Paywall has ‘made Times a Tory newsletter’

New media expert Clay Shirky has criticised the Times and its decision to go behind a paywall, suggesting that in doing so, it has become the “online newsletter of the Tories”.

“The Times has stopped being a newspaper, in the sense of a generally available and omnibus account of the news of the day, broadly read in the community. “Instead, it is becoming a newsletter, an outlet supported by, and speaking to, a specific and relatively coherent and compact audience,” wrote Shirky on his personal website.

He went on to claim that the Times website it is becoming the online newspaper of the Tories, because it’s “read much less widely than its paper counterpart”.

It’s the nature of the paywall that has lead to this result, he says, because rather than invest money spent by advertisers to an open, wider readership, News Corporation is instead
“re-engineering the Times around the newsletter model, because the paywall creates newsletter economics”.

(Source: Wall Blog)

This article appears in issue 260 of Media Digest.

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