I like the New York Times but I’ve never subscribed to, or liked reading newspapers. They always seemed to be “yesterday’s news and dirty fingers,” plus a newspaper’s format is awkward to use. Even my favorite, the NYT.
I’ve been reading the NYT online since they began their online edition. Non subscribers can read 10 articles a month for free. Most of the time, by just scanning the landing page, I get a lot from the headlines and accompanying lead-in sentences. If I want to access an article after the tenth one, I google the article and read it that way.
Then the other night I watched a documentary called PAGE ONE: INSIDE THE NEW YORK TIMES. It gave me a greater appreciation of what they do and the depth of the NYT departments and their commitment to news and information. You really do get an inside peek at what goes on internally at the paper. And the documentary also highlights how they’re trying to keep up with the changes brought on by the internet. But the most striking revelation is the drying up of their revenue streams. The NYT could go out of business.
A friend who’d just watched the movie said out loud what I’d been thinking after seeing the documentary, “You know the first place I get my news everyday is the NYT and after watching that movie I feel like I want to support the Times by paying for a subscription. “Yeah, me too.” I said.
I’m used to the free model most of us encounter on the internet, but in this case I think it’ll be worth supporting in-depth journalism to keep it going. I have to switch before the organization breaks down. Maybe I’ll like paying because I’ll be a customer not a window shopper.