Friday 20 Jul 2018 | 14:51 | SYDNEY
Friday 20 Jul 2018 | 14:51 | SYDNEY

NY Times tries the paywall...again


Sam Roggeveen


18 January 2010 15:13

New York magazine is reporting that the New York Times is close to making an announcement about a new paywall for its online product. As the article describes, the Times tried this once before with TimesSelect, by putting its star columnists behind a paywall. In the end the columnists themselves rebelled, since they cared less about revenue than about influence, which the paywall was eating into.

Now the NY Times (and Rupert Murdoch's News Limited) seems to be suggesting that times are tough enough in the journalism business for them to try again.

The TimesSelect episode became something of a cautionary tail about the folly of trying to hold back the free flow of news online. But there has always been a touch of web triumphalism about that view, and we shouldn't put it past the Sulzbergers and Murdochs of the world to find viable models for paid news sites.

This story bears close watching, since if the Times succeeds, it could offer a model to many smaller media outlets currently struggling to find a way to pay for good journalism. It would also transform political blogging.

Photo by Flickr user Dom Dada, used under a Creative Commons license.