Gavin O’Reilly, the president for the World Association of Newspapers, said on Tuesday morning in Cape Town, that while there was so much hype about the Myspace acquisition by media mogul Rupert Murdoch, it should be noted that he was also pouring money into the newspaper industry at the same time.

So even though “everyone got terribly excited” over Murdoch’s Myspace purchase, it should be pointed out that he also invested more than a billion dollars into buying newspapers in recent times. Now Murdoch is looking at Wall Street Journal. For O’Reilly this spells confidence in the newspaper industry.

O’Reilly says that the onward march of broadband, which is turning the web into an audio-visual medium, will have more of a competitive effect on television, rather than newspapers.

“There is no doubt that TV is stagnating, and no doubt that media in general is fragmenting, but newspaper circulations are stable or rising. It’s important that we project ourselves as a powerful industry. And so far we have done a pretty miserable job of that.”‘

O’Reilly says that online should be about augmenting new audiences not cannibalising an existing one (I guess he must be referring to newspaper audience).

“We must be using online not to replace newspapers, but to augment, to increase our overall audience share.”

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