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Panpa Bulletin : April 2006
april 2006 PaNPa bUlletiN | 11 NeWS in a recent speech in Lon- don, Rupert Murdoch pre- dicted a future in which "media becomes like fast food" with consumers watching news, sport and film clips as they trav- el, on mobile phones or hand- held wireless devices. Following is an edited tran- script of his address, in which he strongly reinforced the warning he gave last year to the Ameri- can Society of Editors about the threat -- and opportunities -- be- ing presented by the internet. "Power is moving away from the old elite in our industry - the editors, the chief executives and, let's face it, the proprie- tors. A new generation of media consumers has risen, demand- ing content delivered when they want it, how they want it, and very much as they want it. This new media audience - and we are talking here of tens of millions of young people around the world - is already using technology, especially the web, to inform, entertain and above all to educate them- selves. This knowledge revolution empowers anyone with a vital need for the right information. It is part of wider changes that reach far beyond the media in- dustry. Whatever our fears, we actu- ally live in a second great age of discovery. I believe that the fu- sion of technology and science allied to the natural creativity embedded in the human spirit will enable us to surmount the dangers we undoubtedly face, and forge a better world for all of us. The free flow of information is not just a building block of our democratic system; it is also the fuel of the technologi- cal revolution. But power is moving away from those who own and man- age the media to a new and demanding generation of con- sumers - consumers who are better educated, unwilling to be led, and who know that in a competitive world they can get what they want, when they want it. The challenge for us in the traditional media is how to en- gage with this new audience. There is only one way. That is by using our skills to create and distribute dynamic, exciting content. King Content, the Economist called it recently. But-andthisisaverybigBUT - newspapers will have to adapt as their readers demand news and sport on a variety of plat- forms: websites, iPods, mobile phones or laptops. I believe traditional newspa- pers have many years of life left but, equally, I think in the fu- ture that newsprint and ink will be just one of many channels to our readers. As we all know, newspapers have already created large audi- ences for their content online and have provided readers with added value features such as email alerts, blogs, interactive debate, and podcasts. Content is being repurposed to suit the needs of a contem- porary audience. This divergence from the tra- ditional platform of newsprint will continue, indeed accelerate for a while. The same is true of televi- sion. Sky has already started putting programmes onto PCs and mobile phones. That old square television box in the corner of the room may soon be dead but the tel- evision industry is seizing the opportunities thrown up by the technology revolution. PVRs - personal video re- corders - streaming live TV onto mobile phones - beaming pro- grammes onto computers via IPTV - internet broadcasts - this wave of innovation gives the consumer huge choice at rela- tively low cost. So, media becomes like fast food - people will consume it on the go, watching news, sport and film clips as they travel to and from work on mobiles or handheld wireless devices like Sony's PSP, or others already in test by our satellite companies. This does not mean that tel- evision and newspapers need lose their historic role of keep- ing people informed about what is happening in the world around them. Given the speed of change around us that role has never been more important I am sure that the web will Murdoch says elite losing power Jack beverley reports on Murdoch sounding the death knell for the era of the media baron. Power is moving away form those who own and manage the media to a new and demanding generation of consumers – consumers who are better educated, unwilling to be led, and who know that in a competitive world they can get what they want, when they want it. rupert Murdoch photo by fairfaxphoto