|The New York Times' slow slide into irrelevance.
||[Dec. 1st, 2005|09:59 am]
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.