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Welcome to the organizational communication blog. On this blog we will be discussing a range of topics that relate to organizational communication—from news items to research articles. We look forward to your comments and ideas!

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Newspaper organizations as “empire(s) in decline”?
by Sandi Evans | November 09, 2009 |  (0) Comments

In this interview on Sky News, Rupert Murdoch discusses his view of the internet and Google as threats to the news business.

Murdoch prefers loyal paying customers to those (many, many) freeloaders who read Google news or use Google to search for news coverage. Many news organizations are still seeking updated business models that will enable them to function in a world where the internet (and Google) is indeed a reality as well as a potential benefit, not just a threat. While paywalls are one valid business model option for newspapers, the view that Google “steals” content and that search is a threat seem absolutely destructive for news organizations. I’ve heard this view espoused by individuals in the entertainment industry as well.

While many NewsCorp properties may be strong brands like the Wall Street Journal, will their audience of loyal readers be large enough to support these news organizations? How can blocking Google from linking to news articles from the WSJ, the Times, the Sun, etc do anything but hurt these brands by redirecting vast numbers of readers to competing news sources instead?

Murdoch argues that he’s competing with pay models such as taxpayer-supported BBC. While he’s right, NewsCorp faces competition from the BBC, there is also competition not from people posting clips of the Simpsons on YouTube, but from the myriad of blogs, online journals and other media competing for our attention and time.

Future research could take a look at the relationship between how news organizations think or talk about their consumers (loyal customers vs. “search people” for example) and how this influences the types of business models they explore.

Read Gizmodo’s coverage of this interview here.

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