Well, I did it. I signed up for an online subscription to the Washington Post. I held out as long as I could, but I finally concluded that I can’t do an adequate job blogging about statewide public policy without having access to the Post‘s local and regional reporting — the most recent case in point being an article (which I will blog about shortly) regarding the decision by the Washington Metro to cut the size of its governing board.
I subscribe to the Richmond Times-Dispatch as my home-town newspaper, which I get in both print and online formats. I’ve been self-rationing my access to the Post, which for a considerable time allowed non-paying readers access to 10 views per month. Now, the newspaper has tightened the paywall even more to three free views per month. That broke me. But I’m still holding out against the Virginian-Pilot, which limits readers to three free views monthly. As long as I can get Hampton Roads news via the Newport News-based Daily Press, I refuse to buckle. Of course, that option may soon disappear now that the Pilot and the Daily Press share common ownership. Newspaper pay walls elsewhere in the state are not yet an issue for me.
The newspapers may wear me down. Of course, I consume state/local news to make a living and I have no choice. But I wonder how many other readers are responding like I do. I’m curious about the online newspaper-subscribing habits of Bacon’s Rebellion readers. How many online publications do you subscribe to — and to which ones?
Finally, I’m curious if anyone would pay a premium — say a $25 per month subscription — for a service that allowed them access to all Virginia newspapers. Could there be a business opportunity for someone who can negotiate discounts from newspapers in exchange for delivering readers in bulk?