Media Companies Begin to Take Sides on Free vs. Paid Online Content

After media mogul Rupert Murdoch announced that he plans on withdrawing News Corp’s news sites from Google’s search listings to keep them from becoming free content, other media companies are beginning to take sides.  MediaNews Group (which owns newspapers and broadcast stations in 14 American states) and A.H. Belo Corp (which runs print media in four states) are also beginning to consider a Google block to implement the pay walls of their respective sites.

Meanwhile, Murdoch is in discussions with Microsoft about keeping their restricted news content over their search engine Bing, which has become Google’s serious challenger, in return for unspecified millions.

However, not everybody is going for Team Pay Wall, as the British Broadcasting Corporation stated that it has no plans to restrict news content online, including having readers pay for full access.

Jeff Bercovici of Daily Finance said that BBC’s defiance to keep online news content free is a reflection of the company’s bad blood against Murdoch, whom they say is the epitome of "all that is wrong with the current media ecosystem."  Murdoch even criticized BBC for allegedly publishing online news that was "stolen from the newspaper."  Meanwhile, his son and heir apparent, James Murdoch, accused the corporation of "using public subsidies to smother free enterprise in the media industry."

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