Blogging Just Keeps Getting More and More Expensive

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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.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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