The Times of London and the Sunday Times are among my favorite sources of news, and I have linked to them very frequently.

But now I must say good-bye.

Beginning a couple of days ago, The Times group turned off the free TimesOnline and went behind a paywall (image right) as part of Rupert Murdoch’s attempt to buck the trend of free access to internet news sites.

The cost is £2 per week. A small price to pay, perhaps, but it’s hard to justify in a world of free news.

A columnist at rival The Guardian estimates that The Times could lose 95% of its “browsers” and still do okay.

Maybe. Murdoch’s The Wall Street Journal has managed to maintain a paywall, but it also makes substantial content available for free, thereby maintaining its linkability and paywall.

It is not a good sign, however, that The Times already is offering freebies, like theater tickets, to attract paying customers.

I’ll really miss The Times. But I must say good-bye.

It’s best for the both of us. Really. It’s not you, it’s me. We can still be friends.

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