Tuesday, March 08, 2011

The New York Times: Too Little, Too Late?

Like many other people, I have been waiting for The New York Times to announce when it would begin charging for access to its website. The silence has been deafening since the initial announcement fourteen months ago. Every so often, I would see news (sometimes no more than informed speculation) about the Times's plans on other news organizations' websites, but there was nothing from the Times itself. On Sunday, the silence was finally broken, but in a mea culpa op-ed piece that acknowledged the paper's failures in implementing the new plan, but neglected to provide any details whatsoever about the plan itself. I understand that the management of the company wants to have everything in place before making the announcement and cutting over to the new website, but they have had months to figure out the details. Shouldn't a plan have been in the works before the Times announced such a significant change in its business model? While the Times has been dithering, its readers have grown more accustomed to getting their news for free, and may well see paying to read the Times as a luxury they can do without if they can get their news for free from other sites.

2 comments:

Elizabeth said...

In the meantime, have you noticed that, at least the Boston Globe, owned now by the NY Times, has been tightening up access. I had to register myself as a print subscriber to be able to access ANY archives, even the day before. Very annoying, but I guess it's the wave of the future. It's a sort of annoying access, too, because I have to input my info twice, once to access the site and a second time to access the archived article.

Marie S. Newman said...

Yes, I have noticed that and it very irritating! Done without any warning.