Say That Again

by Mike Masnick


Filed Under:
arthur sulberger jr., paywall

Companies:
ny times



NY Times In Denial: Only Teens & The Unemployed Will Game The Paywall

from the emperor-has-no-clothes dept

It's really quite incredible how deeply in denial folks in the upper management at the NY Times appear to be about the paywall. In the last few days I've received some communications from some NYT staffers who seem to agree that the paywall itself is ridiculous, and is a backwards looking policy. As many have noted, the whole thing seems like a case of the Emperor's New Clothes anyway, since it's incredibly easy to avoid the paywall, either with some simple javascript or by just visiting from elsewhere. And yet, NYT publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. appears to be in complete denial about all of this, claiming that only teenagers and the unemployed will bother to game the system.
"Can people go around the system?" Sulzberger, the Timesís publisher, asked at a roundtable discussion hosted by the Paley Center for Media this morning. "The answer is yes, just as if you run down Sixth Avenue right now and you pass a newsstand and you grab a newspaper and keep running, you can read the Times for free."

"Is it going to be done by the kind of people who value the quality of the New York Times reporting and opinion and analysis? No," he continued. "I don't think so. It'll be mostly high-school kids and people who are out of work."
This appears to be someone deeply in denial. First of all, even if it is just done by high schoolers, those high schoolers will grow up. And never subscribe. But, more importantly, he's just wrong. Yes, some people will pay, but many, many, many people who are both adults and employed, will simply avoid the paywall completely.

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Kansas Coward, 24 Mar 2011 @ 1:30pm

    Re: #10

    "So what you're saying is that they are ignoring the pirates, since they can't do anything about them anyway, and focusing on customers that want to pay them.
    And you're harping on them for this."

    Obviously, he's harping on their dependence on a stupid and doomed solution and their denial of reality.

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