It used to be that the online paid-content subscriptions were for pornography, networking, advice and UseNet, but lately trends of newspapers and e-zine sites have implemented a system requesting you to pay to “read more”.
If you’ve read this site before, then you’ll most likely know the grudge we hold against the media that profit big time from telling the news (and more than one time out of ten they are factually inaccurate with their reports). In fact, the other day I was reading up on the Breivik case where video games were being accused as the reason for the Norwegian Terrorists’ actions – the article? Well it was basically a re-written summary from Wikipedia. See for yourself at Washington Post.
Meet the paywall – The paywall is a system that stops Internet users from reading web content without having a paid subscription. Newspapers claim to have been implementing paywalls on their websites to increase their revenue as the rise of technology is supposedly weakening their profit margins due to the declines in print subscriptions and advertising revenue.
Nearly all mainstream journalists write, rewrite or republish content from their affiliated networks and so it is unlikely (for now) that the article or similar couldn’t be retrieved from elsewhere. I can understand why financial security is at risk due to the rise of technology, the web and things like AdBlock but if you’ve ever read a story on a slow news day you might understand why you WOULDN’T want to pay a subscription fee. For instance, usually the media resorts to what happened on ‘that reality TV show’ last night and the celebrity outrage that has caused the nation to stop operating with a purpose (sarcasm) when there is little to report on.
There’s something morally disturbing about the paywall when it comes to addressing opinions and news. Anyone involved with the WordswithMeaning! staff have made it clear that paid content is a big no-no because we would have to deliver a certain amount of quality articles per day, and if there is nothing to discuss, then we would be forcing creativity – which thus equals lackluster content.
So next time you read the brief description of what is happening in the world you…
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No not really, but with the rapid accentuation of browser add-ons that circumvent the paywall (such as RefSpoof for Mozilla Firefox ) and the “you’ve reached your limit of articles, pay now” scheme, it seems that even the free content may eventually be harder to find in this globally monopolized world wide web.