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Arianna to Rupert: Stop with the whining already

The Huffington Post is one of those aggregation Web sites criticized by media titan Rupert Murdoch yesterday. And its response to his statement that practices by those sites amount to content theft: Enough of the whining and finger pointing.

Here’s Arianna Huffington’s post in response to Murdoch: She said the News Corp. chairman just doesn’t get the new Web media model. Murdoch and Huffington were among those at a media star-studded event at the Federal Trade Commission on the future of newspapers. The FTC said its workshop was meant to consider ways the federal government could play a role in supporting the ailing newspaper industry.

In the new world, where advertising isn’t cutting it for many news organizations, Huffington said, there needs to be a combination of aggregation, linking and transparency along with the “old media” model that Murdoch is trying to retain by putting original content behind a paywall.

“I thought this would be a good time to take a look at Murdoch's increasingly bellicose war against new media sites that aggregate the news, the increasingly desperate revenue models being discussed for online news, and what, in fact, needs to be done to ensure that journalism will not only survive, but thrive,” she writes.

As Post Tech wrote yesterday, Murdoch said in his speech that newspaper content shouldn't be free and that aggregation sites like Google are getting a free ride off the backs of news organizations.

"To be impolite, that is theft," he said at the FTC.

Huffington pointed out that through linking and placement by aggregators, stories in Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal, for example, will get more content driven back to its site, she said.

Indeed Google said yesterday that publishers want to be discovered and aggregators like Google News and its search engine can drive readers to media Web sites.

"Google sends about 4 billion clicks each month, or 100,000 per minute, to news publishers via Google News, web search and other services. Each click is an opportunity for publishers to show ads, win loyal readers and register users," the company said in a blog post yesterday evening.

The company also said it would allow publishers to limit free content on its site.

photo credit: Business Insider

By Cecilia Kang  |  December 2, 2009; 8:00 AM ET
Categories:  FTC  
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TechDirt is not owned by Rupert Murdoch. If you read Ariana's post, it is clear that she pointed to TechDirt as an example of a site that has documented the aggregation sites that Murdoch owns. However, TechDirt is not one of those sites.


Posted by: CJTDC | December 2, 2009 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Arianna Huffington's "Huffington Post" site appears to get most of its revenue from ads placed by Google/Doubleclick. Is it any wonder that she would advocate their position?

Posted by: squirma | December 3, 2009 8:41 PM | Report abuse

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