From Cory Doctorow’s perspective on the NYT pay wall:
Yes, I was going to hate this paywall no matter what the NYT did. News is a commodity: as a prolific linker, I have lots of choice about where I link to my news and the site that make my readers shout at me about a nondeterministic paywall that unpredictably swats them away isn't going to get those links. Leave out the hard news and you've got opinion, and there's no shortage of free opinion online. Some of it is pretty good (and some of what the Times publishes as opinion is pretty bad).
I'm all for finding a business-model for investigative journalism -- and yes, I know how silly it is to talk about journalistic skepticism in the same breath as the NYT, who can't even bring themselves to call torture "torture", though to be fair, it's a big paper that covers itself with both glory and shame -- but for such a business model to work, it has to be viable. A tautology as simple as that should be self-evident even to the most terrified media executive.