Seattle Times Tries Charging Its Reporters to Access Their Own Website

Comments

1
Yes, feel free to opt out. By the way, did you know that we may be having another round of layoffs?
2
Absurd, but it's all so much rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. I wonder what's going to come after the Times.
3
Desperate move.
4
WOW!!! That is truly amazing. Absurd. Thanks for reporting on this!
5
gross.
6
Seriously, it's like watching the Titanic go down ...
7
Nice way to juice their subscription stats there, however slightly.
8
opinionated commentator/blogger; not reporter.
10
DUM.

It reminds me of my own company, though. We can't get free access to our parent subsidiary's products without begging and pleading, and sometimes not even then.
11
A bigger scandal is the wage theft of the Stranger. The names of thirteen, yes thirteen, unpaid interns appear on the masthead of this week's edition.
12
I used to work at the Seattle Times. I sat in a meeting once with one of the Blethen progeny who proudly stated, "I cancelled my Times subscription because I can read it for free online."

That's your future, Frank.
13
What kind of unwanted attention did the old timers at the Stranger get for helping a certain competitor (not the weekly)? Oh, that's right, they would be fired. What kind of unwanted attention would any staffer there get for joining a unions? Probabaly fired, and probabaly a lecture from Goldy.
14
Lmao what do you expect from the Seattle times right wing run teabagger rag.
15
I notice he said newsroom employees, not reporters or journalists. I'd really like to see a more definitive figure that didn't include janitorial staff, phone staffers, and so on.
16
Are we to believe that the Times doesn't have some kind of document management system from which reporters could access prior material to do their work? If that's true, then the Times should go down like the aforementioned Titanic just for being so behind the times (as it were).

I can see them charging (a reduced rate) for home delivery or the digital equivalent when they're not on the Times network. I mean, when I worked at Little Caesars you got to eat the team pie for free, but you had to pay to take one home!
17
And the seven employees who opted out are now under suspicion of tipping Dominic off.

One thing unclear here: Do they have full access when they're in the at work, or do they need to pay even there?
18
If any paper isn't storing their articles written in a centralized, easily accessible digital location (probably a mapped network drive) then I am just completely dumbfounded.
19
I rather fear Tim Keck and I may be the only Stranger readers who bothered to subscribe to the Times online. Anyone else?
21
Meanwhile, in Noo Yawk, the Weekly's old owner, Village Voice, is in the throes of upheaval as well: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/10/busine…
22
This is exactly like hiring someone to work in your company and then telling them they have to BYOD their own computer, phone line, printer, toner cartridges, chair and desk. Wow.

"Welcome aboard, this empty spot on the carpet with a few cables sticking out of the wall is your desk. If you'd like cubicle walls, you can order them out of pocket from this catalog. If you'd like tape to measure what to order, we can sell you a roll of blue painter's tape and a rule for $2 each. Bathroom is down the hall. You'll need exact change for paper towels and toilet paper. It's $0.25 per flush."
23
@20, I believe Tim's view is the same as mine, that we're not paying because we're too dumb to avoid the paywall, but because we're okay with helping pay the salaries of what newsroom staff they have left.
24
In Firefox:

Right click the paywall. Select "Inspect Element (Q)". Scroll up to "div class="hard_paywall"". Right click on it. Select Delete Node. Scroll up. Find the "<body class=" part. Select the words in quotes that come after "class" and remove it. (Don't feel bad for the Times in doing this, as they already had no class to begin with.)

You're welcome.
26
They pay their interns though! Har har.
27
You couldn't script this stuff any better.
28
@5, noble, that's me. Let me show you my coat of arms, I have it here somewhere.
29
why would the times have a backlog of articles just for reporters to access and reference, when it's already online? that would be inefficient poor business. however this is an absurd policy. as a writer you have to do research to be effective and relevant. it's expected that writers will reference past articles in the paper - it's called follow-up. so, yeah, this is absoeffenlutely insane. just saying... opt out on principle.
30
First - when did interns ever get paid? That's sort of the point - you do crap work at a publication while you're in school for college credit, right? That's a little like all of these j-school two week old graduates refusing paid freelance work because they're holding out for the 60k a year staff reporter job at the Trib. Sorry, kid. There are 100 seasoned reporters who want that job, too.

Second, if you don't think their content is worth it, don't read it. If you read it, pay for it. Going to ridiculous lengths to avoid a paywall that prevents newspapers from being able to pay their staff... and then commenting on an article about how the paper has to try and make revenue by charging their staff... you're just a f*cking tool dude.
31
Seems like The Stranger's tag line, "Seattle's Only Newspaper," might be coming true sooner than we thought.
32
First - when did interns ever get paid? That's sort of the point - you do crap work at a publication while you're in school for college credit, right? You knew when you applied for the internship it wasn't paid. You knew when you interviewed for the internship that it wasn't paid. You knew when you accepted the internship that it wasn't paid. So now that you've got it, you're going to bitch about it? That's a little like all of these j-school two week old graduates refusing paid freelance work because they're holding out for the 60k a year staff reporter job at the Trib. Sorry, kid. There are 100 seasoned reporters who want that job, too.

Second, if you don't think their content is worth it, don't read it. If you read it, pay for it. Going to ridiculous lengths to avoid a paywall that prevents newspapers from being able to pay their staff... and then commenting on an article about how the paper has to try and make revenue by charging their staff... you're just a f*cking tool dude.
33
I'm no fan of the Suburban Times, but this doesn't register as any big deal to me. How is it any different than Nordstom employees being being provided an employee discount because they are expected to dress appropriately?
34
@30, look... times are changing.

Motion detective video games, Taco Bell prices are through the roof, holographic concerts and print circulation is down.

Recently, there have been new campaigns for paywalls. It is a trend to charge the users for content.

In terms of my opinion toward the subject, I don’t care. Things that don’t affect me or have no bearing on my well-being are not on my list of priorities. However, it is becoming hard to remain neutral in the midst of such a controversial issue.
35
Journalists have full access to all story archives, etc., while on the corporate network (including remote access).

@15: Uh, janitors are not newsroom employees. By definition, newsroom employees gather and produce news. Not sure how hard that is to understand.
36
@32: It was a bad attempt to poke fun, sheesh. Obviously there's no comparison. There's nothing else I'd rather be doing in Seattle, pay or no pay. I love what I'm doing here.
37
@36: Do you get college credit? If so, great. If not, the Stranger is breaking the law and taking advantage of you.

38
Funny, the Times runs an editorial today calling for cycle tracks. You think the Stranger would mention it? No way. That is the last thing they would want Slog readers to know about the Times. They only want you to know the most negative stuff. If the Times ran an editorial against cycle tracks, you can bet it would be all over Slog.
39
This sounds like a lot of hullabaloo about what, as Boardman pointed out, is really an non-issue.

It's okay if you don't like The Seattle Times, but we're a better city because we have them (and the Stranger!) Trying to kick dirt in their eyes or wish for their demise is really just petty. You don't have to read it, but the fact that we have a big, locally owned newspaper with hundreds of reporters out there digging up stories is a good thing.

BTW the Times does apparently have a huge database of info on local people, companies etc that reporters can access.
40
This sounds like a lot of hullabaloo about what, as Boardman pointed out, is really an non-issue.

It's okay if you don't like The Seattle Times, but we're a better city because we have them (and the Stranger!) Trying to kick dirt in their eyes or wish for their demise is really just petty. You don't have to read it, but the fact that we have a big, locally owned newspaper with hundreds of reporters out there digging up stories is a good thing.

BTW the Times does apparently have a huge database of info on local people, companies etc that reporters can access.
41
Hmm. I understand the Stranger expects a portion of its reporting staff to work for free. But that doesn't suck at all, does it, fuckwits?
42
I am somewhat surprised by this since free online subscriptions were made available to the Times' partner websites, the ones it links to from the home page, when that was requested by some of the sites after the paywall announcement.
43
You can get to the Seattle Times archives for FREE with a Seattle Library card. Even if you don't live in the city you can get a Seattle Library card. Just go to the library's website: www.spl.org
and click on the Library Collection tab at the top of the page. Scroll down to Magazines and Newspapers and then Select the Seattle Times archive. You then have to enter your library card number and PIN. Voila! Free access thanks to the Seattle Public Library!
44
I work for an insurance company. I have to pay for my auto insurance even though I use my car for work and the law requires me to have insurance. I get a company discount. I'm fine with it. I appreciate the story, but don't see the problem. Most employees would be glad to support their business.
45
Funny how all the comments saying "WHATS THE BIG DEAL WITH THIS ITS NOT A PROBLEM BLOGGER JUST WANTS FREE SOCIALISM FOR EVERYTHING" are all coming from unregistered voters. Do I smell a PR scandal from the Seattle Times?
46
"Like most businesses that expect their employees to use the company's products"

I don't think he understands the concept of dogfooding. Successful companies encourage you to USE their products. They don't force you to buy them at full price.
47
The Seattle Times is a shit newspaper. Before I unsubscribed from their RSS feed I did read their on line content, but 90% of Seattle Times' content is now AP articles. Meh, I'll find Seattle news somewhere else.
48
Jeez. Thank FSM that this isn't more prevalent. Considering my current employer's name is on damn near every software I use to do my job (as well as much of the hardware), I'd be working half my day just to be able to afford to do my job, if they had a similar backwards policy.
49
Why does Dominic Holden kiss up to Boardman as "the best thing at the paper"? WTF?

Besides Holden misses the point. Seven people in the newsroom refused to pay. Good for those who had the guts.
50
The rumors are true that The Stranger may soon experiment with a pay wall for certain features such as the prostitute listings, especially the Rent Boys. Though I myself am not a homosexual, I do have a cute young male in a leather thong who brings me coffee every morning.
51
What does he mean they will 'pay for it'? Pay for what, that something they used to give out for free that advertisers paid for? Which reminds me then, so if you subscribe to their paywall, does that mean it's completely ad free? Or does it mean two groups (consumer and advertisers) are paying for a service twice? What a joke about them offering to let employees opt out. Yeah you want to make that round of layoffs or ever get promoted? Pay up! What a horrible place to work. After their paywall went up I just switched to local TV news web sites. I don't miss it.
52
@22 Welcome to Microsoft contracting, bring your own computer that meets our corp requirements, and also you have to pay rent on your desk space. Oh you want to work remotely then, nope this position must be performed on site.
53
@52 MS is evil, but every Seattleite in the tech industry seems determined to kiss as much of its ass as possible*. Six months on, six months off? What an honor! And they seem to think Microsoft inventions are commonplace when in reality they are only common to Microsofties.

*Except for the Apple fanboygirls, who have zero moral superiority over the former.
54
Nike's classic shoes are paired together new works does not seem to have tried once or twice, now back open again Nike Air Forceair max 1 billigt 1 Low Blazer Pack Series shoes new work, it is a combination of its classic shoes AF1 and Blazer. In AF1 as the foundation, Blazer designed for the hair like, Blazer vintage vamp that is full of flavor monochrome air max 90 dam suede by the system, while the shoe midsole more sense to do the old yellowed with details of rendering, I believe this a series also can not be ignored by the shoes fans. It is reported that the series will officially debut this summer, so stay tuned!