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.

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AN IMPORTANT UPDATE

We’re falling behind our online fundraising goals and we can’t sustain coming up short on donations month after month. Perhaps you’ve heard? It is impossibly hard in the news business right now, with layoffs intensifying and fancy new startups and funding going kaput.

The crisis facing journalism and democracy isn’t going away anytime soon. And neither is Mother Jones, our readers, or our unique way of doing in-depth reporting that exists to bring about change.

Which is exactly why, despite the challenges we face, we just took a big gulp and joined forces with The Center for Investigative Reporting, a team of ace journalists who create the amazing podcast and public radio show Reveal.

If you can part with even just a few bucks, please help us pick up the pace of donations. We simply can’t afford to keep falling behind on our fundraising targets month after month.

Editor-in-Chief Clara Jeffery said it well to our team recently, and that team 100 percent includes readers like you who make it all possible: “This is a year to prove that we can pull off this merger, grow our audiences and impact, attract more funding and keep growing. More broadly, it’s a year when the very future of both journalism and democracy is on the line. We have to go for every important story, every reader/listener/viewer, and leave it all on the field. I’m very proud of all the hard work that’s gotten us to this moment, and confident that we can meet it.”

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