Ta-Nehisi Coates has the line of the day (my emphasis), referring to the NYT’s failed attempt to put its columnists behind a wall in mid-’00s:

I read the Post online enough to say that I would pay for this. Plus I’ve basically come around to the idea that content-providers will have to charge something. But putting yourself on the market cuts both ways, in that it rather quickly reveals what, precisely, consumers will pay for and what they won’t. The Times found that opinions were as numerous as middle fingers, and thus couldn’t really monetize it’s columnists. It’s reporting turned out to be another story.

—David Carr hops on the paywall bandwagon:

It’s been a weird evolution to watch. Pay walls, long the bête noir of evangelists of a free and open Internet, are almost sexy right now.

Welcome aboard, David! A serious suggestion: It may be time to revisit the Advance story.

(Update: To give credit where it’s due, David *did* write a nifty defense of the Times own paywall against some familiar critics.)


Dean Starkman Dean Starkman runs The Audit, CJR's business section, and is the author of The Watchdog That Didn't Bark: The Financial Crisis and the Disappearance of Investigative Journalism (Columbia University Press, January 2014).

Follow Dean on Twitter: @deanstarkman.