From Monday 28 March 2011, popular print and online news organisation The New York Times has implemented a paywall. What this means is that the average non-paying user will only be able to view 20 articles a month on the NYTimes.com website. However, there are a number of ways of circumventing this limitation, some have been condoned by the Times while the legality of others remains murky at best. In this article I will outline all the methods of viewing articles on the NYTimes.com website.
1. Pay the Subscription Fee
If you wish to access the NYTimes website by paying the subscription fee, your options are as follows:
- $15 for four weeks of access to NYTimes.com and a mobile phone app.
- $20 for four weeks of access to NYTimes.com and its iPad app.
- $35 for four weeks of access to all of the above.
If you are a print subscriber, you will have access to the Times’ digital content at no extra charge.
Finally, if you would like to try out the service within the first four weeks, it will only cost $0.99.
2. Buy A Kindle
Subscribers to the Kindle version of the Times will also be able to get unlimited access to the online content on NYTimes.com
3. Twitter Feed
The Times has acknowledged that it will allow unlimited access to its articles if the user comes through a search engine, blog, or a social media network.
So, an enterprising Twitter user has put together the @freeNYTimes account which automatically lists every single article that is posted on the Times website.
The legality of syndicating articles in this manner was challenged. But, apparently the Times has dropped its suit and is allowing the service to go ahead.
4. Google Chrome Extension
The easiest method of reading above your 20 article/month limit is to simply install the New York Times Paywall Smasher extension for Google Chrome.
This is a small extension that installs in your Chrome browser and automatically removes the paywall any time you visit an article on NYTimes. If you are not a Chrome user, you will not be able to use this extension, but I am confident that there will be other similar extensions (or scripts) available for your browser of choice.
(Source: New York Times Paywall Smasher)
If you are using a different browser, you may instead want to try out this simple bookmarklet that automatically strips away the pay wall.
To use this bookmarklet, simply drag the NYTClean bookmarklet to your bookmark’s toolbar and click it any time the paywall rears its ugly head on the NYTimes.com website.
6. Edit the URL
If you don’t want to fiddle around with bookmarklets, extensions or e-readers, simply delete a string from the URL of the article you want to read.
For example, for the URL:
You must delete everything after the question mark (“?”). So, after editing the URL it would read as follows:
On any page that is blocked by the paywall, simply delete everything after the question mark to view the article unhindered.
With so many holes in the Times’ paywall, it makes you wonder whether they are actually serious about this new venture. Anyway, let us know which method of accessing the NYTimes.com website you are using.