NY Times May Charge For Online Access

New York Magazine reports that within days a decision will be made by the New York Times whether to charge for online access to its articles.

After a year of sometimes fraught debate inside the paper, the choice for some time has been between a Wall Street Journal-type pay wall and the metered system adopted by the Financial Times, in which readers can sample a certain number of free articles before being asked to subscribe. The Times seems to have settled on the metered system.

...The appeal of the metered model is that it charges high-volume readers while allowing casual browsers to sample articles for free, thus preserving some of the Times' online reach.

Their attempt at paid access to opinion columns was a disaster. Why repeat it? Will you pay for NY Times access? And if the Times goes this way, are other papers likely to follow? I think the paid bloggers at the Times and other MSM publications will see a huge decline in readership numbers if readers have to pay to access them. Who is going to pay for access when they can read non-MSM bloggers for free? Not a smart move by the Times.

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    I agree - I won't pay (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Belswyn on Sun Jan 17, 2010 at 02:03:52 PM EST
    The NY times simply doesn't offer enough of value to warrant paying for it. Same for the WSJ.

    Well, mainstream media has to do something (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by ericinatl on Sun Jan 17, 2010 at 02:06:13 PM EST
    to generate revenue.  I don't see how they can NOT charge something for the services they provide, unless they go to a not for profit model like NPR.  

    I pay for a subscription to the NY Times because I find it difficult to wade through the online version to get to the stories I want to read.  

    That's a pretty big "unless" (none / 0) (#16)
    by s5 on Sun Jan 17, 2010 at 03:35:56 PM EST
    I would love to see a split model: an NPR/BBC model for journalism and editorial, and a for-profit (or really anything) model for distribution.

    Assuming a reasonable price, I would probably pay (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by andgarden on Sun Jan 17, 2010 at 02:10:59 PM EST
    I doubt this will work the way they expect it to, though.

    I subscribe to hard copy of NYT. Am (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by oculus on Sun Jan 17, 2010 at 06:08:06 PM EST
    curious what bloggers will riff off of if print media disappears.

    P.S.  IMO NYT book reviews are very informative.

    I subscribe to the print version (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by Radiowalla on Sun Jan 17, 2010 at 06:45:44 PM EST
    and couldn't live without it.  I hate reading news articles online, unless it's breaking news.    

    I don't know why we should expect any newspaper to give away its work product for free.

    I'll probably subscribe (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by NealB on Mon Jan 18, 2010 at 12:15:30 AM EST
    Not for news or opinion, but for arts (theater). There's no substitute for the NYTimes arts coverage.

    It's pretty doubtful I would pay (none / 0) (#3)
    by nycstray on Sun Jan 17, 2010 at 02:10:47 PM EST
    after all, I just read the foodie section these days :)

    I just glanced over at my cable box (none / 0) (#5)
    by andgarden on Sun Jan 17, 2010 at 02:11:41 PM EST
    I can't exactly make that excuse!

    lol!~ (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by nycstray on Sun Jan 17, 2010 at 02:16:10 PM EST
    I can at least backup the cable box payments with the addition of sports!  ;)

    I pay for the NYT on my Kindle (none / 0) (#6)
    by Manuel on Sun Jan 17, 2010 at 02:12:50 PM EST
    Others pay for access on their iPhones.  The model should be to provide free basic services and charge for premium services.

    In this domain, as in helth care, we need a viable public option like the BBC in the UK.

    I support the idea (none / 0) (#8)
    by Rashomon66 on Sun Jan 17, 2010 at 02:21:02 PM EST
    I think it is a good idea. Everyone wants everything for free. Free media, free movies, free music, free books, free, free, free. More and more it seems people do not want to pay for things they used to pay for. And the internet is making it easy to do so. The economy will sink like a stone if everything is available to everyone for free.

    This is the wave of the future (none / 0) (#9)
    by jbindc on Sun Jan 17, 2010 at 02:23:51 PM EST
    Someday all newspapers will be only available online.  My parents (both 68) have to do this with the Detroit Free Press.  They only get a hard copy 3 or days a week and the other days, the issue is only available online, so on those days, Dad sits with his laptop at the kitchen table, and mom is 5 feet away on her desktop!

    the sensationalize and highly inaccurate reporting (none / 0) (#10)
    by esmense on Sun Jan 17, 2010 at 02:40:40 PM EST
    that occurred after Katrina has made me leery of headlines and story arcs emphasizing "looting" and "violence." A bigger and more common story about Haitians response to this catastrophe, is most likely how, in the context of delayed foreign aid and a collapsed intrastructure, government and social structure, so many people have still managed to come together to try to retrieve the still living, aid the injured and bury the dead.  

    oops, wrong thread (none / 0) (#11)
    by esmense on Sun Jan 17, 2010 at 02:44:17 PM EST
    But, seeing the Times sensationalized headlines this morning, I am thinking that this isn't a level of reporting I'm willing to pay for.

    NY Times (none / 0) (#12)
    by muck on Sun Jan 17, 2010 at 02:52:28 PM EST
    The NY Times should call it an excise tax for Cadillac access to their site.

    I didn't pay (none / 0) (#13)
    by shoephone on Sun Jan 17, 2010 at 03:10:23 PM EST
    or register "behind the wall" the last time they tried it, and I won't do so in the future. The NYT is no longer required daily reading for me. The journalistic content has gone way down in the past few years, both for domestic and foreign reporting. The only thing I really care about is the book reviews, and those are now in the marginal area between almost good-mediocre. Case in point: They moved Janet Maslin, a formerly good film reviewer, into the books section, where her silly reviews are practically unreadable. Second case in point:  Hiring the very creepy, bitter Kathryn Harrison to review anything.

    Kristoff is the only opinionater who interests me, and I'm willing to bet I can find his work through other sources, if needed.

    I won't pay (none / 0) (#14)
    by rdandrea on Sun Jan 17, 2010 at 03:13:51 PM EST
    I don't rely on them for up-to-the-minute news.  The stuff I read, I can wait till it hits the Times wire and gets carried elsewhere.

    I would pay, if affordable to me (none / 0) (#15)
    by DFLer on Sun Jan 17, 2010 at 03:33:31 PM EST
    Somebody has to pay for reporters. Cable news has few reporters, but instead just reads and comments on stories from the New York Times.

    Heard a stat on Now...regarding the percentage of "news" generated from PR releases by government and/or industry versus those generated by reporters and it was bleak.

    Dirty little secret (none / 0) (#17)
    by gyrfalcon on Sun Jan 17, 2010 at 05:02:07 PM EST
    Most newspapers, including the Times, are making a profit.  Just not quite enough profit to satisfy their shareholders.  It's just like TV.

    Well yes, and the trend from a @ 10% profit to a (none / 0) (#18)
    by DFLer on Sun Jan 17, 2010 at 05:13:27 PM EST
    25% profit need came as newspapers chnaged from family owned private compnaies to corporation starting, what? in the mid-eighties? or later?

    Started mid-80s (none / 0) (#24)
    by gyrfalcon on Sun Jan 17, 2010 at 07:55:45 PM EST
    seriously, and then grew from there.

    My point being, though, no need to weep and dig into one's pockets to support the poor old struggling NYTimes so it can pay its journalists.

    That money for Web access just goes straight into the pockets of the executives and shareholders.  It's THEIR choice to keep it and vacation on the Riviera or use it to pay good journalists.


    I understand your poin about the bosses, but (none / 0) (#25)
    by DFLer on Sun Jan 17, 2010 at 08:37:36 PM EST
    Well, still, without reporters getting paid...it's like the music business and soon to be the movie business. Everyone wants free access to content, but no one seems to worry about how the creation of that content is to be paid for. Perhaps we don't need quality content, but then will we be left with only again movies made on cell phones and broadcast on youtube? On this site, Jeralyn for one has cautioned posters from copying more than an excerpt from printed media (say, the NYT), yet freely posts the musical work of musicians and song writers without a thought to their props. Okay I'll stop now as I am rambling ....intellectual property rights is a nasty ball of wax.  

    Used to subscribe to paper Times (none / 0) (#19)
    by Coral on Sun Jan 17, 2010 at 05:51:30 PM EST
    The cost became too much for us and we dropped the subscription. I try to keep up by reading online.

    If they would make the paid online version relatively cheap, I would pay, but if it is similar to hard copy, I couldn't afford it right now.

    Boston Today (none / 0) (#20)
    by lousy1 on Sun Jan 17, 2010 at 05:57:07 PM EST
    This afternoon I brought a group of Cub Scouts to the USS Constitution. The caravan was delayed all through Charlestown Brown demonstrators/pedestrians. Most had hand made signs. On the Constitution while performing am impromptu tour I pointed to the don't tread on me ensign on the forecastle and asked the kids for identification. One 10 year old blurted out Martha Coakley (In obvious reference to the serpent) Ever one within earshot responded with applause.

    My observations are not unique. Obama could not fill the hall at NE . Bill Clinton was a flop in Worcester Saturday night.

    Look out

    pay for what? (none / 0) (#22)
    by diogenes on Sun Jan 17, 2010 at 06:25:25 PM EST
    I read the NY Times for free; I prefer the Economist which I pay for.  If the NY Times charges then I'd rather pay money to the Wall Street Journal for a real paper.

    I'd pay a reasonable subscription fee... (none / 0) (#27)
    by Romberry on Mon Jan 18, 2010 at 08:49:57 AM EST
    ...but the emphasis is on reasonable. By that, I mean that since the paper would not be encumbered by the costs of newsprint, printing and delivery, and since my eyeballs would still be subject to their advertising (which is what pays the way anyway; the subscription costs for a print edition are merely meant to defray the aforementioned costs of producing a print version), a price similar to what one would pay for a magazine subscription (say 9.95-19.95/year) is about where I'd draw the line.