Last week, the news came out that the NY Times was thinking about adding a subscription fee to their online version. At the time, we gave a bunch of reasons why it seemed like a backwards move that would only hasten the downfall of the newspaper. Long time technology and business reporter (even for the NYT) Michael S. Malone has written up a much more compelling explanation for why a subscription fee would kill the times, describing it as sacrificing "long-term influence to short-term profits." The problem is that the NY Times doesn't realize that influence is the currency of the news market these days, and closing yourself off actually decreases your influence significantly. In fact, he points out the funniest part about the NYT's thinking on the subject. Publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. complains that they can't "train" a generation of news readers to expect news for free. Malone points out how laughable it is that the NYTs thinks that they, alone, can train anyone on how they should read the news.
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