56 votes

The truth is paywalled but the lies are free

36 comments

  1. [15]
    skybrian
    Link
    I've often thought that something like Spotify would be the ideal way to read newspapers. It's odd that the music industry was able to work out how to do this for music but we don't have a website...

    I've often thought that something like Spotify would be the ideal way to read newspapers. It's odd that the music industry was able to work out how to do this for music but we don't have a website that lets you read all the top newspapers, like any public library does when they're open.

    Spotify doesn't pay artists enough, but UBI would help a lot.

    12 votes
    1. [6]
      arp242
      Link Parent
      We have blendle.nl in the Netherlands; it also includes a bunch of English-language papers (see bottom of this list) It used to be the case that you paid per-article, but it looks like they now...

      We have blendle.nl in the Netherlands; it also includes a bunch of English-language papers (see bottom of this list) It used to be the case that you paid per-article, but it looks like they now switched to a flat €10/month fee.

      My biggest gripe with it was that I found the UX beyond horrendous. Maybe that's fixed now, because the last time I looked at it was a few years ago (it's been around for, ehm, almost 10 years I think). I also didn't care much for the "pay per article" model; most articles I paid for ended up being disappointing (sometimes there was just one extra paragraph in the content hidden from the preview!) and it was hostile to browsing for interesting stuff. Glad that's changed.

      I don't know why it's only marketed towards the Dutch market; but I think you can probably subscribe from anywhere.

      But yeah, I think there's huge opportunity here. I'm not really interested in (or even able to afford at the moment) a subscription for all the different newspapers I only read a few articles a month from; most of the times I read something it's because of sites like Tildes or HN, rather than browsing the newspapers frontpage or something.

      Spotify doesn't pay artists enough

      Depends a lot on who you are; there are huge disparities here. One of the difference between the music industry and the media is that in the music industry you're dealing with countless of small artists, whereas in the media industry you're only dealing with a fairly limited number of big media outlets. This should hopefully help it be more fair, as those media outlets have a lot more bargaining power than a small independent artist has with Spotify. Netflix is perhaps a better comparison.

      6 votes
      1. talklittle
        Link Parent
        Blendle made a splash a few years ago, when they were making a push into the US market, but fizzled out before leaving their preview period IIRC. I guess they didn't get enough traction, and I...

        I don't know why it's only marketed towards the Dutch market; but I think you can probably subscribe from anywhere.

        Blendle made a splash a few years ago, when they were making a push into the US market, but fizzled out before leaving their preview period IIRC. I guess they didn't get enough traction, and I wonder if US publishers make a lot more money in direct sales to US consumers, so may have been detrimental to their bottom line to go through Blendle, especially when it was pay-per-article. Visiting blendle.com they only show Dutch language now.

        3 votes
      2. [4]
        skybrian
        Link Parent
        The most popular artists are paid plenty, but I don't think there's any objective way to judge whether an obscure artist is nonetheless doing something interesting. And the same is true for news:...

        The most popular artists are paid plenty, but I don't think there's any objective way to judge whether an obscure artist is nonetheless doing something interesting. And the same is true for news: judging by number of views or reshares or whatever is already a bad metric, so why put more money on that, making it harder to ignore?

        If we don't have good metrics, paying people the same amount as a baseline and letting them decide for themselves how to spend their time seems like a better way to encourage independent thinking. The usual metrics will still count, but not quite as much.

        2 votes
        1. Deimos
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          One thing I really don't like about the payout models from a lot of the subscription services (including Spotify, I believe) is that they almost never have any relation to the activity of...

          One thing I really don't like about the payout models from a lot of the subscription services (including Spotify, I believe) is that they almost never have any relation to the activity of individual subscribers.

          For example, if I go on a binge and listen exclusively to one artist on Spotify for a whole month, my feeling is that that artist should receive 100% of my subscription fee from that month (after Spotify has taken their cut). But that's not generally how it works, and they just get paid the same amount per-play regardless of whether the listener listens to them exclusively or if it's just a random single play through a playlist.

          I think there are harmful implications of that kind of model that make it more difficult for people to support creators they're passionate about. They may not even realize that they're effectively contributing most of their money to the most popular creators and not to the people they think they're supporting. Subscription services are still a very new model overall, and I think it's going to take a while before their impact on different industries starts becoming more obvious.

          13 votes
        2. [2]
          arp242
          Link Parent
          From what I understood, for Spotify it matters a lot what label you're with and what kind of contract they negotiated with Spotify. You can be relatively popular but with a "poor" label or...

          From what I understood, for Spotify it matters a lot what label you're with and what kind of contract they negotiated with Spotify. You can be relatively popular but with a "poor" label or self-published and still get paid piss-poor, whereas you'll get paid much more if you happen to be with a "good" label. At least, that's how I understood it.

          As for the rest of your comment, it sounds like you're wanting to fundamentally change the way our economics work. Okay, maybe we should do that, but that's not going to happen tomorrow or next year, and it may never happen. I think that working on smaller steps to make quality journalism more accessible in the meanwhile is a worthwhile endeavour (and may actually be conducive to changing the economic model!)

          I'm not sure what the best possible model for this would be; I agree that pageviews are not a good metric as such, but an improvement would still be an improvement, even if it's imperfect.

          Basically, what I'm trying to say is that it's great to think big and have long-term goals, but that shouldn't stand in the way of making small but meaningful improvements right now.

          3 votes
          1. skybrian
            Link Parent
            Yes, I think you can think about this problem of what to do about metrics either strategically (yay UBI) or tactically (support your favorite artists, journalists, open source authors, or...

            Yes, I think you can think about this problem of what to do about metrics either strategically (yay UBI) or tactically (support your favorite artists, journalists, open source authors, or whatever). Charitable efforts to improve journalism are good on the margin, though then there is the question of which charities. Of all the charities you could possibly support, there may be more urgent causes.

            It's still going to help the most popular, though, because otherwise how would you have heard of them? Famous charities may be pretty well funded already.

            3 votes
    2. [3]
      Akir
      Link Parent
      It's easy to do Spotify's model with the music industry because the music industry is #LateStageCapitalism - it's rife with money, but most of that money is based on how well the songs are...

      It's easy to do Spotify's model with the music industry because the music industry is #LateStageCapitalism - it's rife with money, but most of that money is based on how well the songs are advertised, not on the quality of the music itself.

      But in an industry where real journalists who have standards are incredibly underpaid and the rags they work for can theoretically make the same amount of money zero-effort fake news sites can make, having Spotify taking a a part of that pie doesn't make much sense.

      It would appear that people are better informed when there are local news outlets, and that's the kind of news that is dying the fastest right now. So my suggestion is that the government should subsidize local news sources so long as they can meet some sort of standard. Preferably something that will actually cover local politics and not just be fluff and propaganda like Sinclair Broadcasting news shows.

      5 votes
      1. [2]
        skybrian
        Link Parent
        Paying per listen or per user who reads your story isn't a great metric, but I think Spotify's model is still better than advertising-supported websites. People like to talk about quality but...

        Paying per listen or per user who reads your story isn't a great metric, but I think Spotify's model is still better than advertising-supported websites.

        People like to talk about quality but unless there is a good metric for it, you can't use it to pay people.

        1 vote
        1. Akir
          Link Parent
          You're not saying anything I disagree with. But I think the entire Pay Per Click mechanic is problematic. It's the very reason why there is so much fake and misleading news today. As long as we...

          You're not saying anything I disagree with. But I think the entire Pay Per Click mechanic is problematic. It's the very reason why there is so much fake and misleading news today. As long as we have PPC there is going to be a financial incentive for poorly researched and misinforming news stories to be published.

          Government subsidies may not be the answer, but I think at least it's on the right track.

          6 votes
    3. [2]
      NaraVara
      Link Parent
      Apple News was supposed to do this, but the publishers didn't like it. I think one of the things with text vs. audio is that it's easy to copy and redistribute text in a way that makes paywalling...

      It's odd that the music industry was able to work out how to do this for music but we don't have a website that lets you read all the top newspapers,

      Apple News was supposed to do this, but the publishers didn't like it. I think one of the things with text vs. audio is that it's easy to copy and redistribute text in a way that makes paywalling difficult.

      4 votes
      1. skybrian
        Link Parent
        I think a key part of the puzzle is giving news stories the same URL's regardless of how you read them, for easy reference. We discuss the news using URL's. (Spotify doesn't have that, but an...

        I think a key part of the puzzle is giving news stories the same URL's regardless of how you read them, for easy reference. We discuss the news using URL's. (Spotify doesn't have that, but an artist name, song name, and YouTube link is a reasonable substitute.)

        2 votes
    4. onyxleopard
      Link Parent
      I’m pretty sure Apple tried to do this with Apple News+, but this sort of "consolidation as a service" model only works if the underlying offerings being consolidated are stable and desirable...

      I’m pretty sure Apple tried to do this with Apple News+, but this sort of "consolidation as a service" model only works if the underlying offerings being consolidated are stable and desirable enough, and the platform can convince the underlying publishers that their platform is worthwhile. A lot of news media did not get on board with Apple, so Apple News+ isn’t really as valuable as it might be if it really was a one-stop news subscription service.

      The fact that you can’t even see a list of the exact sources that are included with Apple News+ on its website is pretty damning.

      In fact, I was not able to find a current listing of all Apple News+ offerings anywhere. Most lists mention 300+ "premium" magazines and a few newspapers including the Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, and the Toronto Star, but nothing comprehensive nor guaranteed to be up to date.

      I know the New York Times explicitly extricated itself from the non-paid Apple News service earlier this year. If the big publishers are happier to self-publish and avoid being bundled, then it makes consumers’ choices more difficult.

      4 votes
    5. json
      Link Parent
      There's various initiatives to provide funding for journalism. One such that I notice (because it's based in NZ/AU) is https://www.presspatron.com/

      There's various initiatives to provide funding for journalism.

      One such that I notice (because it's based in NZ/AU) is https://www.presspatron.com/

      3 votes
    6. est
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      Funny you mentioned it, because Tiktok's parent company, Bytedance, released an infamous news app called The Headline (com.ss.android.article.news). It scrapes news reports from every major...

      It's odd that the music industry was able to work out how to do this for music but we don't have a website that lets you read all the top newspapers

      Funny you mentioned it, because Tiktok's parent company, Bytedance, released an infamous news app called The Headline (com.ss.android.article.news). It scrapes news reports from every major website and newspapers and apps with an editorialize headline, it instantly gained popularity in China. It was so successful and profitable and enabled Bytedance to acquire a US based startup called Musical.ly and turned into Douyin aka Tiktok.

      And of course the content license was a huge issue for Toutiao, many scandals and shutdowns from the government.

      3 votes
  2. [3]
    skybrian
    Link
    Scott Alexander's take :

    Scott Alexander's take :

    Right now our access to free information is crappy, as the article points out, and I agree this is a problem. But it's already so much better than we are able to make use of; availability doesn't seem like the bottleneck anymore. All the true information is out there and easily accessible, but people keep spreading falsehoods anyway, and this seems true regardless of how expensive a publication they write for. I worry we've hit diminishing returns in terms of the (freely available information -> truth) production function.

    7 votes
    1. [2]
      wcerfgba
      Link Parent
      I think this is a great point. If you know how, it is possible to get around paywalls and find alternative sources of information, but the problem is because it is now so easy to publish info and...

      I think this is a great point. If you know how, it is possible to get around paywalls and find alternative sources of information, but the problem is because it is now so easy to publish info and because there is so much (information explosion) it is no longer enough to just read a single source and take it at face value. What is required is 'active reading', breaking down an article as you go through it and cross-referencing with other sources and analysis by multiple experts. Essentially, you need to be a fact-checker and fact-check everything you read, which is a lot of effort. Maybe we need a new community or platform oriented around distilling/cross-referencing/fact-checking news articles?

      2 votes
      1. skybrian
        Link Parent
        It seems like it might be hard to get volunteers for that kind of work, beyond what we do already.

        It seems like it might be hard to get volunteers for that kind of work, beyond what we do already.

        1 vote
  3. [14]
    Awoo
    Link
    I absolutely can not stand the implication that the paywalled sites are remotely more truthful than the free sites. They're just as bad. I mean, this leads with NYT and Wapo which are both...

    I absolutely can not stand the implication that the paywalled sites are remotely more truthful than the free sites. They're just as bad. I mean, this leads with NYT and Wapo which are both essentially branches of state media these days if you look at how many """former""" people from the intelligence community work in them. The way they defend and feed US actions abroad is disgusting. Both tried to push the narrative that what happened in Bolivia was not a coup when it obviously was and both spread lies about why it was good-actually.

    This take is getting it very wrong. They're just paywalled (or not) based on intended target audience they seek to reach, not based on truthfulness.

    5 votes
    1. [9]
      skybrian
      Link Parent
      I'm subscribed to the Washington Post since Amazon had a deal. It seems to be all anti-Trump all the time, or at least the front page is, so calling them "state media" is a quite a stretch. (I'm...

      I'm subscribed to the Washington Post since Amazon had a deal. It seems to be all anti-Trump all the time, or at least the front page is, so calling them "state media" is a quite a stretch. (I'm annoyed that the front page is so boring. I often learn about their better stories via links from elsewhere. I wish there were a straight-up reverse chronological feed of all their stories, like a blog.)

      Also, actual state-supported news isn't necessarily bad. If you look at Voice of America, their stories are surprisingly reasonable and better than many news sites.

      Either way, you're not going to find a whole lot about Bolivia on US news sites. People here are not paying attention. Where do you get your news about Bolivia?

      10 votes
      1. [2]
        krg
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        The State isn't just Trump (as much as he'd like it to be). You can be anti-Trump and still pro-colonial-neoliberalism, which is what I'd consider the status-quo and raison d'être of The State (of...

        It seems to be all anti-Trump all the time, or at least the front page is, so calling them "state media" is a quite a stretch.

        The State isn't just Trump (as much as he'd like it to be). You can be anti-Trump and still pro-colonial-neoliberalism, which is what I'd consider the status-quo and raison d'être of The State (of the United States (though, not exclusively an American attitude, of course)).

        3 votes
        1. skybrian
          Link Parent
          Sure, but if you define the State to include people outside government and that aren't controlled by the government, then that just seems like a convoluted way to talk about something else. That...

          Sure, but if you define the State to include people outside government and that aren't controlled by the government, then that just seems like a convoluted way to talk about something else. That is, there are people outside the State who support a particular right-wing conception of what the State should be.

          It seems defeatist to assume that the U.S. government is automatically right-wing. There are people working for the government with a wide variety of opinions. In a divided country, what the State should be is contested.

          9 votes
      2. [6]
        tempestoftruth
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        @Awoo can correct me if what I say doesn't represent their comment well, but to me, in this context, "the state" refers primarily to those who are or have been employed by the government, or are...

        @Awoo can correct me if what I say doesn't represent their comment well, but to me, in this context, "the state" refers primarily to those who are or have been employed by the government, or are agents of the government, who prioritize the national security of the United States above other, more reasonable goals (e.g. the security of American people, as there is an important distinction to be made there).

        When I call the New York Times or the Washington Post "state media," it has little to do with that paper endorsing the current president (or not), or which entity owns them, be it the state or some other organization. It has more to do with the ways in which these publications push narratives favoring U.S. national security interests and silence narratives which threaten those interests, much like the example of coverage on the coup in Bolivia. "State media" is any media that does the bidding of the state, but also any media that aligns itself with state interests willingly. Chinese state media may run these types of headlines because the Chinese government tells them to, or else; U.S. state media runs them without being asked to or threatened. The result is the same - people consume the propaganda coming out of "legitimate" outlets.

        A somewhat relevant side note: what is considered in the interest of national security, is, for the most part, unchanging from president to president, because it is the president's advisors who decide what is important for the president to know about and make decisions on. Trump has caused a bit of a stir in this regard, but you can see how those who defend U.S. national security have won out (e.g. the U.S. is still in NATO). This is also the phenomenon some people are referring to when they talk about the "deep state".

        2 votes
        1. [4]
          skybrian
          Link Parent
          Thinking about this structurally, it's hard to avoid relying on sources within an organization when reporting on that organization. For example, reporting on what's going on within Google depends...

          Thinking about this structurally, it's hard to avoid relying on sources within an organization when reporting on that organization. For example, reporting on what's going on within Google depends on official public relations and leaks, but either way they are Google employees and contractors. There's no point in asking someone who doesn't work there for inside information, because how would they know? An unbiased source is hard to find; everyone has an agenda though they may try to be fair. You could talk to customers and examine the results of their work, though.

          Similarly, any journalists reporting on what the US federal government is doing will heavily rely on both official and unofficial government sources. Reporting official acts of the government is actually part of the job. Hopefully this is supplemented by outside reporting, and not necessarily assuming their frame of reference.

          You could easily spin that as "doing the government's bidding" but note that people within the government don't necessarily agree, which sometimes makes it hard to say what "the government" even wants. Also, note that government sources might even be dissidents, eventually.

          A problem with using Bolivia as an example is that most of us don't know anything about Bolivia. I did find an interesting article in the New Yorker from March, but most of us were pretty distracted by the pandemic at the time.

          2 votes
          1. [3]
            tempestoftruth
            (edited )
            Link Parent
            I don't believe I suggested the problem is the Times relying too heavily on government sources. I said what makes them state media, to me, is that they push narratives favoring U.S. national...

            I don't believe I suggested the problem is the Times relying too heavily on government sources. I said what makes them state media, to me, is that they push narratives favoring U.S. national interests, whether those narratives are structured around unquestioningly repeating quotes from government sources or not. Regardless, no one is saying journalists shouldn't use government sources in their reporting, they just need to be responsible about it when they do. Robinson writes:

            ...the headline “U.S. Says Hussein Intensifies Quest For A-Bomb Parts” is technically accurate: the U.S. government did, in fact, say that. It was just not true.

            There's a difference between "U.S. Says Hussein Intensifies Quest For A-Bomb Parts" and "Despite No Reliable Evidence, U.S. Accuses Hussein of Constructing WMDs", for example. The former is obviously prejudiced in favor of U.S. national interests and could be used as evidence in arguing the Times is state media, the latter seems more fair (to me) but we don't see headlines like that from the Times. Quoting your post here:

            You could easily spin that as "doing the government's bidding"

            I agree you can easily spin it as the Times being state media, since that is indeed the case! Let's not get bogged down in your government sources point, though. As I said earlier, the ways in which the New York Times serves as a state media outlet go beyond just reporting what the government says without examination or skepticism. Robinson writes:

            I have documented many times how the Times misleads people, for instance by repeating the dubious idea that we have a “border crisis” of migrants “pouring into” the country or that Russia is trying to “steal” life-saving vaccine research that should be free anyway.

            Neither of these pieces from the Times have a government source as their focus. They just push pro-U.S. national interest narratives, which is exactly what the state would prefer they do, even though immigrants are not overrunning the country and Russia is not "stealing" anything, they are attempting to gain access to information that should belong to humanity, for all our sakes. Hyperlinks for both of those claims in the article, in case that's not clear.

            I agree with you that not all government officials want the same things or define U.S. national interests in the same way, and I'd take it a step further and say the Times doesn't always report what the state would want it to (I think of the Pentagon Papers). In general, though, and especially in recent years, they report the side of the story that is most beneficial for those interests. You can pick out examples where the New York Times breaks this pattern, but in the vast majority of cases they follow the pattern, and so I don't have qualms about calling it state media.

            3 votes
            1. [2]
              skybrian
              Link Parent
              We remember about the New York Times screwing up reporting before the Iraq war because it's especially important and vivid and has been talked about many times since then. But going by memory of...

              We remember about the New York Times screwing up reporting before the Iraq war because it's especially important and vivid and has been talked about many times since then. But going by memory of what you read in the news is unreliable; we don't read everything, we don't remember everything equally, and our memories have a lot of hindsight bias.

              I think it would be difficult to objectively figure out what happens in "the vast majority of cases" without doing a semi-formal evaluation where you select stories in an unbiased way and rate them with some kind of formal grading scheme. But, even if you did that, people could and probably would disagree on your grading rubric.

              So, I don't think it can be objectively established that the New York Times usually supports the interests of the U.S. government. Certainly it would require a lot more work than we're likely to do in casual conversation.

              3 votes
              1. tempestoftruth
                Link Parent
                I respect your skepticism. We'll have to agree to disagree!

                I respect your skepticism. We'll have to agree to disagree!

                2 votes
        2. Awoo
          Link Parent
          I see them as both state media (media doing the bidding of the state) and as media pushing narratives that benefit the state. Both are interchangeable at any time the US government feels like it....

          I see them as both state media (media doing the bidding of the state) and as media pushing narratives that benefit the state. Both are interchangeable at any time the US government feels like it. Whether you want to call it "willing" alignment or infiltration that creates an annexed corporation that becomes a defacto wing of the state -- it's the same thing.

          1 vote
    2. rkcr
      Link Parent
      Calling NYT state media is quite a stretch. Do you have any concrete evidence?

      Calling NYT state media is quite a stretch. Do you have any concrete evidence?

      3 votes
    3. [3]
      tempestoftruth
      Link Parent
      I feel like he addresses your concern here? These publications do expound propaganda and sometimes report straight lies, but in general if you know what you look for you can separate the nonsense...

      Now, crucially, I do not mean to imply here that reading the New York Times gives you a sound grasp of reality. I have documented many times how the Times misleads people, for instance by repeating the dubious idea that we have a “border crisis” of migrants “pouring into” the country or that Russia is trying to “steal” life-saving vaccine research that should be free anyway. But it’s important to understand the problem with the Times: it is not that the facts it reports tend to be inaccurate—though sometimes they are—but that the facts are presented in a way that misleads. There is no single “fact” in the migrant story or the Russia story that I take issue with, what I take issue with is the conclusions that are being drawn from the facts. (Likewise, the headline “U.S. Says Hussein Intensifies Quest For A-Bomb Parts” is technically accurate: the U.S. government did, in fact, say that. It was just not true.) The New York Times is, in fact, extremely valuable, if you read it critically and look past the headlines. Usually the truth is in there somewhere, as there is a great deal of excellent reporting, and one could almost construct a serious newspaper purely from material culled from the New York Times. I’ve written before about the Times’ reporting on Hitler and the Holocaust: it wasn’t that the grim facts of the situation were left out of the paper, but that they were buried at the back and treated as unimportant. It was changes in emphasis that were needed, because the facts were there in black and white.

      I feel like he addresses your concern here? These publications do expound propaganda and sometimes report straight lies, but in general if you know what you look for you can separate the nonsense from the reality. I don't know I could say the same for Breitbart, for example.

      2 votes
      1. skybrian
        Link Parent
        That seems optimistic. I can rate things as "plausible" or "implausible" based on previous reading, and possibly do a consistency check with further reading, but implausible things do happen...

        but in general if you know what you look for you can separate the nonsense from the reality

        That seems optimistic. I can rate things as "plausible" or "implausible" based on previous reading, and possibly do a consistency check with further reading, but implausible things do happen sometimes and my filters are not very good for things I have little experience with. We don't have access to reality in far-off places when we've never been there, don't speak the language, and don't understand the culture. Without access to any better witnesses, you may never know what really happened.

        It's good to look for sources that are dedicated to telling the story even if it doesn't fix what they expect, but I don't think it gives us access to the truth. We should default to assuming we don't really know what's going on.

        4 votes
      2. Awoo
        Link Parent
        That whole argument is up for debate by itself though. I am near certain that anyone could go over there and turn up a pile of content that are just outright completely false. The easiest that...

        That whole argument is up for debate by itself though. I am near certain that anyone could go over there and turn up a pile of content that are just outright completely false. The easiest that springs to mind is anything on the DPRK for example, which because of its veil of secrecy news outlets seem to have no problem just making up whatever they feel like about them, including the primary outlets listed here that churn out state propaganda. Just last month I recall all of them reporting Kim was dead for the 10th time only for those damn necromancers to bring him back again.

        I am obviously being a little facetious with the extreme example, but you get my point.

  4. [2]
    Saigot
    Link
    When the internet was first getting big people saw it as a great equalizer of knowledge, now we are starting to see the limitations of this perhaps it's time to turn back to the original...

    When the internet was first getting big people saw it as a great equalizer of knowledge, now we are starting to see the limitations of this perhaps it's time to turn back to the original equalizers? Most libraries have subscriptions to all the major newspapers which gives anyone on library internet access to the articles, universities have the same things (it's still invaluable for accessing things behind academic paywalls). We need to do is encourage the use of these again, but I think we've moved past where physically going somewhere for information is realistic.

    Perhaps the libraries could determine a way to lend out a limited number of these subscriptions or even individual digital articles.

    5 votes
    1. UniquelyGeneric
      Link Parent
      Someone on HN had suggested looking into public libraries and I was pleasantly surprised to see that my NY Public Library card grants me access to all NY Times articles since 1980. It’s clear this...

      Someone on HN had suggested looking into public libraries and I was pleasantly surprised to see that my NY Public Library card grants me access to all NY Times articles since 1980.

      It’s clear this resource was only opened up for remote access due to covid, but it’s also proof that it can work. My tax dollars are funding the NYPL, which in turn provides me access to information. Surely there must be a way to scale this model to millions more Americans, but I can see bureaucracies and greed getting in the way of unbiased journalism.

      5 votes
  5. [2]
    JXM
    Link
    I am not sure about other places, but the New York Times has been pretty good about making coverage about national or international events and topics exempt from their paywall. For example, none...

    I am not sure about other places, but the New York Times has been pretty good about making coverage about national or international events and topics exempt from their paywall. For example, none of their COVID-19 coverage is paywalled.

    I assume that other news organizations have similar exemptions?

    3 votes
    1. skybrian
      Link Parent
      Yes, there are many exemptions and workarounds, but it still adds up to most news sites being financially precarious.

      Yes, there are many exemptions and workarounds, but it still adds up to most news sites being financially precarious.

      3 votes