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all the news fit to…be behind a paywall

March 17, 2011

Perhaps that’s a bit melodramatic, a bit of hyperbole. But today, the New York Times finally announced its intentions to make the newspaper giant a paid service. I can’t fault them for seeking to rectify a failed model—that being the modern newspaper. It’s simply failing to generate the necessary profit. But I deeply disagree with this being the appropriate means of tackling the issue.

Readership in the developing world, including those who may not be able to afford the $15 a month, will be harmed irreparably. They will be lost to the NYT, and the NYT lost to them. Millions, if not billions, rely on the newspaper for fast and accurate information. If the events of recent years, between Iran, Egypt, swine flu, earthquakes and what have you have proven anything, it’s that widely accessible and quality online content is simply priceless. In times of disaster or times of change, nothing beats it. They deliver the best news, hands down. I just would hate for their role in world affairs, in society, in everything, to be diminished. And for quality, breaking news to become harder to come by for those living under repressive regimes when it’s needed now more than ever before.

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