Saturday, March 19, 2011

The NYT Free Lunch Comes To An End

The New York Times has announced that it will institute a dread paywall beginning on March 28, a decision greeted with apoplexy in some necks of the blogospheric woods, especially readers who apparently have nothing better to do with the time they spend away from their computers than suck face with smart phones.

Being an old phart who grew up with the Sunday Times and went on to a four-decade career in newspapers, I would like to bring some of that dread perspective thing to the discussion.

As in The Times being the gold standard in journalism, warts and all. As in The Times having by far the best online presence with a beautifully designed and easy to navigate site with terrific visuals, lots of interactive features and endless content, including some pretty decent blogs. As in The Times having no choice but to charge online readers because the Internet and not the dead-tree edition is its future. As in $15 a month for computer access to the Gray Lady being a small price to pay since the 20 free articles a month limit that will be instituted with the paywall will not even begin to slake my thirst.

Meanwhile, readers who come to Times articles through links will be able to read those articles, even if they have reached their monthly reading limit.

I cannot speak to the whinging about the iPhone and iPad fees because I stick to my MacBook Pros and the occasional public computer, and use my cell phone to . . . gasp! make and receive phone calls, as quaint as that may seem to savvier souls.

No comments: