Thursday, February 27, 2003

Okay, so call it a tie. Jonathan Last, the online editor of the Weekly Standard, takes issue with my item praising the New Republic's new digital-delivery system. Last writes:

While TNR has done a great job with both their print and web redesigns, I'm not sure if they really go us one better. They only part of the magazine we don't put into HTML is the letters page. TNR now puts their letters page on the web, which is great, but we make much more of our HTML magazine content available to non-subscribers.

A fair observation. For some reason, I had thought that the "Contents" column on the left-hand side of the Standard's website consisted only of highlights, not the entire magazine (minus letters). I've also learned that not all of TNR's print articles are available in HTML -- the other night, when I tried to read a Robert Kaplan piece, I was greeted with a message that I had to download the entire issue in PDF format if I wanted to read it.

So, my revised assessment: the Standard and TNR both have very good websites. Each could be improved. (Since TNR's print articles are now available to subscribers only, why can't they all be in HTML? And why can't the Standard put its letters up in HTML?) And the third political weekly, the left-liberal Nation, really needs to get with the program and start making all of its content available to the people who pay the bills. No, I don't mean Paul Newman! I mean the subscribers.

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