The New York Times paywall and the future of journalism

Good editorial in the New York Times about why the New York Times has been quiet about their coming paywall.  In it there is this interesting tidbit:

The stakes for The Times, which like other newspaper companies has seen major declines in print advertising revenues, are enormous. I asked Mr. Morton to rate, on a scale of 1 to 10, the strategic importance of the pending pay model to the future of the organization.

“For the future of The Times,” he replied, “I would say it is somewhere around 10, if not higher.”

If the New York Times needs this to survive, what about the other national papers like USA Today, the National Post, and the Globe and Mail.  The Wall Street Journal already has a paywall approach (which I think has become quite profitable).  I have heard that The StarPhoenix turns a profit but it would have nowhere near the newsroom and bureau cost’s of the New York Times and more or less depends exclusively on the wire services for international coverage.  Still it’s a sad day when the paper of record becomes a closed archive unless we are planning to pay (which I will be paying for).

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