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Won't have Paul Krugman to kick around anymore?

No, don't get your hopes up; he hasn't been fired. Rather, the New York Times has decided to hide him from the gentle criticism of the blogosphere. And it's not just him:

The New York Times announced today a new online offering called TimesSelect, which for a modest fee will provide exclusive access to Op-Ed and news columnists on NYTimes.com, easy and in-depth access to The Times's online archives, early access to select articles on the site, as well as other exciting features.

While most of the news, features and multi-media on NYTimes.com will remain free and available to users, the work of Op-Ed columnists and some of the best known voices from the news side of The Times and The International Herald Tribune (IHT) will be available only to TimesSelect subscribers beginning in September.

Hmm. Interesting. As I understand it -- and I'm certainly not an expert on web economics -- advertising dollars on the web are making a big comeback. And yet the Times chooses now to cut off some of its content?

Anyway, I wonder what this means for blogging. The first step in a trend of shutting down our raw material? Probably not. I doubt many media outlets, other than the Times, would be able to justify charging readers for web access. In fact, I'm not sure that the Times will be able to do it, either. I mean, I like bashing Krugman and wondering what the heck Maureen Dowd is babbling about as much as the next guy, but I surely can't justify spending $50/year to do it. (Not that I have to, exactly; as a print subscriber, I apparently will still get access. But it's difficult to blog about something you can't link to. I'm always annoyed when someone blogs a story in the Wall Street Journal, for instance.)

I wonder what the over/under is on how long the Times gives this experiment. A year? Then they realize that readers have noticed that Bob Herbert and Frank Rich don't give you anything you can't read in a million other newspapers, for free.


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It's been a rough couple of days. Not Quite Perfect's fractal art has been a great pick me up. She's celebrating her first anniversary of blogging. The New York Times apparently is once again going to restrict even more of... [Read More]


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