A4A Users Beware: Paywall For The New York Times Set for March 28

Thursday, March 17, 2011 19:43
A4A Users Beware: Paywall For The New York Times Set for March 28

The New York Times, which we often link to on A4A in aggregating the news for you, is starting a paywall on March 28. Please let us know if you want to us stop linking to it so much.

The Times is my favorite newspaper. I've been reading it every day since I was 18 and it's great journalism.



While anyone will still be able to access up to 20 stories a month for free at The Times, we link to a lot of stories from The Times on A4A in aggregating the news for you daily, and I a concerned that you may get locked out of seeing some stories if you  are not a NYT subscriber.


Please let us know what you think of the paywall and whether you believe A4A should avoid linking to The Times in the future.



Comments (5)

Those who click links from Facebook or Twitter will bypass the paywall. Rumors are floating around that the paywall can also be bypassed by spoofing referer=twitter.com in the URL.
billwinterberg , March 18, 2011
NY TImes is running on fumes. Its amazing they are still in existence. I will try the bypass mentioned above.
hfinancial , March 18, 2011
Tough call here Andy. It will be frustrating not being able to see some of the articles in the NYT....as you said, it's informative (and many times enjoyable) reading, even if you don't agree with their political views in all cases. I think those of us who have written or published in the past (and you're certainly in that category!) appreciate the high quality of their work, particularly when you compare them with any other daily newspaper. Only a few others match up--you know which ones they are.... I don't quite understand why they want to do this, other than because of the grave financial problems they're currently experiencing. This is unfortunate.
SailorBoy , March 18, 2011
Andy: Looks like anytime we access the NYT digital through certain search engines, the 20/month limit won't apply. So, maybe it would work if you just told us how to get to the article through a search engine...... Maybe even have the link as a link to the search in the appropriate engine? JAT.
josephc208 , March 19, 2011
Subverting the NYT paywall is not anything I'd enable. I believe media outlets deserve to be paid.

The ideas you're all come up with--spoofing URLs and using Google links to the articles--are creative.

But the entitlement to free journalism that people openly communicate is unfair to media outlets and threatens journalism. Accurate reporting of news will suffer enormously if people don't become more willing to pay for content.

New pay models are coming that allow media companies to take micropayments based on usage and I'm hoping that will be embraced.

The NYT paywall is very poorly conceived and I am extremely skeptical about how it will succeeed. It levies high fees on a small number of heavy users of the site, and it gives occassional users have a free ride--up to 20 visits a month.

A better solution would be to require the occasional visitors to make micropayments--a cent or two whenever they access the site.

The ocassional visitors who access the site a few times a month account for "a vast majority of the site's traffic,"
according to a front-page article in the Times on March 17 (The Times Announces Digital Subscription Plan).

An occasional-user micropayment would likely generate as much or more revenue to NYT than charging the small number of heavy users high fees--$15 a month for unlimited access to the website and a mobile-phone version of the site.

Also, as other commenters have noted, NYT paywall is full of holes--FaceBook, Google and other sites that bring NYT.com lots of traffic are exempt from the paywall. For all I know, we might be exempt. Maybe we'll get off lucky and it won't be an issue.

Now that I know the details about the paywall, I think it it is unlikely to affect many A4A users. And, if A4A in aggregating news, links to more than 20 stories a momth that an A4A member wants to read--which seems unlikely--then it is only fair that A4A members pay th NYT access fee.

agluck , March 20, 2011

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