News Corp newspapers sites to start charging within a year

Access to the Times' and the Sun's websites will be for paying customers only within the next year, according to Rupert Murdoch, the boss of News Corporation that owns the papers.

Following the Wall Street Journal's apparently successful trials of paid-for access, Murdoch has been encouraged by the "booming" subscription revenues the business paper has seen.

"That it is possible to charge for content on the web is obvious from the Wall Street Journal's experience", Murdoch said.

When asked about fees for the Times, the Sunday Times, the Sun and the News of the World, the billionaire said: "We're absolutely looking at that", revealing plans could be put in place, "within the next 12 months".

Recent reports from other sources suggest that one way of encouraging subscriptions to online newspapers being considered by News Corp is through an own-brand, Kindle-esque epaper reader.

Amazon has just launched its "Kindle DX", a larger format ebook reader designed in part for newspaper access, with newspaper subscription bundles to be offered in the US from the summer.