I read just one article on the NYT’s site today, down from my standard hour of 20-30 articles.
I’ve now switched to budgeting down to the most interesting article of the day that I can’t get elsewhere. Today’s was Paul Krugman’s Monday op-ed.
The problem I see with the paywall is that I was, before today, a loyal user. I gave up my The Economist subscription because it was costing money when I had a fine, free alternative: the New York Times.
Frankly, the NYT does not offer a product that can’t be replaced by other web alternatives like Reuters and BBC. I’ve used it only (and I suspect other Americans have as well) because it’s the best and last great American newspaper.
An hour a day on a website is a loyal reader, and for now they’ve lost me. It’s hard to see how this will work when there are quality free-access or cheaper media services available (The Economist is like $60 a year for online and print subscription), even if advertisers pay more for access to a proven devoted reader base.
It also doesn’t help that there are only two bloggers on the NYT staff that are irreplaceable: Paul Krugman and Nicholas Kristoff. Friedman is entirely unnecessary, Collins’ snark is great but can be found in numerous other places, Douthat is also unnecessary, and Dowd lost her edge years ago. Herbert and Rich retired (shame) and Blow is inconsistent and typically writes on the tail-end of the national discussion.
What other unique media perspectives do they have that can’t be found on quality blogs/news websites? Can’t think of one if you live outside the NYC area and don’t care about local and regional news.