Every Thing You Always Wanted to Know About the New York Times Paywall, But Were Too Poor to Ask


Big news in the world of meta media news today! Details of the long-awaited, vaguely teased New York Times paywall have arrived via a press release from the Paper of Record. It’s sort of expensive, compared to free! It’s also sort of reasonable, if you feel inclined to support the making of good news, but don’t want all of the unread papers to pile up in your kitchen. (Some sections are boring.) We have all of the pertinent information inside an early afternoon edition of Press Clips, our daily media round-up. Plus! Plagiarism at the Washington Post and The Daily iPad newspaper is almost no longer free, but it is going overseas. But mostly the New York Times paywall — always the New York Times paywall. (Don’t be too afraid.)

20 Articles and Counting: Everyone on the whole Internet is excited to tell you how this thing works!

Here are the details, in bullet point form, organized from “I Need To Know This Because I Want to Just Read the Newspaper, Simply, and Maybe Online” to “I Am a Nerd and Want to Know All of the Loop Holes and Minutiae Surrounding This Not-Entirely-Earth-Shattering Announcement”

Let’s go:

  • This all starts on March 28, 2011 (11 days from today) unless you’re Canadian (see last bullet)
  • Everyone can read up to 20 articles a month online for free
  • The cheapest way to pay for total access is by subscribing to the physical newspaper, because all of the subscriptions, even just the weekend package, come with online access
  • But then you get the physical trash too
  • An all-access pass for web and phone reading is $15 a month
  • $35 a month gets you all online access on every platform, including tablets
  • But a print subscription in the New York area is only about $25
  • Again, that sticks you with the trash
  • Here’s the official FAQ
  • The Times will sell subscriptions through iTunes, meaning 30 percent of each purchase goes to Steve Jobs and co.
  • Android phones and BlackBerrys work too
  • Reading articles via referral, whether Facebook, Twitter or blog link, does not count toward your total
  • Googling articles comes with a 5 a day limit
  • Bing has no limit
  • Bing is a search engine owned by Microsoft
  • No one uses Bing
  • If you really love the newspaper and live somewhere far from New York, you could pay up to $769 a year for the newspaper and online access
  • If you’re weighing your options, find out how many NYT stories you’ve read in the past month here
  • The Top News section will stay free on smartphones and tablets
  • The homepage and fronts of sections don’t count against your total either
  • The Times is testing this on Canada right now
  • Haha

WaPo Uh Oh: The Washington Post admitted yesterday that two articles about the Jared Loughner shooting in Arizona (this and this) were lifted in part from The Arizona Republic newspaper. The culprit was the 30-year veteran Sari Horwitz, winner of two Pulitzer Prizes, who has been suspended for three months as a result of her crimes.

Almost none of the above information appears in the official announcement of the plagiarism, though it’s been put together after the fact, predictably, but probably to the dismay of an embarrassed institution and reporter. What we have no idea about is how this happened, leaving The Awl to wonder, “How do you end up with 15 paragraphs of someone’s story in your own? … It’s either a cry for help, a statement of anger at the institution or the act of a person so preoccupied with other things that she no longer is even thinking about her job.”

There’s a lesson here somewhere, for young reporters, the kind who usually get mixed up in this sort of plagiarism thing, but we can’t find it. Actually, it’s being kept from us.

The Daily Update: Our favorite iPad newspaper, Rupert Murdoch’s The Daily, will not only be available soon on non-Apple tablets, but also internationally, first in the United Kingdom within months, as soon as subscription terms can be agreed upon with Apple.

The ‘paper’ also faces a “moment of truth next week” when the free trial, which has been extended repeatedly since February, finally expires. It will run iPad owners 14 cents a day, which by our math is about one Style section piece from the New York Times.