Murdoch makes first ‘premium content’ move

THE Wall St Journal is to launch a premium edition for its readers – the first tangible signal for News Corporation’s new online strategy to charge for content.

The newspaper is promising news feeds, data and analysis straight to the desktop and mobile devices as part of its “Professional Edition”.

The content will come from a mix of the Wall Street Journal, sister organisation Dow Jones Newswires and another allied business, Factiva – the global content database with more than 22,000 news sources.

It might be worth speculating that with the not-inconsiderable IT challenges overcome, other News Corp newspapers, such as The Australian and The Times, of London, could provide very similar services in their markets.

In Sydney for example, Dow Jones Newswires employees around 20 journalists who file copy to subscribers in the finance sector. They also have excellent coverage in the major Asian cities. Newswires has journalists in 84 bureaus around the world.

The power of Factiva should not be under-estimated. For those who have not used it before, don’t think Google. Google’s search is rubbish compared with Factiva’s utilities.

“This really is a new model for the delivery of high-quality business news for a sophisticated audience,”said Robert Thomson, editor-in-chief of Dow Jones & Company and managing editor of The Wall Street Journal.

“We are not imprisoned by a terminal and are thus able to produce a more contemporary Web-based news feed tailored to a sector, a company or an asset class. Readers will be able to create a virtual newswire and alert system that suits their specific business needs.

“It gives users a digital news library along with the world’s premier newspaper and newswire. No other business news organization in the world has the same range of products or depth of reader-ready knowledge.”

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