It’s official: the Washington Post is putting up a paywall. You can view 20 articles per month for free, but you need a subscription to view more than that.
For casual news consumers, this doesn’t matter much. And even for me, it’s more annoyance than anything else, since even after you’ve viewed 20 articles you can still get in free via search engines or links from other sources. Still, it’s an annoyance. And it means I have a decision to make. I already subscribe to three newspapers—the LA Times, New York Times, and Wall Street Journal—and I really can’t afford to subscribe to more. So should I just put up with the annoyance of getting access to the Post, or should I drop one of my other subscriptions?
If the Koch brothers buy the LA Times, that will make my decision pretty easy. But they haven’t done that yet. The Journal is less useful than it used to be before Rupert Murdoch dumbed it down, but it’s still useful. I could switch to the Financial Times for my business news, which would make sense from a quality-of-journalism perspective, but it’s more expensive than the Journal, so it wouldn’t help on that front. I could also dump home delivery of the LA Times and switch to home delivery of the New York Times to satisfy my prehistoric need for a print newspaper, but that would set me back nearly a grand a year all by itself (at least, as near as I can tell from the Times’ egregiously hard to understand subscription page).
Decisions, decisions. Back in the day, all this stuff was free and I had access to Lexis/Nexis too. I guess that was the golden age of blogging or something. No longer.