News Corp is to start charging for online content across its news sites, including the Sun, The Times and The News of the World, according to chairman Rupert Murdoch. Commenting on the company’s half-year results, Murdoch said: “An industry that gives away its content is cannibalising its ability to do good reporting. Quality journalism is not cheap. The digital revolution has opened many new and inexpensive distribution channels but it has not made content free. We intend to charge for all our news websites.”
Murdoch believed that other papers will follow his lead, saying “I believe that if we’re successful, we’ll be followed fast by other media.” He highlighted scoops such as The Daily Telegraph’s exposure of UK MPs’ expenses as well as specialist content such as celebrity news as key to persuading online readers to pay for news.The move comes as the media giant reported a $3.4bn on-paper loss for the year to June, compares with a net profit of $5.4bn a year previously.Looking at the full year, News Corp reported adjusted operating profit of $3.6bn on turnover of $30bn compared with a profit figure of $5.3bn on turnover of $33bn in the previous financial year.