A Plea For Open Information Borders

In the work that I do in media, as a voice at conferences and an advisor in major media companies, timely awareness of the news is critical. I think we can agree that now more than ever, that’s true for everyone.

I would like to ask/suggest/implore that, for the next 45-60 days, all online news outlets remove their paywalls. More than a 1/2 dozen times today, someone sent me, and all of us here, a link to a story that I must read immediately, only to get a “subscribe now to read this” pop-up.

There is so much information that we, as a national community, need right now. At the same time, the ability to pay is being challenged for many, in some cases just by uncertainty.

So, To the NYT, WSJ, WP, Bloomberg, The Atlantic, National Review, The Economist and many others, here is the opportunity to get us ‘hooked’. We are all hungrier for trusted information than ever before in the age of the internet.

In 60 days, you can turn the toll booths back on. You will have a much larger and appreciative audience, now addicted and ready to pay.

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Kate Tews
1 year ago

As others have already noted, the New York Times has placed their coronavirus coverage, updated throughout the day, outside of the paywall. So has the Los Angeles Times. And I get most of my news from KPCC, 89.3 FM Pasadena—also thorough, non-paywall coverage.

(I also donate or subscribe to these outlets because I’m in a position to do so.)

Stay safe, everyone.

Jennifer Yeko
1 year ago

I also see so many newspapers and outlets laying off staff due to the Coronavirus so if they don’t start getting more eyeballs, I am afraid more layoffs will ensue. I never understood why TV can be free and 100% supported by ads whereas newspapers cannot.

Kevin Day
1 year ago

Good point …agree!

Bill Werde
1 year ago

Unless we are asking all industries to make their core products free, this feels like a really tough, unfair ask. Shouldn’t Spotify be free now, since we all need to be entertained at home? Why are we paying for groceries? We need to eat. Some sites have made their Covid coverage free, which is a noble effort for struggling companies—companies who, mind you, are about to be decimated by then impending recession. Those ad dollars which were already too hard to come by are about to completely dry up. I lived it once before as a publisher. If anything, I think more folks should be encouraging others to pick a publisher to support right now, if you feel the content is valuable enough to want to consume it.

Gary Kline
1 year ago

Totally agree. I have seen some paywalls open up for specific COVID related stories but in general they should just open up. NBA and NFL just did for their streams.

Ann Marie Prendergast

I don’t listen to the media hype and prefer impartial facts. There’s a news site called Knowhere News that changed how I get news from day 1. None of the drama, opinion, etc… and just facts. No pushing buttons or inciting fear, or inciting trauma. It’s my first and often, only news source. Check it out: knowherenews.com/?referral_code=RO23TI07FHAA

Russ Crupnick
1 year ago

Ted, amen to that. Even though I pay for NYT I’m just about ready to remove all the news apps where bulk of stories have paywalls. Your solution is more elegant. Than again I heard someone say it’s all fake news anyway so maybe just read a good book! Be well, stay healthy – with love.

Mark Holthaus
1 year ago

h’mmm … don’t see it mentioned anywhere that the owner’s of these paywalls, unlike other businesses, are sheltering under constitutional protections of the public’s right to know stuff

Jessica Wilkinson
1 year ago

agree!

Marty Levine
1 year ago

NYTimes is already making their Covid-19 coverage available at no cost.

Don Leopard
1 year ago

“I agree with Ted 100%! -Leopard”

Niall O'Neill
1 year ago

Nice suggestion Ted #inthistogether ?

John Rubey
1 year ago

Great suggestion Ted, many Free CV users would likely convert to pay when the danger passes, WHICH IT WILL!

Conrad Buck
1 year ago

Completely agree. All the decent news is behind a paywall so everyone is just reading the crap

Tatiana Tacca
1 year ago

Agree! The NY Times and Wall Street Journal have already done that for COVID news

Mark Holthaus
1 year ago

Sadly, the marketers have prevailed … even NYT and WaPo that claim their corona coverage is free are cratered with trapdoors and gotchas

FX Nutall
1 year ago

could not agree more !

Guy Eckstine
1 year ago

so annoying!

Derek Broes
1 year ago

This is a must. Cell companies should cancel all billing as well

Todd McGee
1 year ago

Totally happened to me so I went to different source.

Andrew C.
1 year ago

I’m ready to trade some logins!

Shelly Hartman
1 year ago

Thank you, I tweeted at Wash Post about this.

Nora Natali
1 year ago

Yup so needed at this time.

Jack Wrigley
1 year ago

Noo kidding

Chris Adamo
1 year ago

Yep

CJ Wilson
1 year ago

Fantastic idea

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A Plea For Open Information Borders

by Ted Cohen time to read: 1 min
26