In the near future, we cannot read New York Times‘ articles freely online anymore. New York Times will charge for access to the web site. It will be likely to adopt the metered system in which people can read the limited number of articles freely before they decide to be subscribers. The final decision will come in days, and New York Times will start charging for its content within months.
The reason why the Times abolishes its free contents is due to declines of advertising that was brought by financial crisis since last year. Gabriel Sherman said, in “New York Times Ready to Charge Online Readers,” “The view was that the Times needed to make the leap to some form of paid content and it needed to do it now.” Some newspapers have already stopped their publications because of the similar reason.
At this point, one question arises. Are the aspect of business and that of journalism consistent together at the same time in a journalism field? Unlike any other companies, journalism companies such as New York Times have to contribute to public to let them know facts and to give them debates of current topics in an effective way. Also, those firms need to make profits as a company. These two standards sometimes are opposed. Which should have priority, a business aspect or journalism aspect.
The answer is not still obvious. That is why most of media companies is struggling to find the best way to make those standards together. Now, New York Times are about to begin new trial, and the result of this will be known soon after its attempt, which is to charge for access the Times‘ contents online. It may be successful, and it may fail. The important thing is to make a course correction after failing.