Felix Salmon of Reuters put forth a controversial business proposition involving The New York Times in an article yesterday: why not charge hedge funds a fee in order to receive breaking news of investigative stories a full trading day before publication?
Salmon came to this conclusion when the value of Wal-Mart’s shares plunged after the Times published an exposé over the weekend about alleged bribery of Mexican officials by the company, he said in the article.
Noting how much the piece affected the stock market, Salmon suggested that the Times could take advantage of this influence by allowing corporate clients early access to such investigative material for a price, which could supplement the paper’s losses in revenue.
“But how much would hedge funds pay to be able to see the NYT’s big investigative stories during the trading day prior to the appearance of the story?” Salmon wrote. “It’s entirely normal, and perfectly ethical, for news organizations, including Reuters, to give faster access to the best-paying customers.”