At 3:02 p.m. today, I opened my e-mail inbox. A subject line immediately caught my eye from the NYTimes.com News Alert - "The Times to Charge for Frequent Access to Its Website". (Yes, I have the The New York Times delivered to my inbox around the clock since I subscribe, duh). My heart skipped a beat. The Times? As in, The New York Times?
I quickly clicked the message open.
"Starting in early 2011, visitors to NYTimes.com will get a certain number of articles free every month before being asked to pay a flat fee for access."
Oh goodness. My heart died a little when I read that. So my paranoia was right.
"The New York Times announced Wednesday that it intended to charge frequent readers for access to its Web site, a step being debated across the industry that nearly every major newspaper has so far feared to take."
Certainly. Yes, I've always contemplated about the future for newspapers, and I certainly have always sensed that newspapers would find ways to deal with their situation. But...I never quite expected that, well, it'd come down to this, The New York Times, my most beloved newspaper...
After digesting the article, many thoughts immediately came to mind...
The first was something along the lines of, "Oh my goodness! What am I going to do after this?! How will I be able to religiously read the paper (online) after this happens?" And the second was a slow, sad realization--that this was perhaps a necessary measure taken by The Times. And then, I realized that if this was what it took to salvage a newspaper, so be it--I'm happy they've decided on something to address the problem, though I can't say for certain that I believe it's the solution.
We'll see how things go from here on out--I wouldn't be surprised if other newspapers followed The New York Times's lead.