Saturday, June 19, 2010

Times of London Raises the Drawbridge

The Times of London is becoming a pay site. This wouldn't matter much to me, since I don't read the paper, but Charles Bremner's excellent blog on things French, to which I frequently link, is disappearing behind the pay wall as well. This is a shame. I'm all for paying a fair price for news on the Web, but there are only so many newspapers I can support, and the Times of London is not one of them. In any case, on principle I'm not keen to contribute to the Murdoch empire, given the ravages wrought by Fox News and the Wall Street Journal editorial page in my own country. Which is not to say that Murdoch doesn't employ some excellent journalists. Bremner, the Times' Paris correspondent, is one of them. But 2 pounds a week is more than I care to pay to read his blog. A fairer formula must be found: I would pay a reasonable amount to read selected articles or blog posts, but I'm not going to pay for an entire paper for which I have no use. So, adieu, Charles.

7 comments:

Kirk said...

Yes, it's clear that some kind of micro-payment system is needed.

What's worse, though, is the sites that make you pay for on-line access even when you're a subscriber to their print publication: I think, in particular, of the New York Review of Books. I'm a subscriber, but there's an old article I wanted to read recently, but I would have had to pay another $20 a year to access it. Other mags - The New Yorker, Harpers - offer free access to all their archives with subscriptions.

Clearly, publishers need to figure out how to do this. As someone who lives from his writing, I'm all in favor of people paying, but it's not as simple as just an all or nothing solution.

Unknown said...

Thank you, Arthur, for your kind words. Your position is perfectly understandable. I expect the pay system will evolve with time. We're entering new territory. In the meantime, I'll continue enjoying French Politics.
Charles Bremner

Unknown said...

I will also miss your aviation commentary. My brother, an engineer with Boeing, often complains about the poor coverage of aviation-related stories. I frequently pointed him to your blog for the view of a pilot-journalist. You raised his esteem for your profession.

Boutique Hotels Paris said...

Politics everywhere...Is it good or bad?

Unknown said...

Thanks Art. I was thinking of starting a separate aviation blog. That encourages me. I don't think there should be any ethical conflict since it's outside my day job.
Charles

Unknown said...

Charles, If you do start an aviation blog, please let me know. You and James Fallows and Wolfgang Langewiesche make up for the shortcomings of many of your colleagues with your knowledgeable commentary on aviation matters.

Justin said...

Actually, being a pilot myself, and having sometimes forwarded the aviation posts to fellow pilots, I'll definitely follow a separate Bremner aviation blog, so I second the motion.