Archive for September 25th, 2009

Special site launches on Afghan war

September 25, 2009

NEWS Limited websites today launch a multimedia package of exclusive content dedicated to the war in Afghanistan.

To view this exclusive material go here

News Ltd’s national defence writer Ian McPhedran and chief photographer Gary Ramage spent a month living with Australian troops at their forward bases in Oruzgan Province, covering the daily battle against the Taliban, the harsh environment and a deep cultural divide with their Afghan National Army comrades.

The exclusive material includes images of a Taliban rocket attack and an Army Chinook chopper mission that was attacked by mortars, together with interviews with pilots and diggers and rare images of Taliban weapons caches.

The package also features harrowing video and photographs of the war’s smallest victims, Afghan children, being treated at the Kandahar trauma hospital.

Their copy and pictures can be seen at,,,, and

And check out the latest in News Digital Media’s online charging strategy in the article below; plus listen to NDM boss Richard Freudenstein on his strategy

News online charging goes to ‘stage 2’

September 25, 2009

A MEMO leaked to the Sydney Morning Herald from rival News Ltd, and published today, confirms News Digital Media is moving forward with a charging model for selected internet content.

The report underscores the thrust of an address at a recent PANPA conference by NDM chief executive Richard Freudenstein, who said research indicated readers were prepared to pay.

(To hear Richard’s address, please go here)

This is not a view shared by Mr Freudenstein’s opposite number at Fairfax Digital, Jack Matthews, who was quoted in today’s Herald report as being skeptical that readers would pay to access news.

However, as Mr Freudenstein stressed at the PANPA Future Forum two weeks ago, the prize was gaining revenue for premium content and context-related services, rather than asking for money to read what was in today’s newspaper.

The Herald report quoted Mr Freudenstein as telling staff in a memo: “News has conducted some audience research here in Australia and in the UK and US, which gives us confidence that, if we get the product and delivery system right, people will happily pay for news content online, on their computer, mobile, e-reader or other device.

“Here in Sydney we are about to move into the second phase of the project.”

Two surveys on the charging subject have been released in the past week. A UK-based one asked readers whether they would pay. And not surprisingly, they said they would not. Actually, 95 percent said that.

More interesting research came from the American Press Institute, which had asked executives attending its conferences this year how they would go about charging for online content.

Of the respondents, 49 percent said they would not even try to do this.

The slim majority prepared to execute a charging model said they would use several different payment methods, such as month/quarterly/yearly subscriptions; pay-per-article; day-passes; and time-on-site charging.

Some 43 percent of those who said they would charge believed they would provide a set of alternative buying methods for readers, rather than inisisting on one model.