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« More Anti-Camera Absurdity | Main | Bush Administration Invents 'News' and Pays Journalist »

January 07, 2005



I don't visit newspaper sites if I can't get around their registration because of privacy concerns. For the Mercury, I use an address I found at
My reading habits on the web involve a lot of skimming to catch the odd article here or there, instead of sticking with one publication and reading it through. This greatly diminishes the value I perceive I'd be getting from a subscription.

Joe I.

Yes I would absolutly pay for the NYTimes. I like you Dan value GOOD journalism whether it is a professional established entity or a new medium that is credible and accurate. So much of the politics, law, business of the day is reported by the Times. If we want a good paper we must pay for one. I am all for the fee because as craigslist, eBay, and web ads cut into revenue they have to pay the bills some how. It is the wave of the future.


Would I pay for the Times online? No. I do pay for Salon, but that's because I believe in what it's doing and it doesn't have another source of income.

I figure that I'll be able to find the important information elsewhere on the web if the Times goes subscription. The Times is not ready to fold for lack of funds.


I filled out the free registration for NYT to read it. But I have never filled out once since for any paper and I certainly won't subscribe to NYT or any other. We pay through the nose as it is just to be able to access the internet. I won't pay more.

Demand of the next revolution. On birth every child is given free unlimited telecommunications access, irrevocable. Free communicatiton is a public good and a human right. Period.

Will Fitzgerald

It all depends on the price, and what you get for it--access to the NYT archives? To the crossword puzzle? Also, I currently feel like I'm at the mercy of the NYT's beneficence, as when they cut off access to the archives. If I'm directly paying for the content, in some way I have more control over what I can get to. I don't think I'd pay that much, though--our local paper already carries a lot of NYT content (including the crossword puzzle!) and I wouldn't want to pay twice.

Jim Horning

Yes, I would probably pay, under one condition. I pay for the Wall Street Journal, and rely on it less. (I also have paper subscriptions to both papers.)

The condition would be that they agree to stop putting those damn flashing ads on my screen. (Something the hardcopy version never does.) It's not just that they distract from what I'm trying to read. If I don't get them off the screen quickly, they can trigger a migraine headache.

Actually, I would probably boycott the advertisers who use flashing ads, if I looked at the ads long enough to know who was advertising.

Jim H.

Håkon Styri

Pay for the NYT, or any other foreign newspaper? Well, I'd probaly pay for a very select few. I don't know is any of them would be US papers.

One of the things I really enjoy about news on the net is that it's fast and easy to look up the original story rather than reading something translated (if needed) and retold by some local news organization that usually miss out lots of details. However, I usually read only a tiny fraction of what's in the average US newspaper. The price per story would be rather high if I had to subscribe.

I guess I would give the bloggers a try first. They may be better at filtering the news than the local media. In addition they sometimes add useful informastion rather than just filtering.


I'd definitely pay for the NY Times. I get most of my news from that site & the WSJ Online which I already pay for. I'd even be happy to pay if they would get rid of the fly-over ads.

Tom Guarriello

Short answer: yes. I pay for the paper version, as I pay for the paper WSJ, so I'd pay for the e-version, a la, Journal. Question is: does the Times lose "reach" by charging? Is that loss of reach outweighed by the revenue gains? Net/Net: my guess is: no. Over time, this decision will prove more costly than beneficial to the Times. While the Journal is a specialized publication, the Times claims to be "the paper of record." I think this decision would ultimately hurt them.

Kevin Marks

In my opinion their present business model is totally backwards - they give away the News and charge for the Olds.

If they believe they provide valuable breaking news, they should sell access to today's paper, and give away yesterdays and earlier, so they can be a paper of record.

The news junkie bloggers will pay up so they can get their commentary in early, and the non-payers can follow a day behind.

Jeffrey A. Cross

I'd never pay for the NY Times. After reading Bernard Goldberg's books and really paying attention to the stories in that newspaper, no thanks.


I'd pay for NYTimes to get more of Judith Miller's fine reporting.


Marc Orchant

Excellent question Dan. I agree with Kevin's idea. Pay for current news and keep the archival information free. I don't particularly care if it's a day or more. Most of what I find myself reading (and getting value) from the NYT online is not that time-sensitive.


I wouldn't be opposed to paying for the NYTimes, as long as i get no ads. If i'm already a subscriber to the print version, the online version should be available at no extra cost.

The trick will be to see if the Times has enough exclusive content to make the subscription fee worthwhile.

Anthony Baker

So long as they offer a discount rate for paid subscribers. And open up their archives. And, ideally, still let me get RSS feeds from them.

Would be interesting, however, to see how many people leave the paper's audience if they do become paid subscriptions.


absolutely not! the pravda is so braindamaged that i have stopped visiting it for anything other than krugman's opinions. if i want to read shills for the bush admin, i'll go to the site...

Scott Whittaker

I would absolutely pay for it provided it wasn't outlandishly priced (wouldn't pay as much for it as I would for a print subscription).

Archival access would be good, and I would love RSS access.


David Jefferson

Yes, I would definitely pay for the NYTimes online. In fact, for years I felt so guilty taking their product online for free that I also subscribed to the Sunday paper edition so that I could send them some revenue. Honestly! I finally gave that up because the amount of paper I was wasting really bugged me.

As an aside, I made a bet seven years ago that the NYTimes would stop publishing a regular paper edition in 15 years. I have eight years to go. I hope I win, though it does not look too promising.

I would also pay (extra) for access to the NYTimes archives, but only on a subscription basis, not on a per-article basis. I realize that this runs counter to the suggestion that access to the archives be free, but I think access to the archives has value and it is unrealistic to expect to get it for free. (I also am willing to bet that access to Google's future immense online library of all of the books in the western world will not be free either, ads not withstanding.)

Regarding obnoxious online ads in the NYTimes, the worst are the occasional ones that have sound.

Ben Combee

I would pay for the NYT if they would use a model like Salon -- put the start of the story in a free section, and let you only go deeper with a subscription. That would allow blogs to do permalinks to NYT articles and people tell what the link was about, but still allow them to charge for the real value they provide -- the deep articles and indepth reporting that's more than headlines. It would also let them remain "the paper of record", since linking to them to denote an event or story would still be valid and would remain valid.

Marc g

Maybe, depends on the price.

I have paid for Salon in the past, and may renew in the future. If the Times had a similar price point I would seriously consider it. I would not pay anything even close to the price of the print copy, especially as I refuse to believe they would remove ads for paying subscribers the way Salon does. If I'm taking on part of the overhead of their distribution costs then they can cut me a break.

I'll never pay 2.50 for an archived article. Ever. Under .50 per archived article, maybe.

Anspar Jonte

I will not pay for news content that is not legally shareable. Engineer the web site to work like this:

1) I read a good article.
2) I click a "forward to friend" button.
3) Friend receives e-mail containing a link to the story. Friend visits the web site and reads the story without any registration hassles.
4) The link expires after 5 days (or whatever).

Not a Yank

Pay for the online version of the NYTImes? Why, I can't use it for lining bird cages or house breaking puppies so the online version is valueless.


If Google can make money without charging online users, why can't the NY Times?

If they start charging, I stop reading.


I'd probably pay if it was the right price point, under $50 a year, and I didn't have to see any nasty ads (not that I ever see them with Firefox + adblock), just because I have been reading the Times every day for 25 years and it is a hard habit to break.

However, there is so much good free content on the net that if the Washington Post continued to be free and keeps its archives open, I might break the 25 year reading habit and only read the WP, blogs, the alternative and tech presses and what the blogs point to.

At a time when most of us are trying to figure out how to cope with information overload, and newspaper readership is declining, especially among the young, putting a gate in front of their content doesn't seem like the smartest business idea. Maybe they should emulate Salon, with the subscribe or Free Day Pass?

Jim Grisanzio

Nope. If they charge, well, that's one less thing I have to read. No big deal.

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