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15 Amazing Facts About the New York Times Site And Why It’s Not Worth $15 A Month

April 1, 2011

(via the Huffington Post and Someecards)

This week for the first time The New York Times began charging online readers for full access to its website. At $15 dollars a month ($180 a month) you can search all the NY Times content to your heart’s content. Well… unless you’d like to enjoy that content on your tablet computer or through your smart-phone application that costs extra.

As a journalism major and a lover of newspapers and print journalists I understand and appreciate the need for news-sites to gain revenue. You can’t pay staff or provide the kind of investigate journalism that only print sources can provide without it. My concern lies with the seemingly exuberant prices the site has started with. Something that was primarily free is now almost two hundred dollars a month for me to access at will—that’s a lot. And yes, I’ve read Nate Silver’s account of what it takes to be leader in news and I respect his mostly neutral take on the issue.

Regardless my biggest concern with the new metered payment option is that the site itself hasn’t upgraded in any way. Unlike news-sites like the Boston Globe which are slowly changing integral elements of their sites the New York Times is simply offering it’s same content and charging for it.

In my opinion the NY Times could do better and I know because it has before. In an effort to encourage the Times to go further than it has before as far as content and web savvy I’ve list 15 of my greatest Times memories.

  1. Interactive and Informative content. Do you remember the NY Times balance the budget puzzle in November of 2010. Not only did it become great fodder in which to illustrate our biggest budget woes, but it was also incredibly fun.
  2. Nate Silver began hosting his blog FiveThirtyEight on the Times site in June of 2010 and so my data-induced crush on Silver grew even more.
  3. In March of 2009 our greatest fears and surprising hopes regarding the economy were revealed when the paper created a thought flow chart of people’s perceptions.
  4. This gorgeous look at the city of New York and its occupants from 2009.
  5. The Taxi Traffic Tracker from last April which explains why it’s basically impossible to catch a taxi at Saturday at 3am in NY.
  6. 2009’s geeky look at Inauguration speeches.
  7. This cool calculator that still shows if it’s ultimately cheaper to buy or rent your current pad.
  8. One of my favorite resources at the time (2007 to be exact) this chart showed the regional costs and care differences during the beginnings of the health care debate
  9. When the texting while driving laws were being debate was going on in 2009 the Tech selection of the Times came up with this fun game meant to test a drivers distraction levels.
  10. This data heavy chart filled with immigration numbers from across the country is
  11. This candidate updated schedule graph which for all you stalkers-and I do mean stalkers- must have come in handy .
  12. March’s look on how nuclear reactors meltdown.
  13. Kind of a cheat, but an earlier and informative look at what storing spent fuel means for the public.
  14. These recent satellite photos from the crisis in Japan along with commentary.
  15. This week’s Rock-Paper-Scissors Game You Vs. the Computer

Like their twitter profile claims the NY Times is often where conversations begin which I hope they continue in even more interactive and creative ways—especially if they’d like me to pay for it. To learn more about other takes on the NY Times pay model check out Steve Outing’s site, PaidContent, and Media Gazer.

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