"Rupert Murdoch, chairman and CEO of News Corporation, joined Marvin Kalb to share his unique perspectives on the future of journalism and the media," goes the caption to this still from a video of Tuesday's "The Kalb Report" presentation "Rupert Murdoch: The Making of a Modern Media Mogul."
"Yes, I do believe that the public wants good, ethical journalism, good, factual journalism. But they also want to be entertained," Rupert Murdoch told Marvin Kalb before a National Press Club audience Tuesday. We caught the good, factual and entertaining "The Making of a Modern Media Mogul" on C-Span in the wee hours this morning. The premise:
“There are few people in America who exercise so powerful an influence over what we see, what we hear, what we know about our world as Rupert Murdoch,” said Mr. Kalb. “I cannot wait to sit down and talk to this media mogul about the crisis in contemporary journalism and to hear his views about what can be done to fix it. What a wonderful opportunity!”
Well worth a listen — video and transcript available online at "The Kalb Report" — not least for the frisson between the elegant elder statesman of American journalism and the rough-and-ready risk-taker of Australian — now world — media. We agreed with 99 percent of Murdoch's no-nonsense answers to Kalb's carefully-crafted questions, but this one got our dander up:
You know, these social networks are an interesting phenomenon, but I don't think they're changing the world.
Harrumph! Try telling that to social networkers like ourselves, who like to think the combined efforts of our Army of Davids helped change the nation's political landscape a couple of months back by disintermediating the powers-that-were to send Martha Coakley and the Democrat Machine to the ropes and Mr. Brown to Washington. With his newspaperman's entrepreneurial eye focussed on the bottom line, of course, Murdoch may have missed what seemed clear to this blogger's perhaps impractical eye focussed on the Shining City. Googling a bit, we stumbled upon a little perspective:
Mr Murdoch said Twitter would be a tough investment to justify because it has not yet come up with a sustainable way of making money, reinforcing his claims that his company has no interest in acquiring the website.
The News Corporation chief executive and chair warned other industry figures “be careful of investing here” in connection to Twitter, and replied “hell no” when asked whether he was considering selling his beleaguered social network MySpace.
"It’s something like having fairies at the bottom of your garden," Margaret Atwood says of Twitter. Co-Founders Biz Stone and Ev Williams, venture capitalist Bijan Sabet and the gang are having their "first developer conference, called Chirp" April 14 and 15. Same days as the Boston and Tax-Day Tea Parties. We'll be attending the tea parties so the fellows who are making the world safe for Twitter won't have to.
Murdoch's gloomy assessment of Twitter's viability was offered last July. Last time we looked, they're still not turning a profit, and "it cannot be long before the revenue problem becomes pressing,"writes Rowena Mason the UKs Telegraph:
They will at some point be looking for returns, meaning Twitter will no doubt be trying to monetise its swiftly expanding website by using its only real asset — a database of millions of members who are likely to be twitchy about exploitation of their personal details.
Paul Lee, an technology analyst at Deloitte, has warned that social networks need to find these revenues fast to prevent the bursting of a second dotcom bubble. There are hints of an initial puncture already.
Meanwhile,Co-Founder Biz Stone emails this morning that Twitter will be hosting its first official developer conference this month:
It's called Chirp. The event will take place in San Francisco over two days. The first day is April 14th at the Palace of Fine Arts. On April 15th, we'll be gathering at Fort Mason right along the bay. For info, tickets, or to watch online, visit the Chirp web site.
"Business Strategies" is listed as one of the conference topics. Whistling in the dark? A social networking universe would be a terrible thing to lose. Hey, Mr. Murdoch, maybe time to take a fresh look?
Crossposted by invitation at Melissa Clouthier's new blog/news site, Liberty Pundits.