Surprise: NY Times Doesn't Think Osama Bin Laden's Death Warrants Taking Down The Paywall

from the it's-a-monthly-thing dept

This is kind of bizarre. The folks over at the Nieman Lab have pointed out that when the NY Times launched its paywall, one of the things they said was that in the event of a "9/11-like" story, they can push a button and pull down the paywall to make sure everyone had access to the news. And yet... the head honchos at the NY Times decided not to do so for the news of Osama Bin Laden's death. The argument for why really makes very little sense. They basically say that since it happened on May 1st, and the "counter" for how many free stories people get per month just reset to zero, there wasn't much of a point. Except, now that means that those same people will hit the limit much earlier if they scanned some of the stories. In other words, the incentive, yet again, was for people to find the news elsewhere. It's really difficult to fathom why the NY Times is so infatuated with driving people to other sites.


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    Anonymous Coward, May 3rd, 2011 @ 2:11pm

    Doesn't make a lot of sense does it?

    There's another site on the net called drudge. Every Sunday I guess one of the staff at NYT's puts in a link that goes straight to the firewall. Now I could paste in the title within the hour and find a link on the net to bypass the firewall but why bother. If I got to do that, just as well read it at another site too.

     

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    Kaden (profile), May 3rd, 2011 @ 2:20pm

    Shhhh

    Dummy up...If you don't point out how stupid they're being, they'll keep on being stupid.

    File under: 'Go lemmings go'.


    Ack... who am I tryin' to kid... they're gonna keep on being stupid regardless. Carry on.

     

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    Aaron Von Gauss, May 3rd, 2011 @ 2:26pm

    What's the problem?

    I don't see what the problem is, if they want to try and set up a pay wall and make everyone a subscriber - more power to them. Will I subscribe? Doubtful.

     

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    E. Zachary Knight (profile), May 3rd, 2011 @ 2:32pm

    The Tulsa World recently introduced a paywall system to their website. Readers are only allowed 10 free reads in a month. The paywall is actually constructed better than the NYTimes as it doesn't even have the content of the articles on the page unless you are logged in to a paying account.

    I get frustrated with it every time I try to read something, so I have decided to instead look elsewhere.

    As for the NY times, I haven't been to their site in ages and will probably never go for the same reason.

     

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    Javascript Blocker, May 3rd, 2011 @ 2:42pm

    What paywall?

     

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      DannyB (profile), May 4th, 2011 @ 7:35am

      Re:

      Boy: Do not try to avoid the paywall, for that is impossible. Only try to realize the truth.

      Neo: the truth?

      Boy: there is no paywall.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, May 4th, 2011 @ 11:56am

      Re:

      I have heard the rumours about the existence of this paywall. I guess my IP changes so often I've never encountered it.

       

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    lostalaska (profile), May 3rd, 2011 @ 3:13pm

    Devils Advocate, really... I'm not Trolling.

    Just playing the devils advocate here not meaning to be a Troll. NYTimes probably would only be willing to take down the paywall if there were major attacks on our nation (i.e. 9/11). Not for finding and killing the man accused of being behind the attacks.

    Now with that said, I'll just sit and wait for the Times to die a slow and agonizing death as their content suffocates behind that joke of a paywall. Funny thing is with their paywall in place I don't think anyone would even really consider using the NYTimes as their goto place for news during a crisis unless you're one of hundreds (or is it dozens) with an account. The rest of us have pretty easily found other solid resources for our news, which we would go to first.

     

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      PRMan, May 3rd, 2011 @ 5:12pm

      Re: Devils Advocate, really... I'm not Trolling.

      "And yet... the head honchos at the NY Times decided not to do so for the news of Osama Bin Laden's death. "

      The Emergency Broadcast System was not used on 9/11 either... I'm not sure when an "actual emergency" is going to happen, but they're still waiting... Lots of false alarms, though.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, May 3rd, 2011 @ 3:49pm

    I don't understand TD's obsession with covering the gritty details of NYT's paywall tickmarks?

    I understand reviewing numbers on at most a biannual basis, but this story is fairly self-explanatory. The results are fairly self-explanatory.

    If in fact this impacts their numbers, they'll either adjust policy, or they won't, but why does this news in particular matter? Is it because you don't want an institution to fail? Because you do?

     

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      Rikuo (profile), May 3rd, 2011 @ 4:23pm

      Re:

      I guess its because Mike Masnick is a big believer in business adapting to the times i.e. in business realising that in the digital age, any media that can be infinitely replicated for basically nothing (text, sound, pictures, video) has their value shot to zero. The New York Times is one of those big companies, rich and powerful, but unless it realizes its in the digital age, it will lose.
      Also, I suppose even Masnick can't resist going "I told ya so" all the time ^^

       

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      Anonymous Coward, May 3rd, 2011 @ 6:01pm

      Response to: Anonymous Coward on May 3rd, 2011 @ 3:49pm

      I don't understand why you keep reading stories about the NYT paywall when it so obviously causes you such pain.

      Sorry, couldn't help feeding it.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, May 4th, 2011 @ 1:35am

      Re:

      I don't understand TD's obsession with covering the gritty details of NYT's paywall tickmarks?

      Which is no requirement for TD to continue unabated.

       

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      DannyB (profile), May 4th, 2011 @ 7:34am

      Re:

      I don't understand NYT's obsession with paywalls.

      I very much understand TD's reason for understanding why it will fail, and then covering the fail in progress.

       

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    Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), May 3rd, 2011 @ 4:00pm

    Maybe they didn't see the point...

    considering the paywall's sieve-like qualities.

    "HOLY HELL! Bin Laden has been killed! Drop the paywall and let everyone... oh... you're here already... um... ...

    As you were, then.

    Oh, this story reads better on actual paper, so try that."

     

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      Nom du Clavier (profile), May 3rd, 2011 @ 6:08pm

      Re: Maybe they didn't see the point...

      considering the paywall's sieve-like qualities.
      I just figured out how the paywall can make the NYT money: Use those sieve-like qualities to win the RSA challenge.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, May 3rd, 2011 @ 4:31pm

    how many stories do we need about the nytimes trying to make money

     

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      abc gum, May 3rd, 2011 @ 5:10pm

      Re:

      The NYT might be better off if they earn money rather than make money. The latter can result in a visit to PMITA prison.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, May 3rd, 2011 @ 9:52pm

      Re:

      Well, I'd be happy with one story. All I've seen so far is the NYTimes trying to lose money.

       

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      DannyB (profile), May 4th, 2011 @ 7:36am

      Re:

      These are not stories about the NYT trying to make money.

      They are stories about the NTY's failure to understand the business it is in and how the world is changing.

       

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    blaktron (profile), May 3rd, 2011 @ 5:02pm

    Did anyone even go to NYtimes.com for that news this time around?

    I know I sure didnt. I thought about it, thought of the paywall and went to CNN.com and CSPAN for my news.

     

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      DannyB (profile), May 4th, 2011 @ 7:39am

      Re: Did anyone even go to NYtimes.com for that news this time around?

      Ditto.

      Not only is CNN news free, but CNN even has an Android app (for free) that I can put on my phone (for free) so they can send me alerts (for free) of important news so I can read it immediately (for free).

      Why would I want to be abused by the NYT?

      Oh, because reporting is expensive and dangerous. I guess it must not be expensive and dangerous for CNN though.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, May 4th, 2011 @ 9:52am

      Re: Did anyone even go to NYtimes.com for that news this time around?

      I clear my cookies/flash settings at least once a week, so the paywall wouldn't impact me in any way period...

       

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    CommonSense (profile), May 3rd, 2011 @ 5:29pm

    But, but...

    This is exactly the type of valuable information that all those people are trying to say DOESN'T want to be free. This is the type of thing the people should WANT to pay for, because it's such good news...right? Maybe they're only taking down the wall for the big stories about bad news, because no one would pay to be depressed...but maybe to read something good!!

     

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    Paul Alan Levy (profile), May 4th, 2011 @ 8:34am

    9/11 type story?

    I understand the argument about the Times paywall, and I understand that Mike likes to find new hooks to repeat his argument.

    But with respect I am not so sure about the suggestion that the raid on bin Laden's compound is "a '9/11-like' story"

     

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