Tuesday, February 28, 2012

How to fail

The Lala Times, having seen the splendid success that the New York Times paywall has been (i.e., the NYT has gotten less than $1M worth of revenue out of it despite spending over $40M on it, and there's a *reason* to read the NYT, unlike the Lala TImes), has now decided that such a splendid success requires emulation. At which point I say, WTF? The LA Times is not a "Newspaper of Record". Their quality level has always been somewhere down around that of a major suburban newspaper. I mean, even the San Jose Murky News has better coverage of Los Angeles in many cases than the LaLa Times does! After all, they both get their news from the same place -- the AP news stringers. But the Murky doesn't chop the AP stories to confetti.

Baffling. Utterly baffling. It's like the entire newspaper industry has a death wish. At this point simply accessing AP directly would keep me better informed, because that's where all the content of the newspapers comes from anyhow, *not* chopped to shreds to fit some editor's notion that newspaper readers have the attention span of gnats (if that were true, we wouldn't buy newspapers, we'd just watch the evening news, DOH!).

Note that subscriptions have *never* covered the cost of publishing a newspaper -- at best subscriptions have defrayed the costs of delivering the newspaper to subscribers, but the actual content has always been paid for by advertising. The traditional business model of the newspaper industry is that the content's entire purpose is to bring in eyeballs to see the ads. Sort of the Google business model, now that I think about it. So why can Google execute on this, but not the newspapers, who *invented* this business model?

-- Badtux the "Brains! They need brains!" Penguin


  1. It is all part of the ploy, a symptom of the overall plan, the decimation of the local press then the outright monopolization of all information while the ghost of Orwell howls gleefully!

  2. Isn't it possible to get around the NYT "20 free atricles a month" restriction by clearing cookies from your computer? That way, they can't check on your usage via the cookies. Every now and then we bump up againat the limit at home, so it would be a good trick to know.

    There's a website that mirrors NYT op-ed columnists, so I can read Krugman and Blow there. But I haven't missed reading LESS of the Times because I see it as a reflection of what conventional "liberal" wisdom is. I don't care about the conventional propagandaview. I am mainly interested in the meta view of what it's saying about what the elite thinks. Mostly I read the NYT at work, where there are multiple screens to choose from, and for all I know, the firewall does not work for our hospital's system. I am not as smart as you about knowing how these things work, Tux.

  3. Froggy, mission accomplished. I see things happen every day that are newsworthy that aren't covered by the Murky News because they gutted their newsroom.

    Bukko, I don't read even 20 articles per month in the NYT so I wouldn't know. I usually get my news from one of the aggregators or from the Murky (to which I have a subscription, since it is my local paper). I would presume that it could be bypassed that easily, and/or by using an open proxy somewhere, but since I have no motivation to see for myself... (shrug).

  4. well, me and my fyi's - here's another - http://www.first-draft.com/2012/02/how-to-win-at-newspapering-just-do-your-job.html


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