Today's Top Stories

Why would anyone pay to read The New York Times online?

The so-called “leaky paywall” seems to be an effective formula. Why? It turns out people will pay for things even when payment is not required. Motivations such as convenience, duty or appreciation are more compelling than coercion. This is especially important when talking about intangible goods, like information, whose cost of extending it to one more person is insignificant. There is no natural scarcity, so we don’t have to impose an upfront price.

More Than 100,000 Sign Petition Urging Verizon to Bargain

In just one week, more than 100,000 people have signed a petition calling on Verizon Chief Executive Officer Lowell McAdam to get serious about bargaining and to stop trying to push Verizon workers out of the middle class. The huge response to the petition and other actions at Verizon worksites and Verizon Wireless stores are part of the growing support for the 45,000 CWA and IBEW members forced on strike by Verizon Aug. 6.

Esmonde, familiar bylines take News buyout

Several high-profile reporters and one columnist at The Buffalo News have accepted a buyout offer that was presented earlier this summer. In all, 10 Guild members accepted the buyout offer, the third time in as many years the News has made such an offer to Guild members. The Guild has 250 members in the newsroom, classified and customer service departments. Those who accepted the buy out must leave the paper by Aug. 26.

Columbus Dispatch converting to 3-around; to print Cincy paper

The Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch will change from a broadsheet to a compact format, with its sectioning intact, and become the first newspaper in the world to adopt three-around printing following a press conversion project to begin later this year. Three-around printing, which results in a newspaper page 10.5 inches by 14.5 inches, re-engineers press cylinders to print three rather than two sheets in a single revolution.

FDR Went to Wisconsin to Battle 'Economic Royalists,' but Obama Avoids the State and the Fight

Nothing summed up the disconnection between Barack Obama and his base so thoroughly as White House spokesman Jay Carney’s response to a question about last week’s Wisconsin recall elections. Even as the New York Times hailed the recall results as an “impressive” signal regarding voter opposition to unionbusting, Carney said he did not know if Obama was paying attention. Which may explain why some former supporters now wonder whether there is a point to his presidency.

Daylight Robbery, Meet Nighttime Robbery

England is not Latin America, and its riots are not political, or so we keep hearing. They are just about lawless kids taking advantage of a situation to take what isn’t theirs. And British society, Cameron tells us, abhors that kind of behavior. This is said in all seriousness. As if the massive bank bailouts never happened, followed by the defiant record bonuses. Followed by the emergency G-8 and G-20 meetings, when the leaders decided, collectively, not to do anything to punish the bankers for any of this, nor to do anything serious to prevent a similar crisis from happening again.

Murdochs savaged in withering attack by their own lawyers

Rupert Murdoch's own lawyers launched an extraordinary attack on him and his son yesterday by accusing News International of misleadingly using their advice to give his company a clean bill of health on phone hacking. In its letter to the Parliamentary committee investigating the scandal, Harbottle & Lewis said the Murdochs had taken an opinion it had issued and deployed it "years later in wholly different contexts for wholly different purposes."

2 Wisconsin Democrats Re-elected

Two Democrats kept their seats in the Wisconsin State Senate on Tuesday, drawing an end to an unprecedented series of recall elections that had distracted the state all summer. Jim Holperin and Bob Wirch had been among the senators -- the entire Democratic caucus -- who left Wisconsin for weeks in an effort to block a measure to curtail collective bargaining rights for public workers.