Monkey Cage to Begin Charging NY Times Employees for Access

As many of you may know by now, last week the New York Times announced it would begin charging users for digital content. In an effort to walk that delicate line between raising revenue and avoiding alienating readers, the Times rolled out a complicated series of rules that involved different levels of free access to content depending on whether one accessed the Times online directly, via Google or Facebook, or through smartphones or tablet devices.

While we at The Monkey Cage are sympathetic to the needs of the NY Times to maintain financial viability in the digital era, the fact that the Times has indeed used our own free digital content in the past (see here, here, or here), we feel obligated to take the following actions in response. Starting on March 28th (and immediately for any Canadian NY Times employees), we will begin charging employees of the NY Times $29.99/month to access the electronic version of The Monkey Cage. However, in an effort not to alienate our core audience of NY Times employees, we will also implement the following modifications to this policy:

  • Times employees will retain unlimited access to content from Tucker and Voeten for free; premium content from Farrell, Gelman, and Sides will be limited to no more than 15 posts per month before charges apply.
  • Times employees who wish to leave comments on posts will be permitted to do so without charge, but only if the comments are essentially positive and invoke the words “insightful” or “counter-intuitive”.

We want to be clear that these steps are in no way intended to deter NY Times employees from accessing The Monkey Cage; indeed, we wish nothing more than to remind employees at the NY Times that we truly value your readership and look forward to bringing you the world’s finest blogging every day.

11 Responses to Monkey Cage to Begin Charging NY Times Employees for Access

  1. Chris Gaun March 20, 2011 at 5:32 pm #


  2. Andrew Gelman March 20, 2011 at 8:31 pm #


    Although I post at 538, I’m officially a Times freelancer, not an employee. So do I have permission to read my own premium contact without paying?

  3. ploeg March 20, 2011 at 10:44 pm #

    Umm… I wouldn’t want to leave the impression that I wouldn’t pay top dollar to read my own premium content. Just a thought.

  4. Vance Maverick March 20, 2011 at 10:45 pm #

    Andrew, I recommend paying up front, then waiting for the Monkey Cage legal department to clear up your claim to a waiver of payment.

  5. rosmar March 20, 2011 at 10:58 pm #

    This is hilarious.

  6. Irreverend Moon March 21, 2011 at 2:23 am #


  7. Ben March 21, 2011 at 5:32 am #

    How about a reverse paywall where you pay me to read Tucker’s stuff?

  8. Andrew Gelman March 21, 2011 at 10:12 am #


    We’ve been toying with the idea of trading Josh to Tucker Carlson’s site so that all the Tuckers can be in the same place. But we’re not sure what we can get in return. So far, all they’ve offered us is a righty with control problems and a pundit to be named later.

  9. Joshua Tucker March 21, 2011 at 2:49 pm #

    @Ben: I thought that was what Twitter was for — you mean most people don’t pay their followers?? I’ll have to revisit my business model…

  10. Judith Shapiro March 22, 2011 at 12:21 pm #

    The expectation that quality content should be completely free reflects an out-of-control sense of entitlement. Somehow I feel that those behind your movement can afford to pay – many, I am sure, may earn quite a bit more than journalists, including those who risk their lives to keep us informed about the world.

  11. Andrew Gelman March 22, 2011 at 2:32 pm #


    I can’t speak for my cobloggers on this, but I actually do subscribe to the newspaper.