David Weinberger provides a good analysis of why the New York Times putting its editorial writers behind a paywall is a bad move: Joho the Blog: The NY Times world of pain.
I just heard (!) that the Times is going to start charging $50/year to read its op-ed columnists. (That will also get you access to their archives.) I feel their pain, even as I think it’s the wrong decision.
The Times is watching its value erode. Electronic distribution is only going to become a bigger part of the picture, its readership is exulting in the exposes of the failures of the MSM to provide full and accurate coverage — the real story about the Newsweek brouhaha is why we are so eager to hear about ways the MSM is failing — and the authority of The Times is being challenged by a new news architecture that denies the necessity of having gatekeepers at all. In this face of all this confusion, the Times has made some smart moves, including giving a backdoor to permalinks to its articles and moving towards dynamically building “topic pages” that aggregate info”
MSM stands for main stream media. This issue is relevant to MSAs as well (main stream associations).