NYTimes to charge for online

Written By: - Date published: 2:30 pm, January 21st, 2010 - 16 comments
Categories: Media - Tags:

From today’s (free online) Guardian:

America’s most popular newspaper website today announced that the era of free online journalism is drawing to a close. The New York Times, the so-called grey lady of US media, has become the biggest publisher yet to set out plans for a paywall around its digital offering, abandoning the once unshakeable orthodoxy that internet users will not pay for news. Struggling with an evaporation of advertising and a downward drift in street corner sales, the NYT motto: “All the news that’s fit to print” intends to introduce a “metered” model at the beginning of 2011. Readers will be required to pay when they have exceeded a set number of its online articles per month.

The decision puts the 159-year-old newspaper, which lent its name to Times Square, on the charging side of an increasingly wide chasm in the media industry. Rupert Murdoch intends to erect similar paywalls around the online offerings of his papers, which include the Times, the Sun and the News of the World.

But others, including the Guardian, have said they will not charge internet readers and certain papers, such as London’s Evening Standard, have gone further in abandoning readership revenue by making their print editions free.

With media organisations in NZ growing their online presence it will be interesting to see where this trail leads us.

16 comments on “NYTimes to charge for online”

  1. tc 1

    No surprises with Murdoch who despises the term ‘free’…..more will follow.

  2. Andrei 2

    Well boo hoo – nobody is reading that left wing paper anymore anyway – they have been going down the toilet for years, this will further marginalize them, thats all

  3. Lew 3

    Well, NYT, t’s been nice knowing you. You were once mighty.


  4. Phill 4

    Didn’t they dump their last paywall only a couple of years ago, because it err wasn’t working?

  5. BLiP 5


  6. Ag 6

    Well, hopefully this is the end of that paper.

  7. Bored 7

    So farewell the major propaganda organ of the “free world”.

  8. Rich 8

    The media industry just keeps going round this loop.

    Nobody will pay, and the paywall won’t cover its admin and promotion costs (just like the one on the NZ Herald). The only publications that achieve substantial subscription revenue are ones with a professional readership, like the Wall St Journal and Financial Times. The former’s been available in chargeable “electronic” form for around 20 years, and will npo doubt continue. But that’s specialised business news.

    Nobodies going to pay for general news – they’ll just go to the BBC/CNN, or maybe Wikinews will actually turn into something usable.

  9. gobsmacked 9

    Let’s hope the New York Times blogs remain free of charge.

    How else will New Zealanders find out what our own troops are doing in Afghanistan?


    Journalism: it’s not about the press release.

    • Rich 9.1

      And that journalism is a heap of crap.

      The words “at war” implies a consuming struggle for the survival of the nation. We have maybe 20 people in Afghanistan engaged in attempted (and failing) colonial policing. On that basis Britain has been “at war” since 1607 and NZ for it’s entire history since 1840.

      NZ was “at war” between 1939 and 45. It hasn’t been since.

  10. You guys know that the times is Liberal (and one of the best papers in the USA) and its the new york post that is owned by Murdock.

  11. Bill 11

    Has nobody been keeping up with developments at the Washington Post?

    It’s now selling it’s column inches to private individuals with a message to put across.

    That is, the people who are buying the column inches have their own journos ( spin doctors? advertisers?…call them what you will) who are paid to dress up and deliver a particular message as though it were impartial or balanced news.

    No need to charge for content. No need to seek so many traditional advertisers. Sell the platform.

    This is a dramatic shift from a covert, born of systemic deficit, ‘manufacturing of consent’ to an up front overt ‘money determines news’. Balanced. Objective. Paid for…oh, how money might talk in a world struck dumb.



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