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Rupert Murdoch: The Future of News Person of the Year. A man who means business in an industry that hasn’t 12/31/07

Posted by Steve Boriss in Murdoch.
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murdoch.jpgThe person who, for better or worse, did the most to influence the future of news in 2007 was Rupert Murdoch, easily outdistancing Markos Moulitsas of DailyKos and Michael Arrington of TechCrunch, who tied for second place. Following his Fox News Channel’s successful dethroning of CNN as the leading cable news channel, his newly-acquired Wall Street Journal is now poised to take-on the venerable and vulnerable NY Times for control of the misnamed “national conversation” — the list of top national stories that is actually determined jointly by the Times and Washington Post each night in a questionable, front-page-coordinating phone call.

Hopelessly misunderstood as a partisan, Murdoch is actually a profit-driven parser of audiences, finding opportunities in under-served media markets, such as conservatives and those uncomfortable with the government=good business=bad mainstream media mantra. At the same time, he punctures the self-delusions of journalists, reminding them they are employees of businesses, not squatters on a mythical fourth estate.

While Murdoch points to a new direction in mass media, DailyKos and TechCrunch serve as successful examples and leading indicators of the highly-fragmented “multitude media” of our future. DailyKos is a “back to the future” representation of our partisan media, its past and its future. TechCrunch demonstrates that providing news for specialized news communities can be very profitable. No doubt, the year 2008 will bring pain to many in the industry, but the good news is that the best news still lies ahead. I would like to wish my readers and their families a Happy News Year!

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