The (New York) Times They Are A-Changin’

Dramatic changes are afoot at the New York Times website. First they hire one of my favorite web-design bloggers, Khoi Vinh, to head their web design department (see his eloquent post on the subject). Then they release their beautiful new look that just about everyone is raving about. Jack Schafer of thinks it’s so good, in fact, that he’s ready to cancel his subscription to the paper version: I’m Canceling My Times Subscription.

lock.png Unlike my brother, who doesn’t trust “that liberal newspaper,” I’ve loved reading the Times online for years. My favorite part is the Editorials section, so one other change in the last year or so has left me quite displeased: they moved my favorite columnists, Paul Krugman and Maureen Dowd, behind a subscription-only firewall. Since I’m cheap stingy frugal and unwilling to fork over the necessary cash, I figured I’d have to miss out on two of the best editorial journalists in the country.

light bulb But the other day I remembered a little resource that I used quite a bit while I was teaching high school English. The Grand Rapids Public Library has a collection of online databases available to anyone with a library card and an internet connection. Hosted by InfoTrac, the New York Times collection houses the full text of 576,883 articles, as of today. There used to be a 30-day lag between the publication date and the date the articles were searchable through the database, but now all articles are indexed the day they are published.

I still prefer the official New York Times website. It’s more pleasing to the eye and a whole lot easier to browse. The InfoTrac database could never replace it. But as a way to get for free what I’d otherwise have to pay for, the ugly-looking database hidden behind the library-card gateway is a beautiful thing.

I suspect that other libraries have a similar deal with InfoTrac to provide the New York Times to their members. So, if you belong to your local public library, check out the reference tools on their website. Who knows? You just might find something you didn’t know you could get for free.

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3 Responses to The (New York) Times They Are A-Changin’

  1. dean says:

    Hello, I am the brother. I believe the liberal newspaper only puts in the newspaper what they want to put in the newspaper. Which means not all the facts, only what they want you to read or hear. I only buy the newspaper to light fires in my fire place or get articles of one of my children. For an example: I have been told by someone who has been In Iraq for years, very high rank, not to believe what the news and newspaper have to say about Iraq. Things are going pretty good and we are winning over in Iraq.

  2. Kevin Dekkinga says:

    I’ve enjoyed the nyt for years now. Every spring they call me and attempt to persuade me into buying the print edition. I always told them, “why would I subscribe when I read it everyday for free online?” Then they answered my question with “nyt select.” Needless to say, I was pissed. Thanks for the tip, though, I’ll start reading my favorite op-eds through grpl now. I can’t wait to start reading all the articles I missed! Because I’m commenting directly after dean, I feel obligated to reply to his statement. But I think I’ll let it go unanswered: if I wanted to get into a raging political argument I’d just go back to the folks’ house for another holiday dinner. Did you know that Dick DeVos is the saviour of grand rapids and we should reward him by voting him into the highest seat in state politics despite his lack of political experience and unproven track record of legislative stance? I didn’t know either. Oh, how it keeps me awake at night.

  3. Aunt Ginny says:

    Karl, the scope of your computer knowledge continues to amaze me! I love the links. How else would I find out this stuff?
    Kevin, you have my sympathy. I hope you didn’t choke on your green bean casserole over that discussion! Dick deVos as Governor? Why that would be like letting some little shrub from Texas run the country!!

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