UPDATE: This afternoon, The Times announced that it is cutting 100 newsroom jobs, or 8 percent of the total.
You subscribed because daily delivery of The New York Times is practically a civic duty in New York, like voting or recycling. Maybe you actually read it every day. Or maybe you don’t. And you watch those blue-sleeved carcasses pile up on the dining room table like chicken that spoiled in the fridge before anyone managed to cook it. You feel guilty for the tree/bird that died in vain, but also for spending the dough so pointlessly on something you wound up tossing. Instead of a snobbish pleasure, The Times becomes yet another thing you didn’t do.
But you can’t quit, because New York is a media town, and subscribing to a certain number of newspapers and magazines is like driving a Ford in Detroit.
Since you can get the whole printed Times (and more) online, that $608.40 you spend every year for the paper ($11.70 a week for 52 weeks) is more like a famine-relief donation than anything. You could buy a cow for a Rwandan family, say, or pay a rookie journalist’s salary for a week. But maybe that’s the reason you shouldn’t subscribe—because that rookie is better off going into just about any other career besides journalism, including Rwandan dairy farming.
Of course, the alternative to home delivery is buying it single copies from the newsstand, which means we mostly wind up reading it online instead, except maybe on Sundays. And so New York Times home delivery becomes the first topic in our new occasional feature, the Worth It or Not poll. Are we as news consumers honor-bound to pay our share to keep the ink flowing—or is it time to click here and close the tab? Vote here and find out what your fellow Brokelynites say.