Following in the footsteps of the London Times, The New York Times is to erect a paywall. We will be allowed to access their website up to 20 times a month which is a lot better than Ruth Gledhill's rag deigns to allow. But, we will soon get used to ignoring the NYT's existence, just like we now ignore The Times. It won't be a huge loss.

However, it will be a huge loss to independent newsagents. My guess is that the main reason for the paywall is not to prevent free access to the Internet community, but to encourage people to subscribe to their printed newspaper direct with them, because that is the only way to get free access to their website. This will have a direct and detrimental effect on newspaper sellers who already have to survive on a very low commission per newspaper and rich media tycoons, who don't know the meaning of "having to survive" will just get even richer.



  1. I took the New York Times app off of my smartphone and unsubscribed from my daily e-mail update. From this day forward I will say, “New York What?”

  2. It is perfectly possible for newspapers to come up with a way of giving online access to people who buy their papers regularly from a newsagent. The fact that they don’t proves my accusation.

  3. I suspect that the impact will be less than you might expect. Outside the New York metropolitan area, the NYT is mostly available by subscription only, except in the big cities. There are just too few people in East Jesus, Nebraska who want to read the New York Times to have it on a newsstand. Anyone there who wants to read it has a subscription.

    I do believe that there won’t be a big takeup of this scheme in any case. Probably a goodly portion of those who look at the Times website use it 20 times or less in a month. They won’t be affected at all. Most of the rest probably get their Times by subscription now anyway. And I don’t think that the newsagents make most of their profit from newspapers anyway: cigarettes and “sundries”, as we used to call them, are probably much more profitable.

    Paywalls are not the future except in Rupe’s imagination.

  4. Sounds more like a last ditch effort to keep printing presses going. Unlike other papers who have given up printers ink and have gone totally online. Saves a hell of a lot of trees, fuel, and dump fees.

  5. I currently get the NYT free on-line, but I plan to just ignore them after March 28. The Washington Post remains free for now.

    My main concern is for my local paper. It and countless small papers across the country have been gobbled up by the NYT organization. I wonder how much longer we will continue to be able to get our local news on-line.

  6. I don’t know about East Jesus, Nebraska, but the little grocery store in Mancos, CO (pop 1200) carries the NYTimes and often sells out. The problem with the hard copy Times is that is costs $18 a week at the newstand.

    Despite their announcement of charging, I got an e-mail yesterday that I’d get on-line access free for the rest of the year.