paying for news

I’ve been thinking about the ways in which I consume news lately. I read The NY Times, The New Yorker, The Economist, and The Guardian, with varying degrees of frequency, online (obviously), and I haven’t been paying for any of them. I’ve had print subscriptions to each of them (except The Guardian) in the past. I probably read the NY Times more often than any of the others.

This past week’s junk mail included offers to subscribe (in print) to the New Yorker and Economist at discount rates. I was somewhat tempted to do that, but I still have a small pile of unread New Yorker issues from my previous print subscription, in 2013. (I’m still working my way through them, and enjoying a lot of the articles, even if they’re a bit out of date.)

I’ve thought about signing up for a digital subscription to the Times on a number of occasions, but it’s always seemed a bit too expensive. And they’ve had this weird tiered system, where you pay one rate for a web & iPhone subscription, a higher rate for web & iPad, and an even higher rate for “all-digital access”. Well, I noticed today that they seem to have given up on that and set the all-digital rate to the old web & iPhone rate of $3.75 a week. And they had an offer for 30% off for the first year. So that’s a little over $10/month, which isn’t bad. I’ll have to review it next year when it goes up to $15/month.

So now I can read as many Times articles as I want, on any device I want, without jumping through any hoops to get around the 10 article per month limit on freeloaders. I also want to think about better ways to find and read articles from the Times that would be interesting and/or useful to me. I already subscribe to a couple of Times newsletters, and have one IFTTT recipe set up, using the NY Times channel. I could probably set up a few more. I also follow a few Times feeds on Twitter, but I’ve noticed that those usually only promote a certain kind of content, and don’t really help with the stuff that’s buried a bit deeper in the paper.

Long ago, when I had a print subscription to the Times, I actually went through the whole paper (or at least a good chunk of it) every day, skimming through all the headlines and reading at least a half-dozen articles every day. And I’d spend at least a couple of hours on the Sunday paper each week. (Heck, on a rainy day like today, I could spend nearly the whole day reading the paper.) I’d like to get back into the habit of reading and keeping up with the news at a bit of a deeper level this year. I’m never going to go back to reading the Times “dead tree” edition on a daily basis, but hopefully I can come up with a system for surfacing and reading the stuff that’s interesting to me in a way that’s convenient and useful.

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