Saturday, October 29, 2005

Password Protection Overload

My desire for news is duking it out with my dislike of passwords...and the New York Times is losing.

It happened again tonight. I saw a NYT editorial I wanted to read, clicked on the link, and here's what I got:
Time for the Vice President to Explain Himself
By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF
Published: October 30, 2005

It's time for Dick Cheney to give the nation "a stiff dose of truth."

To continue reading this article, you must be a subscriber to TimesSelect. Log in now.

Apparently I missed the telltale [TS] beside the title which indicates it's password-protected "TimesSelect" content. Maybe "TS" stands for "tough shit."

I'm tired of having to enter an e-mail address and password to read something online. I now have four email addresses and use multiple passwords (I know, my fault...I've changed ISPs without closing down the old one), so trying to remember which e-mail address and password I used to register for a NYT account can be kind of frustrating. Frankly, I've given up.

I was glad to see I'm not the only one who's sick of this. In a recent blog posting, JMC grad student Ryan Sholin wrote:
As many folks have pointed out, a stable of New York Times columnists have been locked behind a paywall online.

I agree with everyone who thinks this is a load of crap.

Hiding content behind a cash register serves only to further remove the NYT from public discourse. But that’s a given.

Sholin points out that students and faculty can access NYT articles and editorials for free through the Lexis-Nexis database, and directs you to a source that explains how.

3 comments:

Ryan Sholin said...

Another good resource for folks looking to read articles behind newspaper registration walls is Bugmenot.com. Just enter the URL of the site you need access to, and Bugmenot will spit out a username and password some noble soul has donated to the cause.

This is great if you're just surfing around to papers you don't read everyday. I might happily register with the Merc or my local paper, but I don't need to waste 2 minutes signing up for the Iowa City Press-Citizen.

Anonymous said...

I find this the worst when some teachers give you certain soruces to use for writing papers and when you go to try and use them you can't do to the subscription service you need. I never knew that you could access these sites through the school for free till after I wrote a paper.

I wonder how the writers feel who work can't be read by all.

Gabriel Velez

Anonymous said...

Hi,

I am a frequent reader of NYTimes. I agree with what you said. NYTimes shouldn't restrict us from viewing their interesting topic in TimeSelect.

I find it such a turn off. I really like Kristof's article. Before they make this to a pay service, i often read Kristof op-ed.

Claire from Australia.