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Posts Tagged ‘Felix Salmon’

NYT Reporters’ Take On Paywall

So the details of the New York Times paywall have emerged as the paywall has gone up in Canada and hits the rest of the world March 28.

What this means for readers is a bit outside this blog’s scope (so read all about it at FBNY) but what it means for the employees at the paper.

Felix Salmon analyzed the numbers and guesses the paywall can only bring in $24 million a year, or about half of what the thing cost to develop. (Ken Doctor is a bit more optimistic, saying the scheme could ultimately bring in $230 million yearly, though “it will take some time to get there.”)

But most importantly, what do the NYT reporters think?
Judging by the reaction on (public) Twitter, overwhelmingly positive.

Here’s David Pogue‘s reaction:

“Your reaction to the NY Times charging for Web access (over 20 articles/mo) is overwhelmingly negative. How do YOU suggest we stay afloat?!”

And Nick Kristof‘s, in a two-parter:

“Some readers are upset that @NYTimes will charge for online access. Understood. But if we don’t charge, who pays the bills? believe that free news would be great, along with free food and free univ tuition. But I’m afraid it’s not practical.”

And here’s visual op-ed columnist Charles M Blow on the change:

The full text (spanning four tweets) reads:
“Suggesting that journos (or anyone!) should work for free is offensive and ridiculous. Only God and slaves work for free. Whether the @nytimes model works will be up to the market, but I for one applaud the effort, not just for The Times but for journalism…I don’t see many judges, surgeons, police officers forgoing a check because their work is in the public good, why should journalist?! And yes, I’m going to say it…if we loose some viewer then so be it. I’d rather write for people who value my work anyway.”

The assumption implicit in all these reactions? That the darn thing will work, which isn’t yet a guarantee. (And Blow’s additional assumption that taking down the paywall will mean the New York Times Company stops sending him a check every two weeks…that’s just bizarre.)

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Who’s The Highest-Paid Blogger In The World?

That just may be Jen Chung, editor of Gothamist, says Felix Salmon.

Part of the terms of the sale of Gothamist to the Cablevision-owned Rainbow Media say that cofounders Jake Dobkin and Jen Chung have to stick around for another three years.

Nick Denton did the math: if the sale really did go for a reported $5 million, then after tax, split between the two co-founders and divided out over ten years (since the Dobkin and Chung have worked at the blog for seven years so far), their annual salaries are “only” $150,000 each.

Even if that were the case, argues Salmon (he thinks they’re getting much more than that), that would make Chung the highest-paid blogger on the payroll of any media company in the world.

Now granted there are bloggers out there who are probably making more than that, but according to Technorati’s 2009 State of the Blogosphere many of those bloggers are using their blog as a vehicle for something else: they’re paid to speak on topics they blog about, or they use the blog to sell books or whatever. This may indeed be the first example of a person getting paid 150 grand to blog.


Pundits Weigh In On Unemployment

On Friday the news came from the Bureau of Labor Statistics that unemployment reached double-digits, something the Obama administration had desperately tried to forestall.
We collected some reactions from bloggers and reporters on what this means:

Felix Salmon, blogger for Reuters: “This is truly awful….When you’re unemployed, you don’t spend. So long as unemployment remains high consumer demand will be depressed. That’s going to be true even if the savings rate starts dropping, thanks largely to the enormous debt burden that US consumers have already placed upon themselves.”

Megan McArdle, business blogger for The Atlantic: “This figure is likely to get worse before it gets better. Corporations tend to want some evidence of sustainable recovery before they start hiring workers who will have expensive startup costs and will be traumatic to fire if there’s another downturn.”

Joseph Brusuelas, Moody’s “The latest data do not support arguments that the labor market will stabilize early in 2010.” (Source)

David Leonhardt, NYT: “All in all, today’s jobs report was a little disappointing, though not hugely so. The job market is still in terrible shape, but it seems still to be improving slowly.”