Occasionally I’ll link to a story that lives behind a news organization’s paywall. There are two flavors:
- Access to all content is restricted to paying subscribers.
- A limited number of “free views” is made available, after which access is restricted.
I try not to link to the first kind at all.
In the case of the second, I do try to find other unrestricted sources when I can, but sometimes the story is just too good or too relevant, or I just like it too much.
I totally understand the need for access restriction and the funding necessary to provide quality content. I also understand that not everyone can, or would, subscribe to access a single or infrequent story. Most of the time the “first N free” approach covers that case with little concern. Sometimes, however, “N” is too small,. Sometimes I’ll have linked to a particular source more then “N” times in a month so following my links may cause you to reach the threshold.
So with those conflicting priorities in mind there are a couple of generally easy work-arounds:
- Open the link using a different browser.
- Open the link using “in private” or “incognito” mode.
As for myself, I put some of my money where my mouth is: I’m a paid subscriber to several online news sources. The one you’re most likely to see here is The Washington Post, as they have regular features and email newsletters focussed on exactly the kinds of news stories I try to bring you. And they’re also a publication I feel is worth supporting.