Eric Johnson, writing for Recode:
At the New Yorker, that shift in incentives changed not just how readers thought about the content, but how everyone — including writers and editors — did their jobs.
“[Before the paywall] I would interview writers for jobs and they’d say, ‘How do I know that you guys are going to stick to your ideals?’” Thompson said. “And the answer would be, ‘Well, trust me! It’s the New Yorker, we’ve been around for 90 years, of course we’re going to stick to our ideals.’”
“But actually, the argument works better when it’s, ‘Trust me, we’ve been around for 90 years and our business model depends on us doing that!’” he added. “It became easier to recruit.”
I completely agree. We had part of iMagazine paywalled a year or so ago, and I (extremely subjectively) loved what everyone was writing about. I also think I tried harder when writing myself. Furthermore, the writing also seemed to be much more personal.