Columnist quits in protest after readers are forced to pay for his columns

Sarah Gilbert

Saul Friedman has written a column for the Long Island, N.Y. daily newspaper, Newsday, since 1996. But recently, his weekly column on aging, "Gray Matters," became restricted behind a paid subscriber wall. As a result ,Friedman, who is the winner of journalism's prestigious Nieman Fellowship and who roused enough rabble to land on a list of Nixon political opponents, quit in protest.

Friedman's reaction may well be justified. Only subscribers to Newsday, which is sold in Nassau and Suffolk Counties, and in New York City, can now read his full column online. In fact, Friedman, who lives near Washington, D.C. and isn't in the Newsday circulation area, can't even read his own columns online now. Customers of Cablevision, the company that owns Newsday, can also access Newsday online free of charge, but the rest of the world outside New York City's five buroughs and Long Island, has to pay $5 a week for the privilege.