.............................................. ...............................................

Emperor Rupert vs free internet content

By Peter Boyle

Since its launch in February 1991, the content of Green Left Weekly has been available free on the internet. A full archive of every article published win is available on its website www.greenleft.org.au.

As a result, Green Left has gained many new readers. Some 10,000-15,000 log on to the website each day – many times the readership of its printed copy. The internet also gives Green Left a global reach. Many of its readers and writers are brought together from many corners of the world.

The level or support and respect that Green Left Weekly has generated over the years was on show with the many messages of congratulations it received during the celebrations of the paper's 800th issue. It has become a global alternative media project.

But unfortunately this does not help us pay the bills! The subscribers and individual copy buyers of the hard copy Green Left Weekly shoulder the main burden of keeping this important project afloat.

All publications face a similar opportunity and challenge from the internet. But not all publications are responding to this challenge in the same same. About a week ago, News Corporation Chairman Rupert Murdoch announced that his media empire begin charging readers of online versions of its newspapers in the coming year. He was spurred by News Corp's US$3.4 billion loss this year (compared to A $5.4 billion profit the previous year).

The narrow profits-above-all-else perspective of a billionaire media emperor like Murdoch inescapably points him in this direction. The only question is whether Emperor Rupert has the power to force other capitalist media corporations to follow suite.

Murdoch's first paper to start charging for online access, maybe by November, will be The Sunday Times. Other News Corp titles, including The News of the World and The Sun, will charge for web access within a year. "I believe that if we're successful, we'll be followed by other media," he told MoneyWeek.com.

Well, perhaps the other media corporations will follow Murdoch - or perhaps they won't. But whatever those corporate money-grubbers do, Green Left is not about to follow them. We want to help change the world not make a profit.

Yet we also have to pay the bills. So what's our solution? We rely on the power of solidarity.

We are currently running a drive for more subscriptions. If you read it on the internet, please consider taking out an internet subscription (hard copy subs are also available). Introduce Green Left Weekly to a friend, workmate, fellow political activist or relative, or your university or municipal library, or trade union or political organisation by giving them a gift subscription.

About this time last year, we ran a similar Buy A Subscription For A Friend campaign and our readers responded strongly boosting our subscription base significantly and introducing many new readers to Green Left.

If you'd like to purchase a subscription or find out more, please email subscriptions@greenleft.org.au or phone+61 2 9690 1220 (outside Australia) or 1800 634 206 (free call within Australia).

Donations are also welcome. You can ring us on the same numbers to donate or make a direct deposit at: Greenleft, Commonwealth Bank, BSB 062-006, Account No. 00901992. You can also send a cheque or money order to PO Box 515, Broadway NSW 2007.

* Promo Youtube video on the Green Left people's powered media project here.

0 Com:

Post a Comment