Friday, July 13, 2012

Morning Brief: News Ltd. CEO rejects calls for additional media oversight in Australia; an obituary for 'The Word'

News Ltd., the Australian arm of Rupert Murdoch's media empire, is not prepared to accept the new media regulations being proposed which call for a News Media Council. CEO Kim Williams stated today that the media should "be governed by the consumer, not governments."

Williams stance, voiced an an SA Press Club luncheon in Adelaide, is in response to the ongoing Finkelstein inquiry, which Williams described as "preposterous," according to The Australian, the News Ltd. owned national newspaper.

"The only way to continue to survive in a world governed by consumers is to provide them with what they want. The challenge is to make news even better," Williams said.

The stance by News Ltd. seems to reflect the position held by News Corp., in general, that governments are not, in face, representative of the people, but are a wholly separate entity, more accountable to business and the media than citizens.

Writing for The Atlantic this morning, Michaelangelo Matos laments the recent news that the U.K. music magazine, The Word, has folded.

"Music magazines shut down so frequently these days that it can feel like numb routine to hear of another's passing," Matos writes.

"But the recently announced demise of The Word, a nine-year-old British rock monthly, hurts more than most. The Word did something that seems beyond most of its competitors now: It breathed," Matos wrote in her obituary for the magazine.

Two weeks ago the magazine announced on its website that the August issue would be its last.

"In the nine years since the magazine launched there have been dramatic changes in the media and the music business. These changes have made it more difficult for a small independent magazine to survive and provide its staff with a living. This hasn't been made any easier by the economic climate of the wider world," the magazine said to its readers.

The website will stay open "for the immediate future as a point of contact."

The Word has/had an iPad edition available inside the App Store which appears to be of native design. The app has received little attention in the U.S. store, though the app has gotten nothing but raves inside the U.K. App Store.

This might be one of those golden opportunities for someone to step in and save this title as a tablet-only edition, don't you think?