New Republic says 'cease and desist'

A mostly political Weblog.
Aug. 20 2007 4:59 PM

You Asked For It, Yahoos!

Is Bush trying to "heighten the contradictions"?

(Continued from Page 14)

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Doing Pinch's Job**: Emailer X has an idea for replacing the hated TimesSelect paywall while making Pinch Sulzberger's New York Times some extra money. X notes--as have many others-- that with TimesSelect Sulzberger is perversely giving away the paper's unique, expensive-to-create product (timely, authoritative reporting) while attempting to charge for its easily-imitated product (opinion). Instead, X says,

[H]ere is a proposal for The New York Times (and all other publications that have invested heavily in news gathering): charge for early access to your stories. I'm sitting here before bed on the West Coast, as I do most nights, reading tomorrow's paper and looking to get an early jump on the news. And I'm quite taken with the lead story about FBI Director Mueller's contradiction of Attorney General Gonazalez's Senate testimony. In fact, I might even pay for the privilege of doing so. Imagine if, instead of posting the full stories for all web users, before 6 a.m. Eastern (and 3 a.m. Pacific) -- though the best specific times are debatable -- only a stub like the one that now appears for non-TimesSelect members who click a link to an Op-Ed column appeared for non-members who browsed to stories that would appear in the next day's papers. The Times could become more aggressive about posting stories to the web as soon as they were ready the night they're closed -- but only fully viewable to those who paid a fee to be a member of this reverse form of TimesSelect.

... There are all sorts of people--not least, public relations executives, members of the media, bloggers who like to link to big news as soon as they can--who would probably see fit to fork over more than what TimesSelect now charges to get a few hours' jump on the next day's news. [E.A.]

Seems promising to me. If, as has been argued, TimesSelect is not really about creating a new revenue stream but rather about hanging on to high-paying print subscribers by offering them special Web access--well, print subscribers could get the early access for free with their subscriptions, just as they now get TimesSelect. .... The only problem I see is that Times reporters might see the service as offering competitors a chance to read their stories and match them before those stories are available to the general Web public. But the gist of Times reporters scoops will still be available instantly to all in short, "stub" form.  NYT reporters will still get credit within the profession, the scoops will (presumably) still get mentioned on Drudge and discussed in blogs-- and everyone will be able to read them soon enough. ... If the paper really wants to surprise the competition it could hold any huge scoops until the actual, printed paper comes out--or just put them outside the "early access" pay wall in selected instances. ...

**--I know Emailer X. Emailer X is much smarter than Pinch Sulzberger. Trust me. ... 2:00 A.M. list

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For seven years, Democrats have faced a radical administration that operates in bad faith. Yet there was the Democratic Leadership Council, still arguing that teachers unions endanger the republic.

Hmm. Yes, Bush's Iraq war and his general approach to terrorism are more important than education. But I still think education is kind of important! Even more important maybe than, say, Bush's Social Security semi-privatization (misguided as it was). And I still think you can't reform public education without somehow beating back the teachers' unions. ... How about this--the DLC can stop talking about the teachers' unions when the Democratic candidates stop talking about No Child Left Behind. Deal? If one approach to reforming schools important enough to mention then the other is, no? ... P.S.: Here's a useful primer on what "Adequate Yearly Progress" means under NCLB, co-written by Eduwonk, who asks:

[D]id you know that in only five states do more than 8 in 10 students in any schools have to pass the state test* in order for the school to meet the goal? The median targets nationally are closer to 5 or 6 students in 10 having to pass the state test for the school to meet the state goal. Important context when all the hand wringing starts in August about how unrealistic this all is... [E.A.]

1:05 A.M. link