Technology, and a defense of the printed newspaper.

So you now have to pay to read the New York Times online. That is, if you read it a lot online. And you go to it directly, instead of following links to articles. Or something like that. I won't pretend I read the whole breakdown. But it seems inevitable and even reasonable to me, especially with the way it's set up, which I have heard described as more of a pay fence than a pay wall.

My wife and I subscribe to the paper edition, as we got an introductory deal which meant that daily home delivery worked out cheaper than buying the Sunday paper every week (which is what I was doing - plus I'd often buy it at least one other day to read on the train or something, cos I don't have an Ipad, and I hate squinting at a mobile phone screen). The price will go up when our 12 week offer runs out, but then we'll probably just juggle the subscription to a weekend delivery or something, which will still be cheaper than buying it on the news stand on Sunday and also give us unlimited digital access. If we didn't live within spitting distance of NYC then I wonder if we would still subscribe...

Anyway, this rambling explanation of my news consuming habits has a point. Yesterday I was reading the paper on the train. The business section to be exact. Now, I rarely check out the business news when I read the NY Times online, but in it's physical form, I at least flick though and scan every single page of every single section. And here's the thing, I discovered 3 articles in the business section relating to, in turn, long-form online journalism, social media & activism and online mapping, all of which I found interesting and all of which I would probably have missed had I been only using the website. Online, I often am looking for something specific, rather than browsing. Only if someone recommends an article to me, or if it's on the front page of the website, or linked to from an article I am reading, will I check it out. Never will I go through every new published article online. And this is habit, and my defense of the printed page. Now I fully expect the printed edition of newspapers to become less than daily not far into the future, but until then, I will continue to pick up the paper, and scan every page, and discover some gems I may have missed.

Oh, and those articles? Here, here, and here. Enjoy.


1 comment:

Gustav said...

Agree, print on paper is still great for the reasons you mention (plus I take it with me in the bathtub); read both the daily paper and the TLS on paper still, and would not want to leave them. Just wish newspapers would move towards longer texts, and return to the large broadsheet format used befor, at least here in Sweden they're all tabloid now, even the high-quality ones.

/Gustav.