I have a New York Magazine piece out that goes inside the New York Times‘ decision to begin charging for online access to the paper’s website. The decision to roll out a paid system for web content caps a year of contentious debate among senior Times executives and newsroom staff. The argument centered on whether the Times risked losing its mass appeal by charging readers online, given the web’s spotty history of extracting subscription fees from fickle online readers. Times digital chief Martin Nisenholtz led the free camp, while executive editor Bill Keller advocated for a paid model.
But now that it appears that web advertising–at least as its currently conceived–will never support the Times‘ ambitious journalism, the paper is seeking to build another source of revenue. The Times appears to have landed on a metered model similar to the Financial Times, where readers can sample a number of free articles before being asked to pony up for unlimited access.
You can read my full piece HERE: