19 Oct 2009

Murdoch still talking up future of newspapers

10:01 pm on 19 October 2009

The chairman of media giant News Corporation, Rupert Murdoch, says he has great confidence in the future of newspapers, despite the toll that the recession has been taking.

Mr Murdoch told News Corporation's annual shareholders meeting in the US that the past year had been one of the most challenging in the company's 56-year history.

But he says the company anticipated the strength and length of the downturn early, and was prepared to face it, with the Wall Street Journal the only newspaper to have expanded its print and online subscriptions during the recession.

Mr Murdoch says he doesn't foresee another steep decline in the economy, but nor does he expect a steep increase.

He also reiterated his determination to charge for online content, saying successful newspapers of the future will charge for their content, and aggregators will be largely excluded.