Will You Pay $4 a Week to Read the Seattle Times Website?

Comments

1
I guess they should start sexist strippers ads and have no union in the news room like The Stranger .... that's a for-profit model all liberals can stand behind!
2
The Times has allowed the line between editorial and reporting to be blurred over the last couple of years. That's one reason I just won't pay.

Also, my checking shows that it would be about $6 a week for the Times. But whether it is $4 or $6, it is MORE monthly than getting the digital NY Times (which I pay $15 for).

I'm not paying more for the Seattle Times than the NY Times.
3
Largely agree.

What worries me though is:

"Places like West Seattle Blog, Capitol Hill Seattle blog, Seattlepi.com, PubliCola, Seattle Tranist Blog, the Sunbreak, and Ye Old Slog are arguably piecemeal, but add in mainstream city and state coverage from places like the Everett Herald, Tacoma News Tribune, KIRO, KING, KOMO, KCPQ—including the AP coverage—and you've got a complete breakfast."

Do those piecemeal sources have a viable economic model to stay in the news gathering business?

(also, perhaps you should include links in that paragraph to those sources)
4
frank blethen no longer gets to park wherever he wants. other people occupy that space now frank. its a self contained unit too. we don't need you, your role is no longer vital.

fu.
5
Why would I pay money to a publication whose newsroom and editorial pages exist to attack my values as a young, progressive urban Seattle resident who would rather not have to drive everywhere? Paying any subscription fee to the Seattle Times is no different than donating to any other right-wing organization. If they want my money they need to stop attacking and start wooing people like us.
6
Largely agree.

What worries me though is:

"Places like West Seattle Blog, Capitol Hill Seattle blog, Seattlepi.com, PubliCola, Seattle Tranist Blog, the Sunbreak, and Ye Old Slog are arguably piecemeal, but add in mainstream city and state coverage from places like the Everett Herald, Tacoma News Tribune, KIRO, KING, KOMO, KCPQ—including the AP coverage—and you've got a complete breakfast."

Do those piecemeal sources have a viable economic model to stay in the news gathering business?

(also, perhaps you should include links in that paragraph to those sources)
7
Is there any data on other local/regional papers that have switched to the digital pay model, and how they have subsequently fared? I know that the Phoenix-area newspaper (Arizona Republic) has done this - what are the others, and how are they doing?
8
im done with this. fuck this shit.
9
Someone is going to miss reading the comments? I know people think of Youtube as the worst cesspool of internet comments, but I've always found the those of the major news sites to be every bit as horrible. Worse, even, given that these are people who actually keep up with current events.
11
@1 - wondering what would unionizing really accomplish? Newspapers are dying - its a sad fact. There doesn't seem to be many bargaining chips on the workers side.
12
I sure hope you guys are planning on getting a subscription for Goldy--how else will he write 85% of his posts?
13
9: I agree..."80-90% of us disappear from the comments board" would be the only reason to subscribe.

Nobody should be surprised at this though, after the campaign fiasco from last year. This is an organization desperate for money anywhere they can find it.
14
I stopped reading them for free when they donated to McKenna with that free ad campaign. They went off my bookmarks, and I just don't go there any more. So I wouldn't pay because I don't use their service.
15
LOL!!! The Seattle Times is comparable to The New York Times. That made me laugh.

The Seattle Times is gone by the end of the year
16
What @5 said.
17
I'll have to weigh the value of having additional sunlight on public life versus the pain of writing a check to Blethen and all of the conservative support that entails. Not sure what I'll choose.

That said, if 80-90% of commenters go away, that would make reading the web-Times far better.
18
Ditto @5- The Seattle Times Is "Seattle" in name only. In reality it is more like The Medina Times, little more than a daily collection of shallow, intellectually vapid justifications for the selfish, anti-urban agendas of the likes of Kemper Freeman and Rodney Tom.
The sooner the times folds, the better.
19
I believe the only correct answer is "BAHAHAHAHAHA! Good joke, Seattle Times. Good joke."
20
The Seattle Times is a sinking ship. I want a source of quality local news reporting, and an alt-weekly like The Stranger can't really do that. But I'm not paying for an awkward ad-filled paper edition that wastes trees just to get free online access. I'm not going to pay money to an ownership that's at odds with the values I hold important, and that editorializes against my interests. I'd rather see them go out of business than pay for their product.

Get rid of the Blethens, jettison national news that is better handled by the New York Times and other national outlets, and focus on high-quality reporting of meaningful local news and content (and not just it bleeds it leads), and I'll gladly pay them money (or pay indirectly through an aggregator or publisher that in turns pays reporters directly for quality work).
21
@14 - Same Here.

The Seattle Times donation to the McKenna campaign motivated me to boycott visiting the Seattle Times' website for the remainder of the campaign... and when the campaign was over, I forgot to go back. I was getting all the news I wanted - without the Times' BS - elsewhere, including most of the places Dominic mentioned.

The News Tribune has recently put up a pay-wall, but that seems like a better way to invest in old-school journalism than giving money to the Seattle Times.
22
I'm torn. I quit the Times after the idiotic McKenna ad, and have rejected the repeated calls to resubscribe with pointed comments about the Blethens. BUT, I miss a real local newspaper. No, those various local blogs are not picking up the slack, not even close; the Times, for all its faults, does real, professional, in-depth local reporting like no one else. Publicola is unreadable, The Stranger is (adorably) blinkered, and those neighborhood blogs are at worst unbearable fluff and even at best too understaffed to winkle out the meat. Real news is HARD.

Yeah, the NYT is better -- but it's not better about Seattle and Washington and the Northwest. There is a huge amount of local awareness that disappears when a newspaper goes. It makes me sad. I wish I had the P-I back.
23
" If they want my money they need to stop attacking and start wooing people like us."

How much do echo chambers cost these days?
24
80-90% of the Seattle Times online commenters disappearing sounds like a beautiful dream to me.
25
What 5, 18, 20 said.
26
They just wrote their own death warrant. It'll be a slow death, but it'll happen faster with a paywall than without.
27
Also, what 2, 5 and 18 said.
28
I'm more likely to pay for access to The Stranger and to Slog than to pay for access to Seattle Times. The Times would be far more compelling if they dropped the sports, lifestyle, comics, and syndicated stories, and focused on doing thorough and thoughtful reporting on local news. I often refer to The Stranger as the best paper in town, and I mean it. I run into Cienna and Eli all the time at local events of interest to me. If I want to see what people are saying about something significant around town that just happened, I go to Slog. The Times may do some good reporting, but if they do, it's buried in a sea of crap through which I am unwilling to wade.
29
The Seattle Slimes should be paying 80% - 90% of their commenters to fook off.
30
Your "survey" didn't include an option for me -- a long-time print subscriber (P-I until forced to change...) who will continue to read the on-line STimes for "free." Or better to say No Additional Charge.
31
@24 for the win.

Seattle Times for the Epic Fail.
32
Ditto @9: File under The Beauty of Unintended Consequences. The retrograde comment section is run by racists and wingnuts who want service but don't feel as though they should be expected to pay. Buhbye!!!!

@Fnarf. Ageed. I get the NY Times, which is a blessing, but however much I miss the PI, I'd take the ST up on their offer to gain unecumbered access to their website.

We need a daily paper. The Stranger needs a daily paper. news aggregators need dailies. It's worth it - and the free-riding trolls can GGF.
33
Cmon who else covers local sports
34
I wouldn't read it for free; definitely not going to pay for it.

I get my Seattle news from Slog. I get all my other news from BBC, France 24, Al Jazeera, Talking Points Memo and CBC.
35
I would happily pay $20/month to read the Seattle Times online. They should institute this policy immediately. Also, they should raise the price of the print product to $100/month. This will guarantee them long term success and profitability. This is a good idea! Please, Seattle Times, make these changes right away.
36
Why do traditional newspapers allow comments on their articles? What bonehead marketing major thought that was a good idea? If readers have a strong opinion, they should be required to sit down and compose an email, which would be published in the editorial section.

One of the main reasons I avoid the Times, apart from their vapid content, are the comments. Set up a version where comments are not allowed, and I might actually pay for access.
37
Maybe if it was $4 a year and they promised some journalism. I guess what I'm trying to say is no.
38
One more thing, the Tacoma News Tribune has started charging for their online content as well.

http://www.king5.com/news/cities/tacoma/…
39
Not even if they deliver a six pack of Olympia every Friday as a subscriber bonus. Make it Dead Guy Ale and I will go four bucks a week on trial.
40
@28 Are you kidding? Used to be that crappy local papers were about little more than sports and real estate. Now that you can look for houses and apartments online, it's just sports. The front section is nothing but Boeing and a couple of crime stories. How many years since their last decent investigative series?

The model is broken. Corporate consolidation is accomplished. Journalism is done. (Beloved crazy local alt-weekly excepted, of course.)
41
Dominic--

Slog could help a lot of former Seattle Times readers by throwing up a bookmarkable page with the replacement resources you list here.... Call it "Not reading Seattle Times for Breakfast"
42
I subscribed to the Seattle P-I, and when that paper went bust and I had a chance to shift to a Times subscription, I said no. For me it's a matter of principle. I don't want to support a publication that is hostile to transit and to the municipality in its own name.

And I am a New York Times digital subscriber. For all I read that paper, I consider the $15 a month a bargain. If I were more favorably inclined to the Seattle Times, I could see myself parting with $4 a month.
43
Obligatory Almost Live sketch on this subject:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NK1SCFJKm…
44
Almost everyone who comments on Slog admits they never read the Times, and yet somehow are all experts on the quality of the Times' journalism.
45
"The Times would be far more compelling if they dropped the sports"

they would also instantly lose 60% of their readership
46
I buy the print edition sometimes, but I prefer the more Liberal paper, the Wall Street Journal.
47
The results of this Slog poll have restored my faith in humanity for at least 90 minutes.

Who's up for a street party outside the Seattle Times offices when bankruptcy sets in? I'm thinking the BLETHEN BKO BASH will happen late summer. With some luck, maybe we'll get some synergy with Bumbershoot.
48
The sad thing is, I would have gladly paid for a digital subscription for over a decade until last October when they announced free advertising for McKenna. I almost wish they had done this last year so that I could have canceled my subscription in protest.

Never giving them a dime until Blethen is gone. The only thing more shameful than the McKenna advertising scheme was blaming it on the marketing department.
49
The best part of living in an echo chamber is the music: one mediocre hit covered by 38 artists at the same self-congratulatory pitch.

Here's what the Times gave us lately while the Stranger jerked off:

The Times exposed Rob Holland's serial abuse of public trust and money. The Stranger said nothing. Both publications endorsed Holland. One had the guts to call out the ethical breach.

The Times followed and broadened Publicola's breaker that uncovered a thief pissing away political contributions intended for progressive causes. The Stranger, which theoretically supports progressive causes, said nothing. It's so uncool to embarrass progressive leaders with hard truths.

50
@40: "How many years since their last decent investigative series?"

You mean the one that won a Pulitzer just last year?