For years, we got The New York Times delivered every day on our doorstep. I’ve been reading the Times, more or less consistently, for something like thirty years. I clearly remember their coverage of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, for example; real reporting which you can only get from a real newspaper, a tradition which CJ Chivers and Tyler Hicks and others ably carry on. To me, it’s “The Times” like “the city” is New York and “the shore” is the Jersey shore.
When we moved to southern California we thought of the Times as a link back to civilization and never really seriously considered the LA Times. Los Angeles, it turns out, is distant anyway; I still go to Boston more than LA.
But now we’re down to a Sunday only home delivery for The New York Times. It’s the usual combination of factors; the nagging, intimidating pile of unread papers, the fact that I read the important articles online anyway, and the garbage/recycling problem.
Having just Sunday delivery, though, comes with still-significant side benefits, including access to the online archives and a pass for the upcoming paywall that’s been discussed so much. (I did some consulting for the Times online ten or fifteen years ago; they were struggling with these problems then, and the people haven’t changed.) But I just discovered another benefit: access to the daily Times Digest.
The Digest looks to me like the descendant of faxed versions of the paper that you used to get in nice hotels that didn’t have local delivery of the Times or the International Herald Tribune. It’s nine pages (8.5″x11″) long, delivered as a .pdf via email every night. There are one or two black & white photos, a crossword puzzle (very important; some people will want this just for the crossword), and some summary financial tables but the whole thing is very text-heavy. To me, it feels reassuringly old-fashioned, the way I remember the paper before it got taken over by the absurdly offensive Style section.
The articles themselves are summaries and fit onto part of a single page. The emphasis is on hard news but without local New York city politics, which makes it similar to the IHT, another great Times side-project. (I think I love the IHT more than The Times; somehow Suzy Menkes is okay.) Plus, it’s short enough that I can quickly flip through it and feel like I got the benefit of seeing what the editors wanted to highlight.
It’s interesting since few year the revolution a newspapers, all big newpapers begin to post his news on web site and it’S free.
The question is if the paper will survive.