In the years to come, we may think of this news as the spark that started a fire. Or we'll see it as the dying gasp of old media. Right now it's far too early to tell. What isn't up for debate is that a very big conflict is about to kick off. The Telegraph reports that Jonathan Miller, digital officer for News Corp, has stated that his company is ready to block Google's access to its sites.
Miller stated that his boss, Rupert Murdoch, is ready to lead the entire media industry in this direction. If he does so, it will kick off a very clear battle between the forces of new media, and old media. Mr. Miller believes that this conflict will be resolved within two years. I'm not so sure myself, the ideologies that are clashing here are both well-developed and deeply entrenched.
The 'for pay' advocates, old media, have time and practicality on their side. It is impossible to provide for the entertainment juggernaut we have without charging for some media. On the other hand, "free" clearly works in many contexts, and news media appears to be one of them. The old days of gigantic, globe-spanning newspapers with bureaus in every hotspot may be past, but that doesn't mean the end of news media.
Google states that the traffic it sends to news media websites is very valuable, while News Corp believes that the people referred to it through Google are low-value users. They seldom read articles, and they almost never pay for subscriptions. I guess we'll know which view is correct soon.