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The New York Times' slow slide into irrelevance. [Dec. 1st, 2005|09:59 am]
Okrzyki, przyjaciel!
So ... maybe expecting everything on the internet to be 'Free' forever was unrealistic. But, the New York Times used to be one of the most influential media sites on the Internet. Now that they charge for certain things -- notably Op-Ed -- they've abdicated.

Each of their Op Ed writers I was only about 50% with -- Frank Rich and Maureen Dowd seem content mostly to parrot the liberal talking points a week after they've made the rounds on the blogs and Air America -- but Krugman is usually pretty good. And Safire, you had to read and refute every time his column appeared or you hadn't done your ideological calisthenics.

But now, you have to pay $50 a year to read them, and they're not worth it at least half the time. Would I pay $25/year? Maybe.

The real problem is making them pay-only means that they've checked out of the larger dialog on the Internet. Bloggers can't link to them any more, and many bloggers are as cheap as I am about the Times, so they're not even reading the Op Ed any more.

This comes on top of several years of episodes like Jayson Blair and Judy Miller. Between those two it's clear that there is some lack of editorial checks and balances at the Times, and even their hard news reporting has seemed pretty bland and rudderless. It comes down to this: we're losing the last truly serious national newspaper, just when we need it most.
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Comments:
From: keph
2005-12-01 05:38 pm (UTC)

i pretty much agree 100%, though i don't think i'd pay even $25 for to read their pay-content.

they seemed to truly fail to grasp how they were often set the dialog through their content. now that you can't link to it and it is closed off to many, they are really reducing their voice online. sorta like how salon has pretty much disappeared from much of the online debate. the big winners are the washington post. they seem to have been doing a better job of it for a while now anyhow.

as for the op-eds. they are pretty abmismal overall, especially when it comes to political topics (which is most the time), even krugman has lost most of his cred. he is approaching david brooks in his ability to say something that amost seems right until you break it down and see the fundimentally lack of intellectual honesty. he is certainly isn't as regular as Brooks in this, but he certainly seems to have comprised himself for political points rather than honest thinking more regularly than in the past (though i can't say i have read him much since it all went pay).

i am pretty much sticking with FT for my day to day paper.
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