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”.
- Times employees are entitled to unlimited access to The Monkey Cage via links from Ezra Klein, Andrew Sullivan, or Forbes Magazine.
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.