When the average consumer thinks about TOR (which isn't very often), they imagine that it is the ugly, damp & rancid underbelly of the internet.
Reality is that TOR is a US government-funded project to create anonymity on the internet. It is a platform that allows everyone to have a voice without fear of punishment or even death (think political activists).
No technology is perfect, but TOR is a very powerful tool for human rights activists and other dissidents.
In a 2015 The Intercept article, Edward Snowden goes as far as saying "I think Tor is the most important privacy-enhancing technology project being used today. " & " What Tor does is it provides a measure of security and allows you to disassociate your physical location."
Proof that TOR isn't just for drugs and counterfeit goods is the fact many reputable organizations have started to create their own TOR presence.
The New York times launched it's TOR Onion Service website (in late October) as a secure way of making its content available to people around the world that may otherwise not have access to its content (China, Iran, etc.)
When companies moved to the web 15-20 years ago, sites were less reliable as companies tried to figure out how this "web thing" worked. TOR is the same today. Sites Like the New York Times are still trying to figure out how to efficiently use TOR, and therefore you should assume these sites are all in beta status.
You can access The New York Times TOR ONION Service site here : https://www.nytimes3xbfgragh.onion/ [remember this doesn't work via the "normal web".