N.Y. Times Paywall

The New York Times paywall will be helpful in keeping local and international news circulating.

For years, newspapers have made every effort to weather through the demands of the highly advanced Internet age, and above all, the fluctuating print circulations and advertisers’ changeover from print to online media. The New York Times found an answer to the dilemma last year, and the proposed solution, a paywall, is about to get stronger.

In a venture to coax readers toward the online subscription strategy presented last March, the paper announced the paywall plan: the number of articles for free access would be condensed by half on NYTimes. com. Instead of the 20 free articles that were available each month, readers will now only be able to view 10. Many believe that the paywall is depriving readers of their right to information; however, in order for news to circulate,the paywall is desperately needed.

Over the past decade, printed newspapers have experienced a huge decline in readership. The rapid growth of smartphones and upgraded tablet computers have made the Internet the preferred choice for the majority of news consumers. According to the Project for Excellence in Journalism, a research organization that interprets the work of the press, online news consumption was increased by 17 percent. Consequently, print publications profits declined as few people subscribed to the newspaper and few business advertised.

The problem of free news access does not end there, however. Newspaper companies do not run for free; they obviously need to pay their staff for the tremendous amount of work a newspaper demands. If the publication does not have enough money to run prosperously, let alone pay its staff, there is a great possibility of bankruptcy. In a telephone survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & Press, 28 percent of the American people stated that the disappearance of the newspaper would greatly impact their ability to keep track of information. In essence, the newspaper is just another business that strives to generate profit by providing necessary goods to its customers. After the initiation of the paywall, the NY Times continues to surpass all expectations. The Times’ subscriptions accelerated 16 percent over 2011. Furthermore, the company has more than 530,000 paying digital subscribers, compared to the 100,000 from last April. The NY Times’ digital paywall is also assisting the digital business to promote a highly advanced revenue stream.

The reinforcement of the NY Times paywall should serve as an example to galvanize other newspaper companies into action. In fact, the Los Angeles Times started a similar paywall in March 2012. Paying to read additional articles is fair. Newspapers need the money to keep sending out information to the people. If newspaper companies shut down because of financial deficits, worldwide Internet users will lose a valuable source of local and international news.