The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

1 August 2003

A World of its own

I've seldom found any need to link to anything in the Tulsa World, and that's a good thing, since I can't, as Bruce explains:

I can access regurgitated AP stories on the Tulsa World website. But I can get them other places as well. Any content that might be unique to the Tulsa World website is down in the Cul de Sac where my stingy little self will dare not tread. More importantly I cannot LINK to any of the stories or opinions that are posted on the Tulsa World website because any reader from other places besides Tulsa will find the Member's Only sign flashed before their eyes. In essence this creates a black hole of news about Tulsa to the outside world. Do I really need to explain why this is bad?

In brief: tulsaworld.com is free to actual newspaper subscribers, $45 a year to the rest of the world. I will be indeed surprised if more than a handful of people have actually paid for site access.

I don't get too worked up over newspaper-site registration — I signed up for NewsOK.com (The Daily Oklahoman's joint venture with KWTV) because I don't have time to read the dead-tree edition, for the Star Tribune to read Lileks' Backfence column, for The New York Times because sometimes I need to follow up a news link, and for dallasnews.com because every once in a while I need something from the archives and they can generally fetch it on the first try — but $45 a year seems a bit stiff, especially since there are much more specialized databases on the Web which don't cost so much. Still, there aren't many alternatives in T-town: Tulsa Today suffers from hideous design, spastic writing and an erratic schedule, and the suburban papers offer even less.

Griffin Communications, which owns KWTV, also owns Tulsa's KOTV. Bruce doesn't like them either. A perfunctory look at their site suggests that there might be good reasons not to like them; for my part, I distrust any site that gives Fahrenheit temperatures to the first decimal place, like 98.4, as though the reading were obtained from a rectal thermometer. I defer to Tulsa residents on the question of where said thermometer might be inserted.

Posted at 3:48 PM to Soonerland