14 March 2006

Murdoch says power shift is inevitable

Rupert Murdoch (pictured) yesterday sounded the end of the era of the media baron, stating that the power is moving into the hands of the digital consumer. Murdoch said that those launching a blog every second, sharing photos and music online and downloading television programmes on demand are gaining control. The Fox News owner declared that "we are at the dawn of a golden age of information - an empire of new knowledge".

"Power is moving away from the old elite in our industry - the editors, the chief executives and, let's face it, the proprietors," said Murdoch, who recently celebrated his 75th birthday. "A new generation of media consumers has risen demanding content delivered when they want it, how they want it, and very much as they want it. It is difficult, indeed dangerous, to underestimate the huge changes this revolution will bring or the power of developing technologies to build and destroy - not just companies but whole countries."

Murdoch admitted he underestimated the power of the web originally but has been converted by the vast array of social networking. The media mogul was not alone in underestimating the power of the internet and the sudden surge in the number of journalists setting up blogs within their newspaper websites is a sign that the mainstream media has caught on en masse. There appears to be an attempt to play catch-up now as the media realises that the internet no longer presents a threat, but an opportunity to reach a wider audience and even increase advertising revenue. The internet revolution will not spell the end of the mainstream media but it could have a filtering effect, in that the sites offering the highest quality content will survive, while those that have the least will disappear.

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