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The New York Times is set to return to charging for access to its website.

The site went free in 2007 presumably in the belief that the firm could make more money from advertising than it could from subscriptions.

This is set to change - a spokeswoman for the paper confirmed changes were coming but said it was still working out the best business approach.

But according to New York magazine the paper is set to go with a metered system something like that used by the FT - which lets you read a set number of articles a month then asks you to subscribe. The alternative was to follow the Wall Street Journal which allows free access to some parts of the site but charges for the majority of its stories.

The magazine suggests the move could be linked to the imminent, rumoured arrival of Apple's slate or e-reader machines - which are meant to be arriving 27 January.

Apple would certainly welcome a partnership with the liberal paper of choice. And it has always been easier to charge people for mobile services than getting them to pay for access to websites.

The paper also reportedly rejected overtures from Rupert Murdoch to team up in order to take action against news aggregators like Google. It also decided against working with Journalism Online - the start-up which aims to offer universal subscriptions to various news sources.

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