable networks in the us in the past cnn was the main actor uh today we have a fox news for the wing side a very radical right wing channel in michael wolff uh a book uh uh that uh channel uh is uh uh described as a point of tension between mr murdoch and then uh the situation of all the family of murdoch is very angry for this very radical right position opposing president obama and so on but it's been successful on the msnbc on the opposite side which is more or less a monopoly for free journalists and those who consider obama as a men of the center making disasters replicating mechanisms of the bush era and not daring to make radical reforms and then another so cnn has become a dwarf don't you have the impression that in the new media world we are moving to uh information which is uh much more polarized to these streams it's a view on on this um the first point of view is that it's not really about um the polarization what it's about is the um um is the um the old idea or the or the the bankruptcy of the old idea on how to present the news um it's the bankruptcy of commodified news now it used to be that the news business was built on on a on a very simple pillar i i knew stuff that you didn't know um and um um just by bringing you the facts um you would be enlightened impressed entertained informed and that actually remains the the basis of cnn and the new york times and um and um and the quality italian newspapers um um or the prestige let's say um the the problem with this is that it's not true anymore um um you read this stuff or you see it on the television you say i already know this um uh this is not it's not informing me um um um entertaining me or um even much distracting me it's um um it's it's stuff that's that's that's that that i know almost by osmosis itself so the currency of this i mean news is like music it's just it's just everywhere so the idea that you can build a business on telling people what they already know is kind of preposterous so the polarized part of the news business is would i i think understanding the business model it's an added value model um we can't we can't just bring you the news because you already know it so we will bring you a personality a position a different form of entertainment if you will and it's something that murdoch understood very early on murdoch went into competition with the leading cable news provider in 1997 and the cable news provider was was cnn the leading provider and murdoch said in his business plan i can't compete with these guys um they're um uh the first thing their news gathering operation is is is is too expensive their market penetration is too great i have to figure out a way to um to distinguish myself and his way of distinguishing himself actually turned out to cost a lot much less money than cnn was spending it was like we're not even going to go out and try to gather news we're just going to have a lot of obnoxious people giving their interpretation of the news now now that doesn't sound like an obvious winner of a of a business plan uh but it actually was enormously um savvy and um because he perceived that cnn was fundamentally dull it was dull because everybody knew this was you know this was an old habit i have to turn on television to get my news even though basically i already know it and in a very short period of time he had created fox with which was um it was faster it was more interesting it was you you know you watched and your eyes opened rather than when you watched cnn and your eyes closed so um uh i i think that this is more than about polarization it is about um um the the central imperative of what we do which is that we have to hold people's interests um you know people this idea as journalists we have this idea that we have and this is actually a relatively modern idea that we are part of a a religious calling that we are bringing you um um um the truth the s the civic good um whatever baloney we tell ourselves um and when um in truth our real responsibility is to um is to speak to you is to look you in the eye um and um uh and and make a connection with you um one easy way to make that connection is is through a kind of a polarizing way a a kind of dramatic use of language and by the way there is nothing wrong with a dramatic use of language um um and i think we are at that stage and um but i think that this will um is and will continue to develop not by the old dinosaurs but by new people who find new ways of speaking to the audience holding the audience's attention um you know you know we we can't assume that it's the audience's responsibility to pay attention to us it's our responsibility to um look the audience in the eye and um grab them by the throat um i think that your positions are very interesting i like to disagree with some of your points but we are not here to discuss between us i really don't agree that when you switch on the tv or read newspapers you already knew know the news in italy the uh inquiries brought about the resignation of one of the ministers well that was the result of inquiries and surveys made by traditional newspapers at the same goes for the watergate interrupt and and clarify i think you're absolutely right that there are um uh traditional news organizations still um um deliver um actually very interesting dramatic moments but remember the news business is not a business that can just rely on on the dramatic moments of the news the news business is a daily business you have to hold people's interest every day and not just when you have a mighty scoop um i think in the old days you could you could do that but the competition is is um um is much more um serious now and um um and in that that belief that the traditional thing that what we did the traditional watchdog role on the traditional role of of um of once every um twice a year of having a a um a groundbreaking original story is not going to keep you in business cabinet yes thank you i see your point but still producing um survey journalism something which requires major investments for example in the us just have a couple of people working for a couple of months on a survey and something which maybe has no outcomes so this is really expensive and indeed some cannot afford that and that cannot be done through the blogs for example in the american experience you might have heard of the huffington post created by ian huffington celebrating its fifth anniversary it's a website which was opened up as a way to aggregate the opinions of different personalities known by mr ian anthon and sorry she was a lady she is a lady and she involved them and then further developed the model there are about 70 persons six seven collaborators and new initiatives are being made for example a network of university students telling their lives in their campuses and other things like that and she realized that to provide a quality journalism something more expensive was necessary so together with information institute from a university set up a fund a trust fund you know that philanthropy is much more widespread in the us than here whether funds given by some tycoons and specific surveys are financed and there is no conflict of interest between the two and surveys are conducted which are very expensive we heard very much about the pulitzer prize won by propublica a new reality in the digital world i found bloggers who uh told me uh you see the free of charge uh information world has won a pulitzer prize but the problem is that pro publica apart from the fact that the editor is a very important journalist a former editor of the world street journal who had retired and uh it works as a philanthropic organization being funded by very rich people in the us which is not a part of our tradition i can tell you that i work for a newspaper with many uh rich entrepreneurs as shareholders who are not philanthropists and the inquiry costed 400 000 so my question as for the economic sustainability of the new digital model considering that huffington post has is being really successful uh uh uh the same number of pages of the digital new york times do you think that uh that is the model for the future and how will it be economically stay sustainable i mean considering that even the african post is increasingly successful they continue to lose a lot of money even after five years uh so the question is how do we support ourselves is that it um yes um um i i don't know um this is um um as i say the moment of radical transformation um and um and there are a couple of things here um um um you know i mean maybe there isn't a market for news anymore maybe we do know everything um um in a significantly um more efficient way than we could ever have dreamed maybe the news business isn't um the news business which obviously we have a vested interest in continuing in a vested interest in wanting to find a way to continue to pay our salaries maybe that's not necessary maybe it is an entirely or or a significantly redundant business um that's that's certainly a possibility which which we ought to consider um and um maybe um as i would certainly argue we're looking at this from the wrong point of view it's not what's good for us that's at issue it's what's good for the consumer that's at issue and maybe we're just not finding out um what the consumer wants um or maybe we haven't quite found that out yet having said that um there is also the possibility that they're the likely possibility that there isn't just one answer that there's a lot of different ways that the news business will work that we will get our information that we will and that we will succeed in um in in creating creating um viable companies that deliver this information um there's an interesting example in in in the us and it's a website called politico um politico operates in washington d.c its main job is to report on the federal government and politico started during the last election it was started by reporters from the washington post company now the washington post was was until then the the the um the premium supplier of information about the federal government and the washington post had 900 people on its staff and it made 1.4 billion a year the people from politico came came along and their proposition was that with seven reporters not 900 with seven reporters they could effectively compete with the washington post in terms of its coverage of the federal government and actually they were perfectly that turned out to be exactly true that they have competed handily with the washington post and they have built themselves a 15 million dollar a year company so what that means is that in the new news ecosystem we've taken a 1.4 billion dollar asset and reduced it to a 15 million a year asset the implications here are depressing and cataclysmic for people who work in the news business on the other hand the implications for the consumer are just are are are actually very positive they continue to get their information actually they get more of it and they get it cheaper do you exclusively believe in the model of news paid by advertising that is free online or do you think that there is room for subscriptions or mini payments for example by means of mobile phones or other tools i'm asking this because one of the main characteristics of murdoc recently has been this crusade for the pavement of the news okay murdoch is a dinosaur this is true but certainly he was the man who revolutionized the traditional media saying that the illusion that we have had for many years he himself had that illusion because when he bought the wall street he uh wanted to have it online and then he went back to the traditional method and he kept the payment for the online version of the wall street journal but he was the first to say that the original sin of publishers and that is uh to keep cable tvs news uh newspapers uh just uh financed by advertising you know that in italy we also have a free press well that was an illusion which then dissolved above all with the crisis with the big recession with the financial crisis that is a model which is no longer sustainable this is something that murdoch himself says but at the same time there are people like steve jobs who are taking the same track life on the ipad of course he is the producer of these devices nobody in the history of news has ever paid for it news let's be very precise about this has always been free the um uh the the pennies the lira that you have had to pay for newspapers is not about paying for the news it's been about paying for some measure of convenience but it certainly has never covered the price of news gathering and in fact the murdoch model has always been to lower the price the to take the meager price of news as it is and to make it even less so the sudden idea here that we can take 150 years of of mass market consumption of news and change people's economic relationship to it is is absurd on the face of it news is for better or worse i emphasize for better or worse and advertising supported business in a logical world and and here's the problem by the way with with the with the news business the problem is not that um um consumers won't pay for it as i said they've nev they've never paid for it it's that advertisers don't want to pay for it anymore or want to pay less and they want to pay less because advertising online doesn't really work that well so the real issue here is is how do you make advertising work better not how to make consumers pay for it consumers won't pay for it have never paid for it and what's more have no reason to pay for it the idea that suddenly consumers would pay for murdoch's times of london a perfectly um a newspaper um um 90 of whose content you can find free um with a at one click away um is is is just um uh never gonna happen and in fact rupert doesn't really think it's going to happen that's not what rupert is trying to do um rupert doesn't care about his online business because he doesn't know how to get online for one thing um what he cares about is his newspaper business this is a man who loves the god damn newspaper he spends the whole day tearing it and folding it and marking it and and pointing to it he always going like this at the newspaper and what he would like on a business basis is for fewer people to give up their subscriptions to the times of london and and i think by charging for the online side um and by the way if you are a subscriber uh to the times of london you continue to get the online side for free um so um i i think that he will the possibility is that he will have created a meaningful incentive for people to continue to subscribe to his paper and even even if he keeps um um five percent you know cuts down his his loss by five percent on the subscription side that's actually pretty valuable to him no mistake well now let's open the debate i see many hands up forgive my invasiveness but have a point of curiosity to ask a point of curiosity also of many financial analysts just one minute michael well of course we should ask murdoc but michael murdock knows a new because he wrote many interesting books and many critical books in 2004 he published the autumn of moguls of the tycoons telling the big crisis of publishers of newspapers so why do you think that murdoc accepted to work with a person who is so uncontrollable like you so why do you think that he accepted to be interviewed for nine months by you when when i went to see murdoch's mother in um melbourne australia um she was a hundred then she's 102 now um um and um and actually quite a bit livelier than than murdoch himself um uh she said she said oh it's it's so um uh interesting that my son is um uh working with you on on this book because you know he's never read one um so and and i think that's i mean i've mulled over this question a million times um um i mean i am really um i've written them a million words about these guys who run run media companies and um quite possibly not one of them is nice um so uh i i don't know uh the only thing i can really conclude is that he had never read what i'd written um um and um um and then he also knew that i have a running battle with um with the new york times and with um what actually murdock murdoch calls the the bishops of journalism um and so i think that he thought we had the same enemies so therefore we would be friends a common error okay hello so if you agree we collect some questions and then you answer you described a picture a portrait of marduk which is disquieting but the experience that i have in italy is not so negative perhaps because the rest of the panorama is really discouraging i subscribe to skye um it's a high price but nevertheless we have a tv with a very pluralistic view there are channels like cult which give very good information and the tv news on sky for example was defined as one of the most objective tv news in italy now the image that you gave us and the service that i receive do not match can you tell me why do you have an idea why hi i'm so i'm kind of interested and curious in murdock's fuck-ups in the internet industry um so question is is it murdock who killed myspace or is it facebook and you have to pick one okay well you spoke about uh newspapers as advertising uh supported businesses i work in a newspaper which has no advertising but nevertheless sells a lot and produces a profit so perhaps uh that business model can apply to big newspapers like the washington post which have super so high costs that they cannot self support themselves so um perhaps that's a different uh model uh as compared to ourselves so i would like to have an opinion on this is it just big groups which cannot live only on sales and need to be supported by ads and then you didn't really elaborate on the ipad i read the an article on the ipad in the wall street journal and it's a different sorry there is a bad interference uh in if you can read the wall street journal on the ipad with the same headlines so 50 euros just for six months well i would pay for that while for the website of this wall street journal i would never pay a single penny uh skye um murdoch is not a bad media i mean he he can he can be a very good media guy um sky news in the uk is is is is pretty up the up up the middle it's not a not necessarily a bias it's not necessarily murdock's point of view um and it's a different kind of thing you know murdock is a very personal player and he doesn't have much of a point of view in in the italian market except um carving a space for himself um which is which is an alternative to the existing um the the existing uh dominant business model um so in in any space murdock is going to be looking for the opportunity um and it's always good to see murdoch first as an opportunity as an opportunist first and then as a um and then as a man who has his own personal agendas and grudges and biases so so yes i i think murdock is perfectly capable of of of um of creating a media product that's um that's actually pretty good um um facebook myspace i i think you're probably right uh it is facebook that killed myspace but it certainly wasn't helped by murdoch's lack of interest in my space lack of knowledge about it and lack of investment in it um uh paid newspapers there has always been and i should have said this before a a market for special interest news people will pay for special interest news what they won't pay for is is mass market general interest news and the ipad ipad um the problem with the ipad is well we don't know what's going to happen with the ipad this is entirely new my conjecture um is twofold um that um that in the digital world people don't want um reproductions of the analog world that the digital world is has set up a whole set of of um new expectations and um and merely producing the paper product in an electronic form isn't going to cut it that's number one uh number two uh you can just you can bet your house on the fact that that that steve jobs is gonna screw all of these publishers and uh uh he's gonna make a buck and they're gonna lose a buck let's have another round of questions and then we'll close i would like to have further comments on ipad on wired an article was published on the subject indicating that an american cartoonist created an application for the application store selling vignettes on public personalities and comic strips and that was rejected he won the uh political prize and then apple changed their contracts and accepted that uh application i think that uh of comic strips on politicians do you think that the what what will happen about the applications uh wall street journal don't you think that uh there is a risk of having information which are banned because the application does not accept them i had an um i had an application um um an ipad um i had an iphone application that was about um um which is this sort of based on this column that i do every day which is frequently um critical if not contemptuous of steve jobs and it too was mysteriously rejected um so yeah i mean i think it's it's it's very clear the ipad is something that steve jobs controls um that steve jobs intends to control it's not about free speech it's not about what's good for the um uh for the consumer or the culture it's about what's good for um apple or what's good for steve jobs um and um and i think it's a croc and um and i think everyone should be aware of uh of of what they're getting and um and uh should probably um not get it i have two questions the first concerns the dinosaurs murdoch and berlusconi but they are at the top of the food chain so we just hope that they could die because they have eaten too much you compared berlusconi to mr murdoch marduk is a person who likes girls who are minor of age well um um no i have no idea that i i don't know if murdoch likes girls who are minors but he does he does have an eye you know his i mean one of the major things in murdoch's latter career is that his his marriage of of 33 years broke up because he met um a woman by the name of wendy dang um who was then um he was 67 and she was 27. um so that's um somewhat different from mr berlusconi's interests but um but hell we can entertain a final question technical office and we issue more than 160 press releases per year we could easily increase this number to whatever level we want to achieve now the chief statistician of south africa established a radio channel and he is planning to also establish a tv channel in order to bring statistics to people directly without necessarily going through the classical media do you think that this could work or in a world where we are really bombarded by figures by everything every day this wouldn't work i no i think if if it can make money for somebody it would work um i mean business information which is partly what you're talking about here is the one area that that has been a a sort of boom media business and um and so if you can if you can bring information that's not commodified that's hard to get um and that has um an immediate usefulness to the consumer um specific usefulness and and most clearly a business useful usefulness yeah that's that's that's a big business i'm in well i think social well i i don't you know i mean socials all statistics are are have a have a business use now um um now the mistake i can already hear it that's that's going to be made here is that there'll be some that that there's a conceit that this is not that this is social information um rather than um rather than specifically useful information and then it will be packaged as a social good you can't make money on a social good um you can only make money when what you do is is um is directed and useful to people um um you know the other way is a is a you know is a is a conceit of do-gooders and left-wingers and um um and journalists um and um the the um uh the money-making way is uh is is just about thinking what the consumer wants thank you very much for coming so numerous on a sunday morning and thank you very much for your attention