The pricing on the new NYT digital subscriptions seems a bit ridiculous to me. The $3.75 per week for full access to the website plus the mobile app is okay, but an extra five bucks a month for the iPad app? Who is going to pay that?
There are a lot of things about the Times that annoy me, from the general tone (“sophisticated exegesis of a sociological phenomenon”) of much of its non-news coverage to the awful quality of most of its blogs (does anyone read that Stanley Fish crap they’re always flogging?) to the fact most of its reporters strike me as smug and overpaid. But real journalism is surviving at the Times in a way that it’s not at any other national papers that I am aware of, so I’m happy to send them $200 a year if that keeps them in business. It’s better spent than giving it to NPR, that’s for damn sure.
If you just chucked up $600 for an electronic novelty, you clearly have money to burn and no concept of product value. The NYT sees the fluffy white sheep and has busted out the pruning sheers.
If the content is good, I’d pay that. To be more direct – if $.15 per day got me real journalism that wasn’t encumbered by worrying about pissing off advertisers or capturing the HoveRound demographic, I’d pay it in a heartbeat.
That’s always been the solution to good journalism – pay for it directly.
I thought the Wall Street Journal tried that whole charge more for the iPad version thing a while back. Regardless, do these morons not know that iPads have a web browser built in?
The iPad is the most useful professional tool I have ever owned. Anyone who is an area where they want to have access all their books and papers all the time should want to have one.
I wonder if the extra bucks is because of Apple’s subscription model?
I’m not sure that this will work. Recent studies show more people getting their news from the web, but bypassing traditional news sources. It is also interesting to see how tech savvy people are using Twitter as a starting point. I’ve been listening to podcasts in which people note that they first learned about the quake in Japan from Twitter feeds, and then used links to NHK, Al Jazeera English, usestream feeds and other sources.
That said, I think the NYT is still one of the premier sources of journalism, and its web edition is generally well executed. Their archives (and this is also true of some other papers) is a national treasure.
I don’t think the Times’ blogs are bad at all. They have a blog for everything on earth, so as a general rule they might average out to being mediocre, but The Lede, Media Decoder, FiveThirtyEight, Economix, CityRoom, Krugman, Bats… at least for me, these all have good value.
The downside is that they are typically less like blogs in the traditional sense, since they are heavily edited. So while their blogs are likely to be free of McArdlesque fiction, they also don’t have the unfiltered nature that is what is good about blogs. Nate Silver wrote a lot of stuff on his own that he seems to get dissuaded from writing now that he was with the Times. (Not to mention the “Mr. Barbour and Mr. Daniels” schtick is so lame for blogs.)
Yea. That’s worked out so well with cable TV.
My wife hates the NYT. She associates with an upper west-side mentality that is the last refuge of hypocrites and poseurs.
I doubt it, because the $3.75 version gives you the iPhone app. If it were a matter of giving Apple their 30%, I would think that the iPhone app would be locked into the $5 tier.
ETA: I think the price point needs a bit of clarification too, Doug. I’m reading it as $5 a week gets you everything and the iPad app, not $5 on top of the $3.75 as it sounds like you say.
Paul in KY
No effing way I would pay them anything for online content. I can still logon & get the US news without being hit by any charges. When they try to charge me, off to another newspaper site I will go.
It’s all the neocon news that’s fit to print, anyway.
I will admit it isn’t that good for anything other than work.
So I have this thing called a laptop. It was a third the price, weighs an extra pound, and does everything the iPad does and much, much more. :-p
I can buy a smart phone, a laptop, and an e-reader together without spending as much money as I would on an iPad. Not saying it isn’t handy. But it’ll remain in “high priced luxury gadget” category for a while.
Culture of Truth
It’s worth it just to read David Brooks.
I disagree so much with your wife that I am tongue-tied. Zabar’s forever!
I just got my email on this and my first thought was that there’s not enough exclusive content in the Times to justify that kind of price.
When we get to the point where a broker can offer me a bundle of subscriptions to the news I like to read, then maybe I’ll put the Times in that bundle.
And, you won’t be seeing many NYT links from me in the future, because why should I bother posting something that a lot of the Juicers can’t read?
what martin said at comment 2
@Brachiator: Shouldn’t be. Apple’s cut is higher, but not outrageously so compared to what newspapers spend on collections. They’re charging more for the iPad because they can – and frankly they should. Newspapers are barely profitable when they are at all right now, and if a platform presents itself which is highly conducive to your product, you should take the opportunity to charge for it.
My biggest objection to buying the paper isn’t the cost – it’s the cost of my time to buy the paper – either in terms of dealing with the calls for special deals like getting the daily when I don’t have time to read anything other than Sunday, or their idiotic billing mistakes, etc. Plus I don’t want to have to deal with a physical paper. Newspapers have been terribly short-sighted in this area, and online paywalls are shitty because reading the paper on the web is already shitty, and paying to read the paper on the web is monumentally shitty.
I think the lesson Apple has put out there is that if you make the buying experience a good one and as easy as technically possible (and I think they’ve achieved that goal) and don’t piss off the customer, then people will gladly pay for your product. So I think the NYT should take advantage of that. I’m very excited to see The Daily out there as well. I’m not sure it’ll take off – they’ve had a rather rocky start, but thank heavens someone is at least trying to get this right.
I can’t read off the laptop screen as well.
They will be able to read it, that’s the smart thing the Times is doing, if you come in via a link on a blog, you can always read the article.
The advertising model has always been the foundational model for newspapers and magazines. Subscriptions have never provided enough money to cover a newspaper’s wages and distribution costs. And ultimately, newspapers, magazines, television is based on using “content” to deliver customers to advertisers. Even when the journalism is excellent and hard hitting, it’s ultimately about the advertising. Or it was, until the bottom fell out of the old model.
@Sentient Puddle: RE: I wonder if the extra bucks is because of Apple’s subscription model?
Is the NYT offering iPad customers something that they can’t get from an iPhone or Android app, or from the website?
@gbear: But you don’t pay for that directly. Cable news is almost exclusively ad-supported. They get less than 20% of their revenues from subscriber fees, and because of how the cable companies bundle, you’re not even directly paying the 20%. Imagine if cable news subscriptions were a la carte. They’d change massively with that one move.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
It’s worth it just to keep up with the aspirational upper-middle-class that I aspire to be! If I ever rent that place in Quogue for the summer, I want to know what to wear and what to order so I don’t look like some hayseed from Hicktown.
Near as I can tell, not much. Both the iPad and iPhone apps look like they’ll allow offline viewing of articles after a syncing (and I’d imagine the Android and Blackberry apps do too, but I didn’t check). So the only thing the iPad version would have over the iPhone version would be…better resolution, I guess? I should try putting the iPhone app on my iPad and see how readable that is…
@Brachiator: A decent layout. The iPhone layout is going to suck on the iPad. Same as the web layout.
Looking at the pricing more closely, the only part I have a problem with is the $35 to get both iPhone and iPad. I don’t see that the extra $15 over the iPad version to re-add the phone warrants that kind of upcharge. I think once you’re paying the iPad premium, you should keep the iPhone access. I say that mainly because that’s how other apps typically work, and because the largest upcharge shouldn’t go to the less appropriate device. My guess is that one gets killed off – it’ll generate the most backlash.
@Comrade DougJ: I want to see the fine print on that, because if they do it in a way that makes it that simple, it’s going to be super-simple to spoof and not a true pay wall. (In other words, if they just check the referrer, then there are Firefox extensions to spoof the referrer so anyone can read their content.)
Maybe they figure that being fairly open will still get a lot of people to subscribe, which is probably worth a try, but I really think they’re wasting time and effort on this whole experiment.
Culture of Truth
Indeed, how else will I know what kind of home $1 million gets you?
NYT’s coverage of Japan has been head and shoulders above anything else I’ve seen. Great reporting, context, explanations, timelines, etc.
Everyone has their complaints about their political coverage, and about the nose-in-the-air articles they run to keep the upscale retail ads rolling in, but for straight reporting they’re the best out there.
OK yeah, the iPhone app looks terrible on the iPad. Still readable enough that you could save a bit of money if you really wanted to, but you’d have to have a high tolerance for reading heavily-pixelated text.
@Zifnab: so the fuck what. don’t buy one, who gives a shit?
I don’t know why I feel the need to play the role of Times apologist here, given how much it annoys me, but they do all that real estate crap because it brings in a lot of ad revenue. It sure beats running editorials in favor of your parent company’s for-profit universities.
L. Ron Obama
I bet Nate Silver will be happy about losing 99.9% of his readership.
I’d consider it if they brought back that delightful Judith Miller.
Didn’t they have a subscription service before? I thought I remembered when you got it free if you had an edu email addy?
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@Comrade DougJ: I was just snarkin. Those articles are a hoot though. I’ buy the dead tree NYT every Sunday, and their foreign coverage is generally pretty good, and as the WaPo continues its descent into neo-con self-parody (the “left leaning” tab on Dickie Cohen is reason enough to never give them another click), it’s probably the last bastion of left-of-center-right national news coverage. But while I’ve always thought it was nonsensical to expect free content forever, 3.95/wk seems high to me. Maybe it’s just a get off my virtual lawn moment.
Funny, I prefer the Web version of the NY Times. You often can navigate more easily and link to related stories than using the current iPad version. And I use tools like Instapaper and pinboard to create links or save stories for offline viewing.
Some of what the Times is doing seems to be a “solution” looking for a problem, but not understanding what the real possibilities are that might make the Times more attractive to a new generation that has grown up on the InterTubes.
@Martin: I think once you’re paying the iPad premium, you should keep the iPhone access. Yep. This makes sense.
With The Economist, a subscription gets you the physical magazine and access to the iPad version, no extra charge. You can download each edition, or save individual articles.
L. Ron Obama
They did have a paywall, TimesSelect, which protected their “premium” content like Friedman. It was abandoned as a complete failure.
Their bloggers really cannot be too happy about this.
Speaking of NYC, I made the mistake of leaving HGTV on the other night and saw bits of the “Selling New York” show.
I completely despised every person on that show. I know that’s the nature of Reality TV, they either want you to love ’em or hate ’em but these people didn’t rise to the level of “hate”. Just really awful people.
@L. Ron Obama: Yea, that was it.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: I actually enjoy reading some of those stories, in the same kind of way I like driving through River Oaks here in Houston (very, very expensive area).
Just interesting to see how the other 10% live.
Culture of Truth
I confess I do read the Times online. There is good stuff there, especially if you live in the area.
L. Ron Obama
I’m assuming you mean a broad subscription base that directly pays the overhead for an investigative journalist/crew.
Otherwise, deepest pockets gets the skew they want.
@stuckinred: Read the original post. DougJ was saying he couldn’t understand the $5 / month iPad surcharge. I pitched my suspicion.
the NYT has generally good writing. they also gave Judith Miller a platform for her crap, and they also got incredibly freaking pissy when they were called on it.
remember Dan Okrent as ombudsman? he was a dick, and I’m a guy who started out with a positive opinion of Okrent from his days at New England Magazine.
he was a dick, Bill Keller was a dick, and Miller was a whore for a by-line. they all utterly failed in their responsibility to the public.
I like McClatchy and I like the Christian Science Monitor. The “papers of record” can kiss my ass.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@Corner Stone: And the “doesn’t everyone have a housekeeper?” lack of self-awareness is politically revealing, right down to sending Arthur Ochs Codswallop Sulzburger XVI to do a special report on how Real Heartlanders hate those greedy teachers and cushy high-paying sinecures.
So the iPhone app is now going to cost me $3.75 / week for. Looks like the NYT app is going to meet the same fate as the WSJ app on my iPhone. Now I don’t have to fret over what I have to move from my home screen to make room for the fantasy baseball app. :)
Well, sort of on the topic of the New York Times, I need help repairing my brain…
They have this graphic of a radioactive plume forecast, and they show the level of radiation in what they call “arbitrary units.” Jesus.
So to make sure I’m not missing anything, I do a quick search to see if arbitrary units are something scientists actually use, and according to Wikipedia…I guess so?
How the fuck does this work? I feel like we’re breaking the definition of a unit here.
Could the NYT be doing and pricing this (also) to increase their home subscriptions rate?
Because I see that I can pay $15/month for unlimited online access. Or pay $3.70/week for weekday (M-F) home delivery and get free online too. (It’s a 50% off special, but I would cancel if the physical paper if they charged more.)
Anyway, I am fine with paying for The New York Times and supporting good international and national news coverage.
We see how expensive stupid is.
I don’t oppose it because their linking policy seems fine:
Whether or not I pay will depend on how free access to blog and section “fronts” works. Though I dearly love the Dining & Wine section… and pretty much need access to it for food blogging… so probably I end up paying. If they stopped gimping their blog RSS feeds for subscribers I would pay in a heartbeat.
I’d cancel if they made me read David Brooks.
@Zifnab: “If you just chucked up $600 for an electronic novelty”
When I’m in NY visiting family, I buy the Times. But when I’m not, the last thing I want to do is to support the corral of tards (not including Krugman)the Times pays tithes to.
The New York Times might be able to get away with this.
The Washington Post would not. Its quality has sunk ridiculously, and its “readers” comments threads are right-wing trollfests.
Someone on the overnight thread mentioned the WaPost’s hysterical Japan nuclear debacle headlines. Yup.
The three pricing options are:
Mobile plus web = 3.75
Table plus web = 5
Mobile plus table plus web = 8.75
@Comrade DougJ: Oh yeah, now I see, you’re right. I was somehow reading the iPad tier as having everything in the previous tier. That does look a lot more moronic now.
Fuck U6: A More Accurate Measure of the Total Amount of Duck-Fuckery in the Economy
Remember when Clark Hoyt sais the the Times will determine what they will investigate and until then James O’Keefe is our boy.
This is the key thing that newspapers and magazines are stupidly overlooking. They will kill themselves even faster than they are already dying if they continue to do things that reduce their visibility on the Internet.
Interesting possibility. The Times has to consider both their home delivery and online products. But I wonder, with more tablets and Kindle like devices popping up, will there be a time when a majority of people stop buying a physical paper altogether?
Carol from CO
McClatchy does a good job with what it covers, but it doesn’t cover as much. I find that I go to the Times less and less,though, especially when there is breaking news. It’s a little slow on the uptake.
The only thing dangerous to them here is the misinformation that people won’t be able to read NYT links. If Balloon Juice links to an article… or John Cole tweets it… or your buddy likes it on Facebook… everybody will be able to read it. They’re also making parts of it free:
Thought it’s not entirely clear to me what things count as an article with this definition. Does it mean that I can look at the headlines in a section for free, but then any article I click counts towards my 20, or does it mean that any article on the front page of a section doesn’t count?
i would assume people who read blogs / google news etc would burn through those 20 articles / month pretty quickly.
edit: also, as many others have mentioned, this scrolling thing on refresh is incredibly annoying.
The New York Times is the gold standard of journalism, warts and all. It was slow to embrace the Web but now does so with an elegance, simplicity and endless content. The Web and not the dead tree edition is The Times’ future and it simply could not keep giving it away.
Being an old phart, I have no need for anything beyond my MacBook Pros and clamshell cell phone and I have better things to do with my time than constantly suck face with a smart phone, so I cannot speak to all the whinging over iPhone apps, but I will gladly cough up the going rate to have 24/7 access to The Times from my computers and public computers.
Whoa, where did this bile come from? The NYT is probably a major source for you. You get it for free now. You probably shouldn’t. Now you have to pay. Waaah.
PS. I was a contract writer with the NYT up until a few years ago and came across a good number of reporters and editors there. Yes, some of them are smug and/or dickish. That’s a minority, in my experience. The vast majority tend to be fairly normal non-assholes.
Sure, but even once you pass 20 you’ll be able to read blog links, tweets, etc for free. Once you pass 20 you won’t be able to browse the NYT at your leisure… and probably not blog effectively… but if you mainly encounter the NYT through reading blogs or coming from links you (allegedly) won’t be effected.
just a bookmarlet. Put this code in a bookmark on your toolbar:
Chad N Freude
You should become aware of the Los Angeles Times.
No. I understand that a certain number of articles will be free. But they still may be reducing their visibility, and this may still end up hurting them.
They are not going as far as Murdoch did with the Times of London, but they are still working against how the net works. I sympathize with their dilemma.
It’s not that we just got it for free. The Times provided their content for free. And unfortunately, once people get used to getting something for free, they become resistant to paying. That’s just the way many people are. People start looking at online newspapers the way they look at broadcast TV or the radio.
Talk about smug. Jeeesh.
Ipad owners are rich airheads. They’ll pay for anything.
These are the people who buy $275 CD demagnetizers to “improve the sound” of their CDs by “aligning the bits properly.”
These are the idiots who pay $100 for the Monster M1000 HD 4 Ultimate HDMI Cable in order to “improve the digital picture on their widescreen hi-definition TVs.”
I subscribe to NYT, only the Sunday paper, just for the magazine and more specifically the Sunday crossword puzzle. However, I enjoy the columns and the in-depth articles.
I think the strength of NYT, especially compared to my local paper, the LA Times, is the editing. I find NYT to be more concise while also providing better coverage of the arts, cultural trends and interesting insights into people and other places. I find more things there that I want to read.
Plus I get free access to the website and the apps and, most importantly, the rest of the crosswords for the week!
1) They say that if you have a dead tree format subscription, all digital and app access is covered. It is asserted in this thread (by Elizabelle) that such a subscription is $3.70/week, which is the same as the lowest digital subscription and far less than the iPad level. Assuming this is correct, it’s nuts: you burden yourself with several pounds of newsprint and burden then with the cost of printing and delivering it … all to pay a lower price. I know advertisers pay more for the paper version, but this is nuts.
2) Speaking of advertisers, if I pay my $200/year, can I get the web version ad-free?
3) This is one more reason to hate and fear Apple. No, not the iPad surcharge in the subscription models; the 30% of the gross they’ll take. Apple insists that any purchases made through its App store give them 30%, and insist that this cost is paid by the seller and not tacked on to the price – and increasingly Apple doesn’t allow companies to work around this by selling subscriptions outside of iTunes for activation within the App. No way should Apple get 30% of the gross of the New York Times, especially when my laptop or my (imaginary) Android tablet don’t
Chad N Freude
@bluehill: I think the LA Times does excellent investigative journalism and very good journalism in general. The magazine and artsy-fashiony-cultury sections suck.
No, not really. This is what the publishing world looks like. If not Apple, someone else would be getting a comparable cut.
“The $3.75 per week for full access to the website plus the mobile app is okay, but an extra five bucks a month for the iPad app? Who is going to pay that?”
I’m going to pay that. In Colorado, we pay over $50/month for a print subscription. $20/month for the iPad option is a good deal for us. Since I prefer reading it on the iPad over print, I plan to switch as soon as possible (March 28).
Sure, except that they just don’t. Do your digital access through a laptop or netbook or through a non-iOS tablet, smartphone, or media player, and no-one takes a cut. This is even true for that other proprietary media device, the Kindle (though I don’t like it’s web browser much). Heck, read it through your Apple laptop and noone takes a cut. The only people asking to be paid to deliver the New York Times’s content to you are bandwidth providers (for, you know, the bandwidth used) and Apple. Under the circumstances, 30% when no one else rakes anything seems a mite steep.
A little while back, The Times of London lost something like 9 out of 10 online readers after going behind a paywall. They still declared the paywall a success, as I recall. (Another paper that put up a paywall and lost me as an online reader was the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, but I prefer the Sueddeutsche Zeitung anyway.)
The New York Times might well have decided to accept a similar loss of online readership — after all, we’re just online freeloaders, and our eyeballs can’t be delivered to advertisers if we use ad-blocking software (as I do myself).
If I am careful and restrict myself to Paul Krugman (his blog and column are actually informative) and Gail Collins (who is sharp and funny) I might be able to scrape under the 20-story-a-month limit.
Parallel 5ths (Irish Steel)
I’ve been trending towards the Guardian anyway. If they had more US politics, I’d pay them a digital subscription fee.
Is there any indication of how “visitors” are measured? That is, is that 20 free articles per computer? per IP address? or what?
How will libraries or other public-access terminals work?
If a household gets the dead-tree version, how many computers in that household get “unlimited access”?
Oho, I see:
I know what strategy *I*’ll be using …
The McClatchy people continue to do good work.
At least so far as I know, the difference is that Apple now insists on taking 30% of all sales for content viewable on the App, and the others don’t. For a free App with subscriber content, Apple has signaled that the content must be sold within the App – possibly for sale in parallel with and at the same price as sales elsewhere, or possibly for sale exclusively within the App, Apple hasn’t been consistent – and I haven’t heard of others doing the same. At least, not yet. There’s a bit of a difference between paying Apple (or Android, etcetera) 30% of the price of the one-time retail price of, say, Angry Birds and paying them a huge chunk of a weekly subscription.
The idea that the writers at the times are smarter, harder working, more dedicated to truth and better educated than hundreds of bloggers now posting free is a myth. The Times runs on friends and family nepotism, is a stronghold of contempt for the internet and is full of filler and junkfood sections (Thursdays and Sundays especially) by journalists with questionable credentials so that reading it is a hit and miss experience. Frank Rich knew what he was doing by getting out just in time.
Maybe I’m still suffering from Judy Miller burn after affects.
Chad N Freude
Does anyone know the mechanism they will use to track an individual’s 20/month? I’m hard put to think of any that wouldn’t be defeatable.
This is pretty silly. Look at the Times‘s reporting from Libya and Japan. Sure, there may be individual amateur bloggers posting similarly informative pieces to the web – though I doubt this is consistently the case, since access and credentials and expenses are involved – but how would you find them? And if there is some blogger putting out brilliant reported pieces from Benghazi, and you’ve managed to find their blog, why should you believe them, without the Times‘s editors on the job and their professional reputation on the line? And how long did it take you to find them?
Sure, the Times has flirted with the catastrophic loss of their credibility with travesties like Judy Miller. Sure, in addition to their excellent work they do an awful lot of stories about how hard it is to find a domestic servant who matches the interior decoration. But it just isn’t remotely the case that you can, in any reasonable time frame or with any consistency, find amateur reporting to compare with the best professional stuff.
@Chad N Freude:
You could ask the same of Netflix. I’m sure it will be defeatable, even easily defeatable – but only if you violate your user agreement, and the easiest forms of defeating it would probably be quite readily trackable if they cared to make an example.
There are a number of talented bloggers who offer expert opinion and analysis. And a lot of these people are hard to find, or post inconsistently.
But there are very, very few bloggers who could be called journalists who do good original reporting. They don’t have the time, the resources, contacts or sufficient access.
And note the example of the Huffington Post, which built a $300 million brand on the backs of many bloggers who weren’t getting much of anything besides the promise of wide exposure for their work. This is not a healthy model, and will probably soon collapse under the weight of its founder’s hubris.
@L. Ron Obama: What I remember most about the Times Select days is how completely easy it was to find the content for free, doing a simple search. A lot of bloggers would cut and paste the entire articles into shoot-offs from their own blogs.
I’m not advocating for stealing protected content, but I seriously doubt that it’s going to be at all tricky to get around that paywall if there’s something in the NYT you really want to read. I think the price is prohibitive and honestly, it’s not worth $20 extra bucks a month to me.
Herbal Infusion Bagger
“But real journalism is surviving at the Times in a way that it’s not at any other national papers that I am aware of, so I’m happy to send them $200 a year if that keeps them in business. It’s better spent than giving it to NPR, that’s for damn sure.”
The NYT is a load of pants compared to the U.K. quality press though – the Grauniad, the Independent, and especially the Financial Times.
@Herbal Infusion Bagger:
That may or may not be true overall, but the UK’s coverage of American politics is a “load of pants” compared to the NYT. Really incredible reportage of EU issues doesn’t really do a lot for me, except as an occasional curiosity. Though I admit to turning to the Guardian more and more for international crises.
I know, right? I just wish people wouldn’t be such dicks about letting the rest of us subsidize their listening habits.
Nobody I know gives money “to” NPR. People give money to their local public radio stations, and if a particular station runs NPR content, part of that money goes to NPR.
And for those who like to slag NPR, I say: name a better news source than NPR during commute time. Just one. Take all the time you need.
So, i’m just curious here- can you point me to a reasonably well made laptop (as opposed to a crippled netbook) that weighs 2.3 lbs or under and costs around $166.00?
‘Cause I’d be fairly interested in something like that.
“30% when no one else rakes anything seems a mite steep.”
When you become the publisher of the Times, if you’re not willing to pay for access to that distribution channel, you can decide to not access that distribution channel. The management of the Times respectfully disagrees with your view. They’ve decided that we “rich airheads” (fuck you, mclaren) are an audience worth having.
@Brachiator: The point i’m making is that the original reporting in the Times is just not that extraordinary. I found the reporting from Japan very spare and I don’t think there is any reason to believe that the Times has the inside track on anything that’s happening in Libya more than any number of news sources.
Perhaps I should not have implied that bloggers have the wherewithal to do original, on site reporting. Of course I know they don’t. But they sure can access sources that don’t have to go through the Times editing process and can allow the news-seeker to see some of the raw data that will result in a fuller grasp of the story. I got a better feel for what went on in Egypt from seeing the raw stuff posted on the Daily Dish and facebook than from the pasturized monotone of the Times.
I’m writing this as a 50+ year daily reader of the Times.I Think that just as one can become institutionalized by long exposure to long established methodologies, one can also feel that just because one does close reading of the Times everyday he/she can feel fully informed when that’s not the case at all. The Times is slow and over-deliberative in their reporting on big widespread stories like Japan and the Middle-east conflicts because they have been burned so many times and have become too cautious. And I think that extended exposure to the internet has made readers much better able to recognize bad information and to filter it out.
I do agree that the suture huffpo will rise or fall on the vagaries of it’s founder’s feelings of hubris.
David in NY
Maybe it’s implicit in what’s said above, but I looked over somebody’s shoulder at the Times on their iPad, and it was quite beautiful. Almost like reading a newspaper, which I find the Times on the internet is not (and I can’t imagine it on an iPhone).
I’m totally skeptical that this will work for them.
I signed up for TimesSelect. Not because I cared for whatever it was they put behind the paywall, but because I wanted to support them. So I’m a very plausible potential customer.
But $200 a year for basic web access is a fuck-ton of money. $50, no brainer. $100, I’d think about it. At this price? No way. It’s more than the Economist, more than the WSJ. I think they must be pricing this to compete with their paper subscriptions, which is foolish. It’s a dying market.
Instead of trying to prop up the doomed, I’d rather put my money toward things like Pro Publica and the Bay Citizen, which have a reasonable long-term chance of survival.
I would pay $3.75 per month for the NYT online, but not per week. Byebye, Times.
I may have a ridiculous notion of what it costs to produce news. But I know what it costs to consume news from nearly every other site. And given what I know about that, I’d still pay up to $35-40/yr for NYT.
But not $195 a year. They just do not have that much pricing power, I don’t think.
I think the Times’ reporting is quite good, especially when compared to the deliberate distortions coming from Fox News and the AP, and the shallowness of most broadcast TV.
But I take your point that NYT stuff is often dull, and too often seems to be based on some kind of institutional template designed to cause the least amount of controversy or offense.
Some of this I think is due to the weakness and lack of vision of the current editorial leadership. It’s almost as bad as what happened with the LA Times, in my neck of the woods, which is simply no longer a great newspaper, and often is not even a good newspaper. But here, some editors quit and others were forced out as the owners tried to deal with massive declines in both circulation and ad revenue.
I disagree with you big time here, but this is separate from your criticisms of the Times. Too often I see people rush to and regurgitate half-baked nonsense on the web, and deliberately ignore, bypass or refuse to even consider more accurate sources of information. It’s funny that the Internet can allow people to become either massively informed or massively confirm their ignorance and biases.
But I also acknowledge an implication of your comments. The Times and other newspapers and media want to be the primary source of information for readers and viewers. But the Internet encourages people to quickly and easily jump to multiple sources of information, and rewards those who are willing to do a little digging. Linking and cross-referencing is a natural function of the Web. Newspapers that try to wall themselves off or to discourage linking and cross-referencing beyond their own pages just don’t get it.
Checked the NYTimes a few hours ago and thought I read
However, silly me, the actual word was “Reactors.”
The subliminal brain at work.
But looking at some of the reader comments to the Times’ announcement about their subscription plans, the sentiment is very accurate.
I am guessing they will have to downscale what they’re planning to charge.
They’ve learned that a lot of former free riders will pay $5.00/month, though, by their own comments to the NYTimes.
First, if they priced this before Frank Rich’s departure, then they need to knock off 25%.
Second, the impact this will have on me (and maybe others) will be for me to cancel my hardcopy Sunday-only subscription to my hometown paper (the Chicago Tribune) and replace that with the Times Sunday-only, giving me a better Sunday paper plus full electronic access to the Times. What makes that extra tolerable is that I have recently stopped reading the Sunday comics after 30+ years of doing so.
The Newpaper Guild encouraged the unpaid bloggers at HuffPoo to go on strike to which Arianna replied, Go ahead, no one will notice.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
that’s Hicksville, buddy, and don’t you forget it. otherwise your Jitney will have a mysterious accident at the Suffolk county line.
I haven’t subjected you guys to one of my lame comics in awhile, but I couldn’t resist this one:
@JRon: argh…wrong thread!!!