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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We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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