The Chairman and CEO of News Limited, John Hartigan speech


The Chairman and CEO of News Limited, John Hartigan made what I thought a well-thought-out speech saying News Limited views about newspapers today and its future. It spells out where they want to go and their vision of the future.

If you want to read the speech, it is available here. {link removed}

My thoughts after reading it were that I agree with him that bloggers and other modern media are no replacement for quality journalism. Quality journalism needs money and professionals. Also, another advantage is that even if the public disagrees with a modern newspaper, they know these newspapers and reporters have a reputation to uphold, if only because they can be sued. Bloggers cannot give that! At best, bloggers are an echo to the existing news system.

He has some interesting points like the public are willing to pay for news. When we had the Victorian bushfires, many more newspapers were sold.

Today most money from news on-line is made by Google and Yahoo who pay nothing to produce it. Online readers generate about 10% of the revenue than a newspaper reader.

I also agree with him in the short-term, Australian newspaper market is strong with circulation only slightly down. Yet unlike him, I see the circulation drop that we have seen in the US and UK and not in Australia as lag, that we often see when developments occur.

He is clearly right that newspapers need to adapt their business models. By extension, so must newsagents. Interesting in his talk, there was not one word in the speech about them.