Writer Splits From Murdoch's Times Of London To Avoid Being Hidden Behind The Paywall
from the get-out-while-the-getting's-good dept
With Rupert Murdoch’s The Times of London going behind a paywall, we’re already seeing some of their writers bailing out. A bunch of folks sent over the news that the writer of the Times’ legal blog, Tim Kevan, has set up shop on his own blog, outside of the paywall. He admits he has nothing against The Times for putting up a paywall, it’s just not something he wants to be a part of:
I have today withdrawn the BabyBarista Blog from The Times in reaction to their plans to hide it away behind a paywall along with their other content. Now don’t get me wrong. I have absolutely no problem with the decision to start charging. They can do what they like. But I didn’t start this blog for it to be the exclusive preserve of a limited few subscribers. I wrote it to entertain whosoever wishes to read it.
We’ve seen this before. Back when the NY Times had its old paywall around its op-ed columnists, there were plenty of stories of those columnists complaining about the lockdown. And, of course, when Newsday, in New York, put up its paywall (which infamously brought in just a few dozen subscribers), one of its top columnists quit, after publishing an open letter about why paywalls are a bad idea.
This does bring up yet another example of where paywalls can hurt. Even if they do get subscribers (a big if), it might not do much for a writer’s own reputation if his or her work can’t be read more widely. In an era where an individual’s reputation is pretty important in the journalism world, many good reporters and columnists might not want to get stuck in virtual obscurity behind a paywall.