Home > Fande = Fact & Evidence, Original Thought, The Economy > Pay-For-Peruse: The New York Times On-Line

Pay-For-Peruse: The New York Times On-Line

Canadians woke up on St. Patrick’s Day to The New York Times digging in their pockets. From now on, the Paper Of Record’s internet news service will provide only 20 articles per month free of charge to our northern neighbors. At article 21, the Canuck on-line newshound will have to subscribe if he/she wants to keep reading “All the News That’s (Digitally) Fit to Print.” Or he/she can always wait until the new month begins, in order to read from that limited number of articles offered gratis by the Avatar Grey Lady. On March 28 the rest of us will be subject to the same pay-for-peruse rules.

* New York Times articles accessed via Facebook, Twitter, blogs and some search engines will not count against the 20-per-month tally.

** I got a free subscription to NYTimes.com for the remainder of 2011 simply by clicking on an offer from Lincoln, the automobile manufacturer owned by Ford Motor Company. Thank you very much, Mr. Ford. : ) So be on the look out for deals and hook-ups, everybody.

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I highly recommend for you to peruse at your leisure the following comments from another NY Times reader…

source: http://community.nytimes.com/comments/www.nytimes.com/2011/03/19/opinion/19herbert.html?permid=138#comment138

“I saw the caption of ‘A Price Too High?’

I assumed it was referring to the NYT’s implementation of the extortionate price of at least $195 per person to simply read its website. (Yep – $195 or $15 every 4 weeks.)

The regular readers would happily pay $50 or $60 a year but went ballistic at the cost. (See the comment thread from the Thursday article.)

You are forever writing about social justice and economic inequality. The NYT’s new policy raises serious implications as to the ability of the bottom 65% or so to access quality information, reporting and analysis. Now it is the NYT demanding a substantial amount of money – and next it will be more and more of the news sources except, probably, for Murdoch who needs his media to spread propaganda.

The NYT wants $195 minimum. Next it will be the Washington Post, then the LA Times, then the Chicago Trib (largest regional around here although now a 3rd rate rehash of LAT stories) ….. I have already dropped the Financial Times when they broke $100. I stopped occasionally reading “The Times” (London) when they went to ‘no money, no looky’. I skip all links to WSJ articles – $99 is not too awful but still too much for a narrow interest paper with an extreme bias (as in anyone lacking a 6 figure income can drop dead.)

So add it all up. NYT $195, Financial Times $250, WSJ $99 and say WaPo $150, LAT $150, and Chic Trib at $99……..and oh yes, the seriously marginal local paper that doesn’t run national news until 3-5 days after everyone else but does have local matters of interest which now actually wants $120 for online access……$1063 a year to read the news from a variety of 7 sources and get different perspectives. That is $88.58 a month. That is way way too much money when the media (already prepared for print) is then also delivered online at a cost of 1/100ths of a penny per reader. That is nearly DOUBLE the cost of the largest cable TV package available here with hundreds of channels – not 7.

That would be about 2 ½% of the median household’s after-tax income – for only 7 newspapers. That would be 7 ½% of the average Social Security Retirement (and for over 50% of the retirees, that is all they have.) That would be 9 ½% of the average Social Security Disability – around $950 a month.

Those in the bottom 60-75% would be squeezed out of the information marketplace. The NYT – which claims to be progressive and liberal – does not want the very people it writes about – the unemployed, the underemployed, the elderly, the disabled, and the median household in the US – to be able to access it. And the NYT has the hypocrisy to throw fits about the price of e-books for libraries and the lack of broadband in rural areas and how the true middle class (those $35k – 65K incomes) are being shut out of national life because of costs…….sheesh….
The voices of the underemployed, the unemployed, the disabled, the elderly, and the bottom 60% will no longer appear in the NYT comments sections. That means David Leonhardt and several other of the business reporters as well as Paul Krugman and you Mr. Herbert will have to find new subjects. The upper income subscribers won’t want to hear about the unemployed or poverty levels or the troubles of over-50s finding jobs or the uninsured – nothing to do with them, anyone they know or anyone who comments in the NYT. Such people will not be those who can afford the NYT and the affluent readers won’t want to hear about it while they peruse the ads for their vacation in Fiji or their $100,000 sports car. The bottom 60-65% could afford maybe $50 -120 a year for online news – but not $1000 or more.

And there are all the readers from other countries where $195 is household’s live on for one month.

Glad to know the NYT and Murdoch have reached an agreement on how to divide up the world. The affluent get in-depth news and information tailored to their political leanings. The rest of the country get Fox and its screaming lunatics.

I doubt that you could even raise a question in your column about the effect on the current and future access of those who are ‘not top 30% income’ to reliable detailed news sources – at least not without howls of outrage from your employers at the NYT. But if you could ….. and you most assuredly should. The leading newspaper in the world has a moral responsbility commensurate with its position.

And unless someone raises the question of when ‘a price is too high’ for the bulk of the US to be able to access reliable news reporting, you will be addressing you columns to fewer and fewer readers. And in the future, for example, the readers distressed by these comments about nuclear plants would be the financially secure who could move away. The ones who could not move because they could not afford to do so wwould be the middle and working classes — who would never read your comments because they can not afford the ‘Price [that is] Too High.'”

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