While I feel he is right not to set a date for such an action, I also feel he is right that they will probably stop printing their paper at some point. Unless I pick one up at the library or someplace, I read all newspapers online, including our local paper. I believe that blogs and their online paper will be the future of newspapers in general and investigative reporting in general. Newspaper will probably look as good on a tablet computer like the iPad as comic books do. However, the ability to post breaking stories immediately must be coupled with old fashioned journalistic ethics. Remember, even people commenting on a news article have been sued recently.
Sulzberger also fleshed out plans for the paper’s introduction of a “metered” paywall in early 2011. (The NYT started and stopped its TimesSelect pay experiment in 2007 which was widely deemed a failure.) Readers will be allowed to access a certain number of articles free each month, then will be asked to pay so those who use the site heavily will be charged.
This I am not so sure about. I do realize that to receive the print version of pretty much any paper you must purchase a subscription and that currently online readers like myself get a free ride. I also realize that the revenue stream from advertising that looks good to a individual with a blog might not seem like much to a business like the New York Times. But perhaps there should be a certain amount of free stories, and then the articles beyond that are available to people who subscribe. Perhaps someone remembers what the Timeselect pay experiment was?