Free Maureen Dowd
The New York Post is reporting, that fellow New York newspaper The New York Times, will end its TimesSelect feature, which put its columnists behind a wall unless you wanted to pay approximately $50 a year.
August 7, 2007 -- The New York Times is poised to stop charging readers for online access to its Op-Ed columnists and other content, The Post has learned.The news isn't official then. That hasn't stopped bloggers from discussing the news. James Joyner at OTB, John at Wizbang, Below the Beltway, Bullwinkle, and A Blog for All to name a few.
After much internal debate, Times executives - including publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. - made the decision to end the subscription-only TimesSelect service but have yet to make an official announcement, according to a source briefed on the matter.
The timing of when TimesSelect will shut down hinges on resolving software issues associated with making the switch to a free service, the source said.
Times spokeswoman Catherine Mathis would only say in an e-mailed statement, "We continue to evaluate the best approach for NYTimes.com."
TFM is a NYT subscriber. I also got TimesSelect for a year before deciding to get the newspaper delivered weekly to my home. Do I read NYT columnists? It all depends, like with many others, Maureen Dowd drives me up the wall. Frank Rich has almost the same effect, then I admit to reading his recent book too. Nicholas Kristof is easily my favorite columnist at the paper.
Conservative bloggers like to take shots at the NYT and their columnists, and I'll be the first one to admit the paper deserves much of the criticism. I look at it from a business point of view. Why does newspaper content need to be free on the internet? It takes a great deal of money to report the news. Newspapers sell advertising for their websites, but by allowing free access to all your news, you're discouraging people from buying your product. I actually wonder why there aren't more newspapers that have a premium service.
Note- I pay next to no attention to online ads. The same can be said for print ads.
The NYT I don't think made the wrong decision to put up TimesSelect. To me from a $ point a view, it was the right decision.
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