Up, Up and Away?

The NYTimes is about to raise its prices again according to the Financial Times. The breaking point may have arrived. I justify spending $5 for the Sunday paper because it’s generally filled with material that inspires me. Just look at how often I link to stories here. It’s true that in recent years I’ve put down the Book Review and said, “Well that was a waste of ink and paper.” But it doesn’t happen more than once every couple of months, so I still justify the expense.

And I placate myself by saying I read it (or rather read the headlines and skim the stories) online during the rest of the week, but the experience is not nearly as satisfying.

A price hike at this point from $1.50  to $2 daily and $5 to $6 on Sunday would seem counter-intuitive. Papers are losing more and more readers because they give the content away free on the web. Charging more will no doubt drive more people away from the dead trees and ink model.

The Times management isn’t building much good will as it slashes and burns the Boston Globe. And its ethics should be under close scrutiny as it hugs Carlos Slim, the Mexican “mogul.”

One solution may be Kindle, though I’m not entirely ready to embrace ereaders. See “To Kindle or To Kindle 2.0?”  Super Kindle may solve a few concerns.

Daily delivery of The Times on Kindle costs $13.99 a month. That’s a substantial savings, but the device costs $359. That’s about a year and half of the Sunday Times and assumes that I won’t subscribe to any other publications. I still have eight months left on my Newsweek subscription, but the $1.49 a week is about twice what I pay now. The mag is undergoing a redesign, which usually means less content and more glitz. If the boredom factor goes up on either I’ll drop ‘em both and just start reading the Washington Post online.

The other problem with Kindle is that I’d wind up spending more on printer paper because there are often things that I want to clip and send to people who don’t have access to the Internet. (Yes, such folks exist even today.)

A related portent of things to come: The two top editors at the Hartford Courant left today. Cliff Teutsch and Bobbie Roessner have seen the paper through some wrenching changes but managed until recently to keep it focused on providing comprehensive and in depth coverage of the state. I wish them both well.

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One Response to “Up, Up and Away?”

  1. roykeane Says:

    Nice blog about book reviews.

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