The New York Times gives away a free digital email subscription, and while many of the articles seem one-sided or just obtuse, who can refuse another free daily email? I realize that this costs the Times money, but their goal is to add paid subscribers and increase circulation. Selling newspapers is a subject I adore, having once worked on rewrite for a newspaper with more weekday print circulation than the NYT’s current 680,000.
Besides trying to make money with new subscribers and advertising, The NYT considers itself wonderful, as most newspapers do, and for many years it has been a publication with an honest reputation.
That changed for sure on March 2, just last week, when the NYT sent not just one, but two emails. The first was the digital subscription, which I guess that they count as circulation, even if it’s no cost, and the second was a strange offer.
Exclusive offer for New York Times readers:
two months FREE on Haaretz.com
Dear New York Times reader,
As a valued reader of NYTimes.com, we are delighted to offer you free unlimited access for two months to Haaretz.com.
This entitles you to all the breaking news and quality commentary that make Haaretz the premier news source for news and views on Israel and the Middle East.
With your free trial, you’ll receive unlimited access to Haaretz.com and our mobile apps, including:
In-depth coverage and analysis of the upcoming Israeli election
Breaking news from Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish world
Behind-the-scenes exclusives and analysis of U.S.-Israel relations
Opinions from Israel and the international community’s most influential commentators
Exclusive interviews with leading Israeli and international figures
TAKE ADVANTAGE NOW OF THIS SPECIAL OFFER
FOR NEW YORK TIMES READERS!
You can cancel at any time. Offer valid until March 31, 2015 and available to new subscribers to Haaretz only.
You received this email because you are a registered user of The New York Times.
What is Haaretz.com and why was I offered a subscription that lasted until the elections for Prime Minister were completed in Israel on March 17? What benefit would come to NYT for giving me a free two week subscription – a costly operation that would add me to records and then remove me – and who would want to continue a paid subscription to one of the smallest (4.8%) of the Israeli dailies? There were newspapers about ten times the paid print circulation of Haaretz, so why wasn’t I offered one of them?
If someone wanted to influence American opinion in favor of defeating Netanyahu, Haaretz is the perfect weapon. Google places its reports very high, considering its small circulation, but that may be a function of paying for placement, not popularity.
I opened Haaretz today to see how one-sided election coverage was at this newspaper and was greeted by:
A Special Place in Hell
by Bradley Burston
On March 17, it will be a mitzvah to vote against Netanyahu the Toxic
Nine years into his rule, Benjamin Netanyahu has poisoned his country. Israel is broken and battered and weak with fear. He’s taken serious problems, and made them into a miserable nation…
Bad enough that a once famed newspaper presents one side of American political philosophy, but what a shame when it tries to influence elections in other countries. Worst of all, has the NYT ignored the professed desire of President Obama to not interfere with an Israeli election by not even meeting for a minute with its elected Prime Minister? Sadly, I think the answer is a wink and a nod from the White House.
Wikipedia reports this ownership of Haaretz:
Salman Schocken, a wealthy German Jewish Zionist who owned a chain of department stores in Germany, bought the paper in 1937. His son, Gershom Schocken, became the chief editor in 1939 and held that position until his death in 1990.
Until August 2006, the Schocken family owned 100% of the Haaretz Group, but then the German publisher M. DuMont Schauberg acquired 25 percent of the shares. The deal was negotiated with the help of former Israeli ambassador to Germany, Avi Primor. This deal was seen as controversial in Israel as DuMont Schauberg’s father, Kurt Neven DuMont, was member of the German Nazi party, while his publishing house promoted Nazi ideology.
On 12 June 2011, it was announced that Russian-Israeli businessman Leonid Nevzlin had purchased a 20% stake in the Haaretz Group, buying 15% from the family and 5% from M. DuMont Schauberg. This means that the Schocken family now owns 60% and M. DuMont Schauberg and Leonid Nevzlin have 20% each.
I decided not to get the free offer.