According to a post entitled “Digital subscriptions needed to support quality journalism” on the Seattle Times website, written by Executive Editor David Boardman, the Times will soon begin charging readers for “full access” to their website – unless they subscribe to their print edition.
It’s fairly obvious that the Seattle Times has not been very good at adapting to the ongoing changes in the way we live. How can they not see that their customer base of print readers is dying off quickly – not to mention that printing almost anything these days is a waste of resources and bad for our environment. Print is dead (I said it over 3 years ago when I quit printing the Bellevue Business Journal newspaper) and they still don’t get it.
Even though printing newspapers has really become passe and is quite socially irresponsible, Boardman’s post makes it look the Times is attempting to force people to buy the print paper. Even a subscription to the Sunday print edition will allow access. Not many people I know want to have to pick up a mostly unreadable paper from their front porch or driveway, bring it inside, only to put it in the recycle bin the same day. A real waste of precious resources.
As far as “quality journalism”, the Times mostly quit providing that long ago. Much of their content of late is completely slanted, incomplete, or just plain wrong. It is very rare to see any quality reporting at all. At the same time, it is not rare (it happens on every visit unless you use the FireFox browser with pop up blocker) to be bombarded with those nasty popup ads that are a pain in the ass and that nobody reads. Those alone provide proof that the Times just does not get it.
It still remains to be seen how the “news industry” will shake out, but I’m betting the Seattle Times will find that they cannot continue to survive by printing a paper. In my not so humble opinion, they are probably too top-heavy and old-school to survive in our changing culture. Their new “pay wall” policy is just another (ineffective) bandage on a dying patient.