I agree with your thoughts on Medium and spend a great deal of time on this site writing and reading. Most often the best reads are when I come across an underdog although, I do have my favorite writers that I look for every day.
As far as NYT however, I have a different opinion. I do have a subscription which is costly at $24 a month but I never read the news. I read it for every other section. Also, they do have a section of only good news which I have yet to come across another newspaper that does. There probably is more that do, I’m just not aware of them and perhaps the quality of journalism and writing is in no comparison to NYT. For me, the subscription fee is worth it.
I even subscribe to the Sunday edition of the local newspaper which is delivered to my doorstep. I only read Sunday because it has many sections opposed to the Monday-Saturday which is only news. The first thing I do when I open it is push the front page section off to the side and read the remaining sections. It keeps me informed of all the happenings in my community which is of great value.
We have the option to pick and choose what we read. I think sometimes we forget that when we live in a digital age of pop ups, algorithms and every online media outlet being shoved in our faces we can choose to turn away from it.
Great read, by the way. I’ve enjoyed it.