Times paywall

Recently the NY Times put their opinion columns behind a subscription-only “paywall” (that is – you have to pay a subscription fee to view the information). Of course, there are a few people who have paid the subscription fee, and then post on their blogs about their take on the article.

What this means is that the conversation continues regardless (of course), but the Times basically has no voice in it – the opinions that are published outside the paywall are the ones that get traction, while the Times’ articles almost become a secondary player, even though they originated the content.

And in some sense the Times has lost the “right-of-reply” because all of their stuff is hidden – from Google, from the blogs, from the general public – the (non-paying) public has to trust the people commenting on the original article and any response from the Times’ (in the form of follow-up articles) is lost.

Apart from all the issues with the subscription process, and the issues of information inequality (people who can pay the subscription vs. those who can’t), this seems like a lost opportunity for the Times to maintain it’s status in the changing media landscape.