back to article New York Times builds paywall - very slowly

The New York Times has confirmed widespread reports that it is to start charging for access to its website. As we reported Monday, readers will get free access to a certain number of stories before being hassled into paying up. But don't panic just yet - despite considering the move for over a year the paywall will not …


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  1. MinionZero

    Not a problem for me.

    I have millions of news sources to choose from these days already. So the loss of one isn't an issue, its actually helping me choose!

    Plus the Internet routes around damaged parts of itself. :)

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Its the NYT .. if they made the Guardian online pay per view it might be news.

    Has anyone noticed that the New Scientist is now requiring you to register after 3 articles and to subscribe after 15.

    Now that is a pain.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Whatever

      Really? I didn't notice... Maybe it's because my browser clears all cookies, flash LSOs and DOM storage on exit...

  3. Bassey

    That explains a lot

    "chairman and publisher of the New York Times" - "we need to get this really, really right"

    When the publisher of a newspaper uses a phrase like "really, really" you know you "really, really" aren't missing out if you don't subscribe.

  4. jai

    why did they stop charging in 2007?

    is it because no one was bothering to pay to read their articles?

    do they really think that we're all so desperate to read the news that we'll suddenly start putting our hands in our pockets to get to it? when, instead, we can just watch one of the 24-hour news channels, or read a site like El Reg that will collate and comment on all of the news from everywhere instead and save us the time

    or even, shock horror, pick up a hardcopy version at the newsagents

  5. Rolf Howarth
    Thumb Up

    A good thing

    I agree, it's a pain to have to register and pay for viewing online newspapers and magazines, but it's also a pain to have to pay for other things, like DVDs and food and alcohol and cars and toys and stuff.

    I'm no keener than anyone else to rush out and pay for online news when I can get it for free but long term, if publishers do manage to find a way to charge readers that's convenient and easy and not too extortionate then that would actually be a Good Thing.

    If you're going to employ a good journalist to work full time to get off their backside to research a story, talk to people, and check their facts then clearly they need to be compensated somehow. A race to the bottom where everything is free, and the only way to make money is keep costs to a bare minimum by regurgitating other people's drivel and covering your web site with Flash ads, is in no-one's best interest.

    1. Oninoshiko

      The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

      If your going to employ a good journalist...

      whoa! holdit.... back up a bit there... I think you may be asking for a bit much. It's allagedly much more profitable to say "allagedly" a lot, consider "wackypedea" to be a (nay, THE) valid source, and still charge out the yin yang.

  6. Neil Stansbury
    Thumb Up

    Great news...

    [...]Rupert Murdoch - who has promised to charge for all News International's online content by the summer.[...]

    Hopefully I won't have to filter through their crap in search results now either.

    1. Steve Roper

      You won't have to

      If you have Firefox you can install the CustomizeGoogle plugin which filters selected domains from appearing in search results. I'll just be adding Murdoch's sites to my CustomizeGoogle domain blacklist along with experts-exchange and the other SEO-scam-driven shitsites already on there.

  7. Eirik Hektoen

    It could work

    The knee-jerk negative reactions against this are not helpful. Newspapers do actually need to have a source of income if they are going to be able to continue to do professional journalism, and it is not clear yet if the income they can get from advertising is going to be enough.

    The key question is how they choose to do it. If they require that you purchase an annual or monthly subscription in return for full access, then it will be expensive (probably comparable to buying the paper edition every day) and they will get very few buyers.

    But if they set it up such that you are charged a small amount per article, and with no one-off cost for joining the scheme (so casual visitors are not put off), then it might work. I would for example find this reasonable: agency news stories free, regular in-house journalist-written articles 2-5 cents, larger quality feature articles 10 cents.

  8. RW
    Thumb Down

    Will we get what we pay for?

    I won't even register to read the NYT for free. It's too NYC-centric and if one is looking for reasonable coverage of international news, it's not the place.

    The Times, once a newspaper of record, is polluted with too many inane articles about "celebrities", as is (sadly) the Guardian. Strike those off the list of sites that are worth paying for.

    Seems to me that if a newspaper wishes to charge online readers, they have to provide top flight news coverage that you can't get elsewhere. No parroting of wire service articles, and no publication of useless gossip about the Britneys and Parises of the world. We can read that kind of trash almost anywhere.

    If murdoch wants to make money charging for online access to the Times, he's going to have to raise its standard of journalism quite a lot.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Subs won't fly

    Until the rash of 'free' papers reporting fairly national news, most people paid for their papers and , as a consequence, took the choice of paper fairly seriously to the point it was actually a topic of discussion. But the real point was that there was no real choice but to pay someone if you wanted the news in readable form.

    Now we have a virtualy limitless choice of available options for free - including ones you'd pay for in the newsagent - and there is no need at all to pay for news; if one provider closes, move on and there are 200 more offering pretty much the same thing. Apart from niche interests on which there might be virtual news monopolies there's no really good reason to pick one particular provider and I personally can't see any mainstream news outlet that is actually compelling or unique enough to persuade more than a tiny number of punters to pay. Most syndicate their articles in any case, either for money or because they're ripped off by bloggers, so if an article is of any special interest it's available elsewhere in any case.

    The only vaguely compelling argument for the uniqueness of a particular publication is its 'personality'; the tone and balance of content that make for a complete, rounded package. But the endless recycled press releases and dull, plastic, bought-in 'lifestyle content' that papers buy in by the word to fill the space between the ads has pretty much put paid to any personality they might once have possessed. Good journalism is not what papers - least of all the NYT - are about any more; a hole of their own making. None of the above is likely to encourage the brand loyalty that would persuade people to stump up for a monthly or yearly sub.

    I believe the only hope they have is a widely accepted system of micropayments charged for each article read, transparent and painless for the user and which applies across most sites they use. Having to sign up per site just to read one or two articles won't work; most readers don't have the attention span and most sign up just look like personal data fishing trips in any case. The articles will also have to be seriously cheap; the 50p a go some have tried just won't wash - if people won't pay a quid for a paper, they won't pay 10p let alone 50 for one article.

    I suspect that, long before they find a solution, commercial pressures will have forced journalistic standards down so far in any case that they won't have anything left to sell that can't be found for free in a blog.

  10. jeanX


    nytimes is my homepage and I'm used to reading it all on the computer,

    everything except the editorials.I don't believe this will make enough money

    to make up for the loss of printed ads.I was part of a panel that was involved in helping

    them late last year.Sometimes, I would receive weird questions that had nothing to do with

    the news.But, journalists, editors and IT workers must get paid.Somehow, I don't think this is the answer.

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