Thursday, September 22, 2005

News from the New York Times

Mikaela says:
Access to news and opinion just got more expensive. The New York Times on-line has just instituted "TimesSelect," requiring a yearly $49.95 subscription fee for Op-Ed columns, business, and sports pages. Subscribers will also get exclusive opportunities to "engage" with columnists in video interviews and Web-only postings. All news, features, editorials and analysis will remain free, as will interactive graphics, multimedia and popular video minutes.

But before you get too bummed out (since I know many of us will choose NOT to pay this little tax on information), be aware that the quality of news in the Times may go down soon anyway (maybe because some of us, like yours truly, don't pay for news service? Don't they make enough off ads? Educate me, here, somebody!).

This from today's Democracy Now headlines:

NY Times to Lay-Off Hundreds of Workers
The New York Times Company announced that it plans to lay-off 500 workers in coming months--that's 4 percent of its workforce. The announcement came just hours after the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Philadelphia Daily News announced a planned buyout of 15 percent of its newsroom staff. The New York Times newspaper will cut 250 jobs, including 45 newsroom employees. The company's New England Media Group, which includes the Boston Globe, will lose about 160 jobs, including 35 in the Globe newsroom. The rest of the cuts will be made in other parts of the company, including its smaller regional papers and radio and television stations.

So this leaves even more need for local papers to step up and fill the void. Or bloggers, since it's really the Op-Ed columns for which I personally will be lamenting the loss. The difference between bloggers and columnists in my mind is a vital one: columnists get paid to do research and therefore have accountability. Bloggers? You get what you pay for.

Hmm... does that mean I should pay for the Times? Dammit!