I'm sure anyone with a decent political bone in their body will be cheered to hear Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation have posted a $3.4 billion loss. This is even more dramatic when you consider profits stood at $5.4bn just the year before. But this is unsurprising - as the recession continues to bite revenues were bound to be driven down as companies rein in their marketing departments. But there are other problems brewing for Murdoch too. For example, Freeview has long overtaken Sky in the UK, making the digital advertising market that much more competitive - a situation exacerbating the fall-out from Sky's long-term decline in viewing figures. And not forgetting the MySpace cash cow Murdoch acquired in 2005 is on the verge of becoming an albatross around News Corporation's neck.
But what is especially interesting is Murdoch's favoured method of securing new revenue streams. He thinks charging for online content is a good idea. According to yesterday's Financial Times, Murdoch wants to introduce payments for access to all the online content of his newspapers and television channels by this time next year. This will first be piloted on one or more of the stronger titles.
I don't know about you, but I'm tickled pink Murdoch is embarking on an obviously self-destructive course. If you read The Times online, why bother forking out for coverage when The Telegraph can supply conservative comment and analysis at zero cost? If you like The Sun's celebrity commentary, Perez Hilton, Popbitch and Digital Spy do it so much better ... and for free. And what about opinion? The right wing blogosphere is replete with nasty little turds who'd love to fill Richard Littlejohn's and Jon Gaunt's shoes - and you won't have to part with your cash to read them either.
Murdoch is not only confident the introduction of pay for content will work; he believes other news and media organisations will follow suit. Supposing this is the case and the move proves not to be a disaster, it will still mean millions of web users will be looking for free comment and opinion to fill the gap vacated by the mainstream media. And into this breach could pour legions of bloggers. There is a chance Murdoch's lasting legacy could be one of those ironic twists history likes to pull from time to time. Murdoch - the man who has done as much as successive Tory and Labour governments to promote authoritarian politics and the unquestioned tyranny of capital might, despite himself, be responsible for stimulating a flourishing of hitherto marginalised and ignored voices. It is just possible Murdoch's actions could be the spur for a golden age of blogging.