Monday, April 4, 2011

The gamble of the New York Times

I must inform you I have subscribed to the new digital offer of the New York Times. Now, lets see why I jumped into the pit. There are several reasons, good or bad, we'll see later. 1- I am a compulsive user of the web site of the grey lady and obviously, 20 articles for free per month was too limited for my greed of international news, opinions, book reviews and more. 2- The initial offer of the NYT was quite cheap: 11 dollars or 8 euros for illimited use on my computer and I-phone for 4 months. I know it will go up in 12 months but I could not wait. 3- I know that nerds can get for free through Google, social networks or various gimmicks, all they want to read in the NYT but it takes time and a Web acumen I don't share. When I want to reach quickly the very last news on Lybia, I don't enjoy maneuvering through the networks. Last but not least, as a newspaperman myself, I strongly believe that you cannot deliver news for ever, for free. For information lovers, the economic situation of one of the best world dailies is a permanent worry. Where the NYT will find the money to finance 1000 journalists who cover just everything happening in the world? The answer is simple. People will have to pay.
Still, the new system is not easy to grasp and it remains to see whether readers will follow up. If the NYT earns half a million of subscribers, the world over, the gamble will pay off. If not, we shall move even more quickly towards a two level information organization: a free news delivery, fast and superficial and a sophisticated one, very expensive for a minority of top executives.