On Being A College Student And The New York Times Paywall

Written by Executive Editor on March 29th, 2011

Yesterday the New York Times erected its long anticipated paywall and now I’m here to convince you to buy a digital subscription.

The paywall is not a radical new idea and any Time’s reader with a brain should have heard its rumbling approach. If you are surprised that a business is charging for the quality commodity its professional staff creates on a daily basis you are a lost cause.

As you probably already know, this new paywall is not impenetrable. In fact is it full of loopholes. Readers may be limited to 20 free articles a month but they still have unlimited access through link aggregation services like Twitter and Tumblr. There are also little codes you can run to get around it and if you’re a frequent NYTs reader Lincoln- Chrysler has probably already offered you a year of free access. As a student you can also access The Times via Scribner Library’s database services or, you know, pick up on of the thousands of free copies stacked neatly in nearly every building or tossed across the Case couches.

I know it isn’t perfect and I know the Thursday Styles trend pieces about Brooklyn are unbearable and I know that their coverage of the recent gang rape in Cleveland, Texas was reprehensible and I know you can get it for free and I know that you would probably prefer to spend you money on beer or coffee or Frye Boots or whatever, but honestly, it is the best newspaper in the world and if you’re reading The New York Times you should probably be paying for the New York Times. Being a college student is no excuse.

Representatives from the New York Times have hinted that at some point in the future (near future? distant future?) the Grey Lady will unveil a discounted digital subscription for students, but if you care about accurate reporting and serious journalism you should be doing every single fucking thing you can to support it right now. Need I remind you that it was four New York Times journalists covering the conflict in Libya that were kidnapped, bound, beaten and tortured earlier this month? Need I remind you that it is the New York Times (which offers a service we have lazily gotten accustomed to receiving for free) that deploys journalists around the world at astonishing expense—journalists that literally risk their lives to report from the front lines?

If these few paragraphs appealing to your pathos haven’t worked then I encourage you to pay for the New York Times digital subscription to impress your friends and make you look Serious and Intellectual. Whatever it takes.

Buy yourself a digital subscription and tell everyone how cool you are. Conspicuously drop the fact that you support journalism in conversation. Use it to impress attractive English majors. Use your subscription to get laid. Craft for yourself a sense of moral superiority. I don’t really care why you do it I just think you should be paying for the New York Times and I won’t really tolerate people whining otherwise.

Hugs and Kisses,
Executive Editor

PS. If you are reading this and work for the New York Times please give me a job.


5 Comments so far ↓

  1. EJ says:

    Nice article and i agree with your sentiments…. about how much is a subscription going to cost??

  2. Editor-In-Chief says:

    $8.75/week after your first four weeks, which cost merely $0.99 per! Do it. Get it done.

  3. dr. bob says:

    two things, Executor Palpatine

    If you think subscribing to this particular newspaper is that important, why do you include information on how to bypass the paywall? As students at Skidmore we already get a discount, and if students want to ‘steal’ from the NYT they can work that out themselves, the same way they’re thieves of free entertainment online.
    As a corporation, we don’t know the vested interests of the Times besides the profit motive.

    I think it’s possible to promote free, independent, non-profit and collective journalism without having to fund a biased institution.

    • Dr. Bob,

      I don’t really understand most of your post, but I can already tell that we disagree on so many things that if I talked to you about this my face would turn really red and steam would come out of my ears like in old cartoons.

      hugs and kisses,
      Executive ‘Executor Palpatine’ Editor

  4. Gordon says:

    Sometimes, things cost money. I’ll pay.

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