The New York Times executive editor Bill Keller is answering readers' questions online, but one day we might have to pay to read those answers.
When asked if the paper would accept donations to support such a valuable service that is currently free online, Keller brought up subscriptions. He said:
Really good information, often extracted from reluctant sources, truth-tested, organized, and explained — that stuff wants to be paid for. So far, it gets paid for mainly by advertisers, but a lively, deadly serious discussion continues within the Times about ways to get consumers to pay for what we make.
He went on to describe possible ways to get money from web users, including: putting the entire site behind a wall only accessible to subscribers; making people pay as they go a la iTunes; or promoting versions for reading devices like Kindle that cost money to download.