New York Times to Decide on Reader Payment for Internet Access

According to this Wall Street Journal article, the New York Times will soon reach a decision on whether to, and how to, charge online readers for content to the paper.  The approaches being considered are: 1) allowing access up to a point and then prompting readers to pay for futher content once a limit has been reached, or 2) keeping premimum content restricted to those who pay for subscriptions ( The WSJ uses this latter method).

The linked article indicates that the Times receives a $100 million per year via on-line advertising.  The subscription approach will have to “just right” so as to not threaten this funding stream that already exists.

I would like to see newspapers survive.  What subscription approach, if there has to be one, would you all favor?



Filed under newspapers

14 responses to “New York Times to Decide on Reader Payment for Internet Access

  1. BadAxe

    The internet may make the printed word a thing of the past. On a certian level that’s a shame considering the history of the printed page in this country. There was a time when the printed word kept politicians and government in line. I don’t think that’s the case anymore.

    Most of America’s news sources are corporate-owned.
    So much for independent news.

  2. I’m going to go off on a tangent here. I know this thread is about newspapers and what changes they will make in today’s business environment. BadAxe reminded me that we no longer trust corporate-owned news sources. We are so bombarded with ‘news’ that does more than report facts. In fact, we have to search to find facts separated from the spin, to identify what is a fact.

    So, wouldn’t the best course be to develop a product worth whatever cost is charged? Will we subscribe, pay? I think only if we get value.

    OK, now the tangent. Probably disjointed because the thoughts have flooded in and aren’t formed or well ordered.

    I have considered that communication may be humanity’s downfall and could be our salvation.

    Everywhere. Personally with our family and friends, at our places of work, and in our neighborhoods. Then as we move out into the world the implications of effective communication are seen even more clearly.

    Consider effective communication within government agencies; systematic failures (ie, Fort Hood, Underwear bomber…). Consider effective communication between countries, especially those with very different philosophies than ours.

    Isn’t half of communication listening? Don’t we have to be active listeners in every relationship from our private ones to the public and global ones. Shouldn’t we understand that the same communication skills that are used in our private relationships (those most vitally important to us!) should be employed in the public ones too?

    That means listening with an ear to understanding and creating good will.

    Maybe I need to think this through and order the thoughts better, then attempt to communicate them. There it is — communication…

  3. BadAxe

    Communication in general is experiencing a sea-change due to the internet and electronic media in general. I work in a large office complex. The guy in the office next to mine will send me an e-mail rather than step around the corner to talk.
    Our language in general is changing (probably not for the better) due to the electronic media. Think LOL, IMHO, BFF, and a plethra of other near-words that have developed because of the media.

    It’ll probably be the downfall of the English language. Call me old-fashioned, but if you’re going to send me an e-mail, use capitals to start a sentence, spell words out, don’t type everything in upper-case, and try some proper punctuation. I judge people by how they write.

  4. You are on to something fnord. A hero of mine, Randy Olson, goes on at length as to how bad scientists are at communicating what they know – not only to the public, but to one another also.

    Scientists tend to talk down to people. Most just don’t like that very much.

    Olson went from being a Harvard trained evolutionary scientist to being a film director. In mid career he went to film school at USC after having a tenured position at the University of New Hampshire. Quite the journey…

    • I know a scientist who turns down more invitations to speak than he accepts, and yet is traveling often. It’s because he can communicate — with other scientists, with lay people, with people who have money and are looking to invest. It isn’t a common trait among scientists. These brilliant people who may brings cures, treatments, innovations to all of mankind, and yet, they are unable to communicate effectively.

  5. I’m a snob about things such as proper grammar, spelling, punctuation… I’m not talking about silly typing errors we all make. Adults should know the basics and if they don’t know them, they should want to learn.

    Is the internet, texting, tweeting and all these newer ways of communicating creating another language? Could we say the people who use it most are bi-lingual? I know it’s foreign to me, I read it more slowly with less understanding.

  6. I subscribe to our local newspaper, and pay on a 13-week interval. It’s the shortest subscription they offer to the person who pays by mail. For two years I have promised myself at the end of this 13 weeks I will cancel. I haven’t yet. But I still want to. Seldom is there anything in that newspaper that I haven’t already read on line. The occasional article that is ‘news’ thwarts my plan, and then there’s the habit of holding that paper, sitting in my comfy chair or taking it to the bathroom. Those are the reasons I haven’t made good on my promise to myself. I can tell you that if another ‘cut’ is necessary to keep our heads above water in today’s economy that paper will be the first to go!

  7. Sometimes when I click a linked article from my personalized iGoogle page I run into only being able to read part of the article and the notice that to read further I need to subscribe (frequently this is a WSJ article). So, if I copy a few words from what I could read, then goggle those words, the same article will come up in that google search and clicking from there allows me access to the whole article.

    Does this mean there are ways around the WSJ restricted content?

  8. Zippy’s dad was in the newspaper business. I was hoping he would show up and describe his thoughts.

  9. BadAxe

    I canceled my subscription years ago, not because of news content, but because of the vast amount of paper that stacks up during the week. Multiply that by all the newspapers printed…..

    I saw a thing on TV a few days ago. They cut down whole forrests and grind them up onsite for paper pulp.

  10. tosmarttobegop

    when people look for a news source they go to where it does not cost them or where it supports their own view. Seldom is there a single source for the news and none that truly would be thought of as worth paying for.

    Some maybe loyalist to a certain source, the WSJ has it own loyalists since it is focused and is often singular in how they view the world. There are other who share those traits and they too have their loyalists.

    But the problem with charging is will drive a good number of the readership away.
    I feel for print media and it will be a sorrowful day when it dies, victim to something that is human nature over better sources.

    But they have also shot themselves in the foot in some respects.
    If you wanted more details and facts then could be given in a two second sound bite you read the paper.
    But Papers took to competing with the other sources by trying to limit themselves to the two second sound bite.

  11. Are there fewer and fewer owners involved in print media? Wasn’t the WSJ recently sold to one of the mega-owners? Our local newspaper is part of the McClatchy company, and they’re the owner of many newspapers across the country. Just like Rupert Murdoch’s vast ownership of media outlets. Because of this, are there really many viewpoints available or are we limited to fewer than we were before all the small time guys were bought out? Do we have to look at op-ed pieces to get independent viewpoints? And, even then, don’t op-ed pieces have to fall under an umbrella of approval?

    Remember when PrairiePond told us the small independently owned newspapers (which are usually weeklies) stay in business NOT by printing news but about what is going on in the community? She had a wonderful phrase which described this, but I’ve forgotten what she called it. Was it ‘chicken dinner news?’