The NYT “Paywall” and What Happens Next Here
So in the time that I have been following documentary in the news and such, I have done a lot of linking to The New York Times. New York City is a major area for documentary production and scholarship (NYU, New School), but in general the paper has great reviews on some popular documentaries, some coverage of festivals, and some commentary on them once in a while.
Starting March 28, The New York Times goes behind what people have been calling a “paywall,” meaning you have to pay for the digital content online and through other multimedia devices. The paper is calling it a “digital subscription.” (Oddly, the subscription does not offer a Web-based-only subscription.)
In a way the NYT is reminding us that content has monetary value, even though some of the current online culture gets a little miffed at paying for access to that content. It will be interesting to see if other newspapers and magazines follow suit. Considering that more and more media content is becoming available through a subscription-based model instead of a personal-ownership based model, I would not be surprised to see that happen.
In the past I have avoided linking to any story that requires people to pay to see it, in part because I do not want to pay for access and in part because I do not want to frustrate link followers either. I will continue this practice, though I must admit that I will miss not being able to access the New York Times anymore.
What I will try to do, however, is link more to blog postings of people who write about documentary, the industry, and other scholarship on a regular basis. Some of the regulars who focus on documentary appear in the links list on this page. (Suggestions for others to add are welcome!) For others, documentary is a more occasional topic, but some blog posts do appear in some rather unusual places.
What I also hope to do is write on my own here more, but one step at at time.