A double post today. Whew. Might need a drink after this.
I noticed the Boo News carried another CSWAB press release yesterday without any concern for researching the actual facts, so naturally I had to read it. I have to select my news carefully now or pay for my crime of reading free news.
The Boo News now limits its online readers to 3 stories a month or pay $4.95 for a subscription. Considerably less than the $12.50 per month to have it delivered to your home.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel also went to something similar, but there you get 20 free stories before you have to cough up the money.
So the press enjoys its freedom but if you want to read it, that is not free. I have never objected to paying for a subscription that is delivered to my house. I think $12.50 for the service is cheap. The paper sells advertising to cover the cost of having Tim Damos read Laura Olah’s press releases and then cutting & pasting it into Microsoft Publisher.
Paying $4.95 for online service is outrageous considering their advertisers pay based on how many of us visit the website.
So what, Bob?
Here’s the so what. All politics are local. I realized today that because of the reading restriction, I have not been following the local news. I won’t pay for the online service because I don’t think news is a premium event like boxing on HBO. I don’t subscribe to the paper simply because I won’t support the bias of the Baraboo News Republic that came with the arrival of editor Todd Krysiak.
I am sure I am not alone, but most people probably have different reasons for not subscribing. My secondary reason is I’m too damn cheap.
It is an interesting dynamic none the less. By requiring payment and limiting a persons access to local news, you limit the public’s general ability to follow local news and local politics. And by not having that knowledge, the local government chugs along mostly unchecked.
It is debatable as to whether or not I miss the rantings of Tom Kriegl, but I do have to admit that not reading the paper makes him less irritable.
Publishing a newspaper isn’t cheap and like any other corporation in America – publishers are entitled to their profits. Welcome to the right hand.
On the other hand, they claim they are the guardians of free speech and the watchdogs of government. If people are not buying your news, however, how can the public know what you’re actually watchdogging?
The skeptic in me cannot help but think that any paper worth its grain in salt should make news easier to obtain rather than restricting it.
Until the Boo News figures that out, however, I’ve downloaded Firefox and Google Chrome to increase my free limit to 12 articles a month. Now I can read the Sauk Prairie Eagle, too!