Rupert Murdoch spoke at the Real Estate Board of New York meeting today, touting the The Wall Street Journal‘s $15 million plan to launch its New York Edition in April.
“We’re adding a whole new section and taking on reporters and editors,” he said before the crowd. “We believe that in its pursuit of journalism prizes and a national reputation, a certain other New York daily has essentially stopped covering the city the way it once did. In so doing, they have mistakenly overlooked the most fascinating city in the world – and left the interests and concerns of people like you far behind them. I promise you this: The Wall Street Journal will not make that mistake.”
Here’s more from his speech, based on prepared remarks:
Now, I’ve always believed that competition starts at home. So in the next few weeks, one of our other papers will be giving the Post some competition on their home turf. I’m talking about the Wall Street Journal.
You’ve probably already read a little about the new section on New York we’ll be launching next month. Let me tell you how different that alone makes us. I challenge you to find a story about newspapers today that isn’t about reducing coverage, laying off reporters, or cutting back on delivery services. When you open up a paper today, the most depressing news is often about newspapers themselves.
Here in New York, we’re doing just the opposite. We’re adding a whole new section and taking on reporters and editors. We believe that in its pursuit of journalism prizes and a national reputation, a certain other New York daily has essentially stopped covering the city the way it once did. In so doing, they have mistakenly overlooked the most fascinating city in the world – and left the interests and concerns of people like you far behind them. I promise you this: The Wall Street Journal will not make that mistake.
I can’t tell you all the details. I can tell you that the new section will be full colour – and it will be feisty. It will cover everything that makes New York great: state politics, local politics, business, culture, and sports. Oh yes – and real estate.
Why are we expanding where others are pulling back? Because we take a different view of technology and value. Too many newspaper editors and owners are afraid that technology is harming the value of our product. The truth is just the opposite: technology is putting a premium on content.
Think of it this way: What would your wide-screen TV be without films and shows to watch? What are iPods without music? What are Kindles and e-readers without books and newspapers to read on them? And what value do Blackberries and iPhones have without the information you want to access?
The answer is this: Without content, all these beautiful devices are empty as an orchestra without a musical score.
Technology has not reduced the demand for information. But it has given customers more tools to get what they want – and avoid what they don’t want. For those of us in the news business, the answer to this challenge is the same thing that has always made newspapers great: The bond we have with our readers and subscribers.
Let me end with a story. The New York Post is almost as old as this nation. It was founded by Alexander Hamilton at a meeting of investors in what is now Gracie Mansion. In its maiden issue, the editorial columns proclaimed that “the design of this paper is to diffuse among the people correct information on all interesting subjects.” And they proved it, with political stories … coverage of new books and pamphlets … and timely information about ship arrivals and sailings – critical information for many merchants.
More than 200 years later, New York is still here, the New York Post is still here, the Wall Street Journal is here — and any successful newspaper still has the same challenge: to provide our readers with news and entertainment they find interesting, timely, and compelling. We can fret about costs forever. At News Corporation, we’re making our bet on providing value.
Thank you for listening.
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