We’ll be closely following the fallout from the Gray Lady’s decision (which went into effect on Monday) to charge readers for access to their loved/despised columnists (including D.C.’s Eye Street Murderer’s Row: Dowd, Brooks, Tierney, Friedman).
Although the assumption has always been that the NYT’s decision would simply spawn shadow sites that would replicate the columnist’s work for free, these sites aren’t proliferating as much (or at least as obviously) as originally thought. A Bob Herbert column mistakenly appeared on The Age’s (Australia) website but was quickly removed. Matt Drudge, whose Drudge Report website is a major gateway for all columnists, has removed links to all NYTimes columnists, except for, curiously, Paul Krugman, arguing that TimesSelect takes away the internet’s “innocence.” “I will yank the Times scribes if I can’t find other outlets that are planning to carry them,” Drudge has said.
Certainly, it’s interesting to see if this decision makes the New York Times any profit. But, with a lack of shadow sites, it’ll be even more interesting if this leads to the NYT’s diminished influence. Jay Rosen shares his thoughts on the move here.
Any readers been able to find anything online?