Sunday, September 25, 2005

"Why Am I Not Reading It?" "... Because... I Haven't Given It To You Yet?"

Recently, the NY Times did something incredibly stupid: They put some of their content, including all of their columnists, behind a pay-wall. The reason this is stupid was pointed out on a blog -- I wish I could remember where I saw it -- the gist of which is, it's through their editorial section that any newspaper, and especially the Times, can influence the public dialogue. By preventing internet readers from reading the columns of Krugman, Brooks, Herbert, Tierney, Dowd, and Friedman unless they pony up fifty bucks a year, they remove them from a large part of the international conversation, effectively constraining them only to those who can physically get a copy of the Times.

Unless, of course, you're willing to wait a few days, when the columns are syndicated to sources which don't charge. Which is the idea behind Never Pay Retail.

I would have loved to see Krugman and Rich and Herbert all say, "Screw you guys - I want to get my message out," and go over to WaPo, or start blogs, or... something.
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