If you do much reading of online content, you’ve probably had the experience of a major website blocking your reading, asking you to subscribe in order to read an article.
The New York Times allows 10 free articles a month. So far in March, I’ve accessed 9 articles (one by accidentally clicking a link to another article).
The Washington Post has a similar “soft paywall.” I can find some of their articles at nola.com, which is why you’ll see me sourcing from that New Orleans news site from time to time.
Other sites wall off “premium content,” but allow unlimited access to regular stories. The Wall Street Journal is an example.
Libertarian writer Gary North brings up the significance of the paywall issue in this piece at Lew Rockwell.
On the evening of March 27, I clicked a link to an article in The Washington Post. Within seconds, the page went blurry, and I got an ad asking me to pay for a subscription.
I then went to the home page. I could see the headlines for all of the articles, and all of the headlines were hotlinks. I clicked on several articles, and the same thing happened again. The article went blurry, and up popped an advertisement asking me to pay for a subscription.
I rejoiced. I saw this as the suicide of The Washington Post.
Approximately seven hours later, I was back online. I found a Washington Post story on Google News. I clicked through. Lo and behold, I could read it. It did not get blurry. No advertisement popped up asking me to pay for a subscription. What a shame! The marketing department had come to its senses. The Left-wing digital rag would survive.
Basically, somebody in marketing swallowed a whole bottle of sleeping pills. Then, probably watching a collapse of readership within hours, somebody in authority pulled back and called 911. The paramedics got there in time. Too bad.
The Left-wing media are desperate. They find that liberal readers will not pay for the Left-wing spin that the media provide.
The Los Angeles Times continues to block access to its articles. It demands that you subscribe. But nobody needs to read The Los Angeles Times. You can find articles on other sites that are up-to-date that cover the same topics, and you don’t have to pay for them. Maybe there are a few local stories that you would like to read, but they are not life and death. You really don’t have to read them. Meanwhile, for anything that applies to anything outside of Los Angeles or California politics, there is always some other newspaper website that is offering some version of the story that the Los Angeles Times is blocking. This is economic reality. There is nothing that editors and marketing departments can do about it.
Why should I pay to have the Washington Post or any other mainstream media outlet propagandize me? Now you know why I rarely source from paywall sites.