New York Times Chairman Arthur Sulzberger Jr. appears close to announcing that the paper will begin charging for access to its website, according to people familiar with internal deliberations.
Not mentioned in the article: Apple’s new tablet or the distribution deal Apple supposedly negotiated with the New York Times.
Newspapers are committed to making people pay for the “whole package”—a single price for the whole paper, not a per-article price. If anything resembling a traditional news organization is to survive (and that’s a big if) then that kind of packaging is necessary. The expensive investigative pieces need to be subsidized by easy-to-write fluff stories. We may care more about the important news items, but we spend more time reading the silly stuff. I’ve spent more time reading about Leno and Conan than I have about Haiti over the past week, and I hate that this means more ad revenue has gone to celebrity journalism departments than to reporters on the ground in the crisis.