July 10, 2009
The time has come. Maybe. For months now rumors have been circulating that the financially strapped New York Times was considering charging for content in some form or other. Now it looks like they may be ready to make it a reality. Is all the news that is fit to print worth $5 to you?
This is typical of many leads in many articles on the internet this week. I, myself taking a purely personal view of the matter of course, do not wish to pay even five dollars a month for the privilege of reading the paper. Please do not take this to mean I don't think it's worth it, I do. If there is any site I would pay for it is the New York Times. I read it every day conceding that it is the best, but if I pay for the Times, what will be next?
By this act does the Times concede that our economic plight is going to last forever? It won't. When the economy is again strong, will they give their subscribers a thank you and a well done in their time of need in today's economic uncertainty and revert back to a free New York Times.
The answer is, of course, no. By being the premier newspaper in the USA, it is perhaps not the best example of a newspaper in trouble. Certainly it has the best paid talent available, with the highest circulation for sure. It is not outwardly an example of a newspaper in great need looking for handouts and government assistance. It is perhaps the best paper in the land, and maybe that is why it is very unseemly for them to be whining how they need $5 a month from all of us to keep afloat. No, I for one think that this is nothing more than a try to establish another revenue stream. I hope it fails for them and as a precursor of more of the same from other internet providers to cash in on economic uncertainties of the day.