Friday, January 07, 2005

Paying for The Times Online

Would you pay to have to read the New York Times online? That may be in the future. The New York Times Corporation is "reviewing the site to see whether or not there would be any areas where we should change the business model," said a Times spokeswoman, Catherine Mathis.

I find it useful to have access to the Times online, especially when following other blogs' links, but I'm positive I wouldn't pay for the "privilege." And make no mistake, that's how the Times views it. According to Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger, Jr., "It gets to the issue of how comfortable are we training a generation of readers to get quality information for free. That is troubling."

I know I'm not comfortable with the notion that the Times provides "quality information," whether for free or a fee. After Jayson Blair, which was an isolated problem, to Judith Miller, which was (and is, she's still there) more of a systemic problem, I don't think the Times still has the reputation that Sulzberger thinks it does. And it's certainly not worth $79/year to me, which is what online subscribers to the Wall Street Journal pay.
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