Not a week goes by I don’t get a reply from someone telling me they can’t access one of the stories I’ve linked to.
I’m truly sorry ’bout that.
There may be steps you can take.
Geofencing is a website restricting access to a geographical area, usually a specific country. Some errors you get will be clear (“not available in your area”), some not so much (generic “permission denied”).
Here’s the problem: if I can see the story to share it with you I have no way to know it’s geofenced.
All I can suggest is either using a VPN to make it look like you’re in the news site’s country (an impractical solution for most), or using some of the techniques below (particularly #3 & #4) to get to it another way.
Or just enjoy the headline, and wait for a new story tomorrow.
There are two flavors of paywall:
- 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 at all.
For the second, I do look for alternate sources, but sometimes the story’s just too good, or I don’t realize it’s behind a paywall.
I understand the need for access restriction and funding necessary to provide quality content. I also understand not everyone can, or would, subscribe to access just one article.
Accessing the inaccessible
So with those conflicting priorities in mind, here are four easy workarounds:
- Open the link using a different browser. Most free view tracking is done using cookies, and those are separate for each browser you use. For example, if you use Chrome, try Firefox (or Edge, or Opera, or any of a zillion different browsers) and you’ll often get a new set of free views. This doesn’t always work, but it works often enough to be useful.
- Open the link using “in private” or “incognito” mode. Same idea: incognito browsing doesn’t save cookies, so when you fire it up you’re starting with a clean slate. Same caveat: this doesn’t always work, but it works often enough to be useful.
- Search news.google.com for keywords taken from the title or quote to find an alternate source you can access. This is how I find alternate sources myself.
- Use 12ft.io to view the unpaywalled Google cache of a page.
Paying for content
I put my money where my mouth is: I’m a paid subscriber to several online news sources. I feel funding a free press is important.
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. They’re also a publication I feel is worth supporting.