Good News

Making my regular check of news on The New York Times web site today I was greated by some good news.  NYT’s TimesSelect premium online news service has been discontinued as of today:

Since we launched TimesSelect in 2005, the online landscape has altered significantly. Readers increasingly find news through search, as well as through social networks, blogs, and other online sources. In light of this shift, we believe offering unfettered access to New York Times reporting and analysis best serves the interest of our readers, our brand, and the long-term vitality of our journalism.

We encourage everyone to read our news and opinion – as well as share it, link to it and comment on it. Our highest priority is to increase the reach and impact of our journalism online. The Times’s Op-Ed and news columns are now available free of charge, along with Times File and News Tracker. In addition, The New York Times online Archive is now free back to 1987 for all of our readers. 

When it was introduced in 2005 I was very unhappy about this “walling off” of certain content.  Now, I understand news organizations need to make money to keep doing what they do, and that newspapers are particularly hard-pressed these days.  However, they seem to have recognized that providing “premium content” was not an effective model in an information world that is, to paraphrase Times’ columnist Thomas L. Friedman, increasingly flat.

While I have been able to get access to my favorite columnists through an electronic archive and only a couple of days after their appearance in the paper (or on the NYT web site), it just wasn’t the same.  No doubt there will be more advertising, but I’m okay with that.  After all, the ads don’t keep me from reading the rest of the paper, and it won’t stop me from reading it online, either.

Thank you, New York Times.  Good move.

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One thought on “Good News

  1. I wondered how they could keep up the “premium content” approach, given that I could almost always Google a phrase from the “teaser” and find the full text elsewhere. Thanks for passing along this info, Tony.

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