Monday, March 7, 2011

The Grim Future of The New York Times

The New York Times almost went bankrupt in 2009. That year proved to be tragic to the print media as over 100 newspapers closed down. Readers are refusing to pay for subscriptions to papers where irresponsible, lazy journalists publish their unintelligent, badly digested and clumsily worded opinions which they try to sell to us as news. When I need information, I don't go to newspapers. I go to the Internet where intelligent, well-informed bloggers offer me a wealth of facts accompanied by intelligent analysis completely for free. Of course, there is a lot of rubbish floating around online but as soon as you find a list of blogs and websites you like, you will never need to purchase the silly lies sold to you by the print media.

In view of this wealth of information people can now find for free online, The New York Times decided to make access to its content. . . more difficult. More and more articles now require that one register before getting access to them. This policy is part of the newspaper's plan to make its online readers pay annual fees for reading The New York Times

Twice today I followed a link to an article in The New York Times only to be told that I need to register before I'm given access to it. In my experience, this newspaper isn't even worth 2 minutes it would take to register, let alone the money they want me to pay for reading it. Instead of improving its content, firing Ross Douthat and avoiding hiring losers who can't read their own credit card statements to report on finance, NY Times tries to save itself from impending bankruptcy by getting people who are used to getting their information for free online to pay up. All this will do is hasten the newspaper's demise. And good riddance, too.


Rimi said...

"All this will do is hasten the newspaper's demise."

Not just yet. The NYT has immense cultural capital to draw on. Just like The Economist, which also prints largely rubbish (rubbish by my standards, anyway). We'll see how this plays out.

On a completely unrelated note, I've been meaning to ask you, as a fellow crime fiction enthusiast, where you stand on Agatha Christie. I've been re-reading her entire canon right now, and oddly, I find her completely outdated attitudes -- from class differences to education for the masses to gender psychologies to her condescending contempt of socialism/communism very very refreshing. And I'm also interested in the immense success of her works despite these problems in her writing, because they're very telling of the popular ideologies of her time.

This is the second time I've asked you to read and review a book, and I have a feeling that given your strong convictions you may not enjoy Christie, but if you do a post would be rather fun.

Clarissa said...

I LOVE LOVE LOVE Agatha Christie. And she is not as anti-everything I believe in as one might think at a first glance.

Tell me which novel by Christie you want me to review and I will do it. I will be my gift to you for the International Women's Day. :-)

Rimi said...

Oh, aren't you precious! Thank you :-)

I can't pick one. I just can't. I could either opt for the ones I genuinely like (After the Funeral, Dead Man's Folly, And Then There Were None, Curtains: Poirot's Last Case) or the ones that really are quite bad, or are good stories but a bit of a stretch logically (Passenger to Frankfurt, yuck; The Big Four, again rather turesome after a point, though I immensely enjoyed the encounters with Number Four; Sleeping Murder, Crooked House, Nemesis, The ABC murders).

Or you could compare M. Poirot and Miss Marple, because I notice most Christies I really like (and not just moderately like) are Poirots, and a lot that I find suspect are Miss Marples. But I really do enjoy Miss Marple as a character a great deal! Tommy/Tuppence and Parker Pyne, really not so much.

P.S: I think I'll return to blogging with a post on cross-cultural views on ageing, since you really did seem interested. Think of it as a return gift :-)

Rimi said...

Oh and just so you know, I think Christie was a brilliant reader of the public opinion. The Big Four or N or M, not quite 'it' as far as plot or even writing goes, were nonetheless big hits because they captured and played on the popular sentiments of the time: anti-Communism, fear and hatred of the Germans AND the Soviets, a national persecution complex about 'naturalised' foreign spies out to get England, the democratic and honest, but slightly bluff image of the sterling Englishman (as opposed to the slithery cunning of those horribly slimy Russians or those brutal and fascist Germans), and right down to the daily miseries of eating because of rationed food. I don't think her ow convictions are reflected in her writings, but her writing as stand-alone texts reflect a great deal of contemporary attitudes that later audiences would see as "problems".

Clarissa said...

We have a very similar vision of Christie. I could have written your last comment myself.

So I think I will review Curtains (which I never read because I didn't want to get upset over Poirot dying) and The Moving Finger which is a Miss Marple mystery that I don't remember if I read at all.

This way I will be able to compare the Poirot and the Miss Marple books.

Yay! I finally have an excuse to read some Christie novels. :-)

Great idea for your return to blogging post.

Rimi said...

Oh my, Curtains is a MUST read. The Moving Finger is again an excellent example of what I think of as Christie's 'gender psychologies'. In case you haven't the books handy or they're not at your local library, you can read them here:

I recommend it to everyone else who would like to read some Christie for free :-)

el said...

Have you read "Agatha Christie: An Autobiography" by her? I LOVED it and most likely it's the best thing she has ever written. My mother was delighted to read it too (in Russian). If you like her writing and haven't read it yet, give it a try. Would be interested to your review of this great book.

Anonymous said...


What sites/blogs do you like to read/recommend for news? I understand that nowadays there is no unbiased news, but what would be a good place to start?


Canukistani said...

Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.

According to an article on, the following occurred on Feb 9, 1950:

“Joseph Raymond McCarthy, a relatively obscure Republican senator from Wisconsin, announces during a speech in Wheeling, West Virginia, that he has in his hand a list of 205 communists who have infiltrated the U.S. State Department. The unsubstantiated declaration, which was little more than a publicity stunt, suddenly thrust Senator McCarthy into the national spotlight.”

In an article by Laurie Goodstein in the New York Times on March 7, 2011, Brigitte Gabriel made the following statement:

“America has been infiltrated on all levels by radicals who wish to harm America,” she said. “They have infiltrated us at the C.I.A., at the F.B.I., at the Pentagon, at the State Department. They are being radicalized in radical mosques in our cities and communities within the United States.”

We know where this is going but does the NYT?