May 16, 2005

Bad Idea, Times

Starting in September, the New York Times will begin charging a $50/year fee for access to the op-ed page, in addition to certain other popular features. Call it 43rd Street's version of ESPN Insider.

This is a bad, bad idea. Not only will it eliminate the popular "most e-mailed stories" parlor game, but it will reduce the Times' influence, by both directing fewer eyeballs to their content, and by making it more difficult for bloggers to link. The NYT already represents the "New York media elite" in most people's minds; now they're making sure no one BUT the media elite reads it.

On the other hand, anything that reduces Maureen Dowd's readership and/or influence can't be all that bad.

UPDATE: Ross Douthat makes the same argument, all the while impersonating Tom Friedman.

Posted by Stephen Silver at May 16, 2005 06:10 PM
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