September 16, 2005

New York Times Goes For The Cash!

According to the Washington Post, The New York Times is now going to charge online readers to view its opinion pages:

NEW YORK -- The marquee columnists for The New York Times' Op-Ed page _ including Thomas L. Friedman, Maureen Dowd and Frank Rich _ generate lots of interest and discussion online. Now, the paper is hoping they'll also generate something else: cash.

Beginning Monday, the Times will begin charging $49.95 a year to people who don't get the paper delivered at home for access to those writers as well as other columnists for the Times' business, metro and sports section.

I am a strong advocate for capitalism, so from my standpoint, the New York Times should be able to charge anything it wants for its product... no matter how crappy it is. One thought...Who would actually want to pay to read Maureen Dowd, Paul Krugman or Frank Rich??? Well, I guess if you frequent Daily Kos and Democratic Underground it might be a wonderful investment...

It's a bold move for the Times since the restrictions are certain to reduce the online exposure for those columnists, whose articles are routinely among the most e-mailed items on the Times' Web site. The Times could also see a decline in traffic to its site after bloggers can no longer link to articles by the columnists.

No doubt that this will reduce the exposure of its columnists to the public. See..there is a huge bright side!!
Most likely, other online columnists will definitely benefit as bloggers and other web surfers shift their daily reading routine to other columnists. After all, for every Maureen Dowd, there is a Molly Ivins.

Honestly, though, I doubt this will have a ton of an impact on blogging. All it takes is for one blogger with a subscription to post a portion of the article on his/her blog. Once other bloggers have the quote, it is not like they actually have to go to the website.
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