Friday, October 28, 2005

Pinch: "Info does not yearn to be free;" NYT Text of Talk

Arthur Sulzberger Jr.
The New York Times Company

Dear Mr. Sulzberger,

I've read the Online News Association's story about your talk to the group today and a quote from you stood out, because of its inherent offensive to me, as a news consumer and blogger.

You're quoted saying, "Information does not yearn to be free," which is so outrageous on a basic level my first thought is to question whether you were misquoted.

If you actually said this, and believe it, could you expound a bit more on what leads you to think information doesn't yearn for freedom, without residing behind an expensive moat, say, like what you've done with TimesSelect?

Such a comment can be interpreted at least two ways. One, does it mean information isn't hungering for freedom because it's already free? And two, maybe the point is that information should cost money.

On the other hand, if you weren't quoted accurately, then I'm sure the Online News Association, on whose board of directors sits two of your employees, Len Apcar and Neil Chase, will issue a correction.

By the way, I've read your prepared remarks from your talk and noticed you spelled blogosphere as "bloggosphere." You might want to change that.

Your comments on bloggers intrigued me and left me one question: Where is Arthur Sulzberger's blog? You might want to personally join the blogging revolution. I'm sure you'd attract eyeballs to it.

A prompt reply is requested and appreciated.

Michael Petrelis
NYT shareholder

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