The needler in the haystack.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

You will now pay for the NYTimes online, even if it is garbled


Plainfielders who read the New York Times online will be face with a paywall that went into effect on the newspaper's website yesterday (see letter from the publisher here).

The new paywall had a 'soft launch' in Canada a couple of weeks ago -- presumably so wrinkles could be ironed out before hitting the much larger U.S. readership, which began yesterday afternoon.

Basically, readers will be allowed access to TWENTY stories per month at no charge. They are also supposed to be able to read stories which are sent to them as emails or links by others (meaning, hopefully, that any links I send you in CLIPS would give you access to a free article).

We'll see how all this goes; this is the second time the Times has tried a paywall. The last was abandoned ignominiously when execution problems cropped up and readership plummeted.

Meanwhile, as all this was simmering, I was reading the Sunday Times (which I make last most of the week -- think Chinese takeout as the metaphor) yesterday, and came across a bit of garbled journalism that I will now be asked to pay for digitally, as well as dead-tree.

In a story by Ben Zimmer on page 2 of the 'Week In Review' section about the tussle between Microsoft, Apple and Amazon over who can 'own' the word APPSTORE, the author, who is chairman of the American Dialect Society's 'new words' committee, overreached for a metaphor, with amusing results.

Noting that Microsoft had quoted Zimmer in announcing 'app' the Dialect Society's 'word of the year' for 2010, he added --

"That ended up being another quiver in Microsoft's bow, demonstrating how widespread the terms 'app' and 'app store'  had become." [Emphasis added, DD]
How's that again?

Anyone who, even in high school gym, has ever slotted the notch of an arrow onto the bowstring before shooting at the target knows that the ARROWS are kept IN THE QUIVER, which is slung over one's shoulder and not kept 'in the bow'.

Which only goes to show that the fee you will be paying does not include having copy editors on the staff, a breed which seems to have died out about a decade ago.

Or, as they say, 'Get used to it'.



-- Dan Damon [follow]

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2 comments:

Dwayne said...

Unfortunately, it's the sign of the times today. The publishing world has been slammed with competition, rising costs, and reduced advertising. Many newsletters, who used to base a good portion of their operating revenue on classifieds, which now has been replaced by Craiglist and other online sites, are forced to shutter. Paper is more expensive, however readers obtain the bulk of the their content online.

To your point, sign of the times. We can now use the "third screen" (mobile)to access news and information.

On the positive side, more content for us! In addition to bloggers such as yourself (and anyone else who has the diligence to stay current), media companies are pushing the envelop to create new content distribution platforms, so we consumers can aggregate the content we want and need.

Gotta love progress!!

Anonymous said...

I was on the Princeton Campus two weeks ago. There were student made banners for an on campus theatrical event. The music was by: "Rodger & Hammerstein." At $50K a semester I'd hope for better. I have gotten to know Seth who is the online editor at The NY Times, because I am always writing him with corrections. Ah, but I am the unemployed one. It's the speeding up and dumming down of America.