The Times not student friendly?

At the beginning of Year 1, we, Journalism students, were strongly recommended to read newspapers. Regularly. Not only that – those had to be of a different variety. As a conscientious and vigilant student (like all of us were back in September), I did that. The Guardian, the good old Daily Mail, The Independent, The Daily Telegrah – all the top national newspapers.

Except for THE TIMES.

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Their frontpage looks promising. Nothing indicates to any subscription.

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You click on the article that’s grabbed your attention..

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When all of a sudden..

The pricing of membership packs does not skyrocket – around £8 per week. Also, benefits come along, such as access to archives, Times+ access and games&puzzles; how great is that?!  Yet, even though some might regard this as a great deal, I think making news a priority for an elite is absurd. This thus reflects in their circulation – 400 000 is a relatively small number in a country with a 64.1 million large population.

It does make sense that companies and news agencies or just anyone want credit for their work and I believe it is only fair. Without a Creative Common licence journalists would probably be more careless when writing, not spending enough time for doing investigative journalism or simply not giving their best. But turning news into a money making machine is not right; regular news like the EU referendum or the refugee crisis should be free and available to anyone regardless their social status or income.

Now, as students, we will never find out what announcement was played down by Mr Johnson.

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4 Comments

  1. It is true that the pay wall will certainly hurt The Times’ internet circulation, but this premium, elitist feel is probably a deliberate ploy to attract their target market. I think they want to be seen as ‘new for the elite’.

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  2. I was dissappointed with the membership fee of The Times as well, so I didn’t become a member. But I’ve noticed that other paid-for newspapers, such as The Economist provide more accurate and impartial information than free newspapers. Charging a fee allows newspapers to send journalists wherever the story is, to provide more detailed information and deeper analysis. So paying for your news can be benefitial overall.

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  3. It seems like a very coy move by The TImes to sneak in a subscription service however they fully have the right to do that. If they want to monitor, regulate and keep as much tight control over their own content as possible, this appears to be a way of making that more manageable – cut the audience down to the people that really care. But whether that is the most consumer friendly thing to do is another story…

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  4. I agree with the point you make that news stories that are relevant to us as a society and individuals should be free to access by everyone. However, I think if charging a fee provides journalists with the resources to write more accurate stories then the fee is worth it.

    I also think when it comes to journalism which focuses on specific areas such as The Financial Times then paying fees for a subscription is worth it.

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