Okay, I'm going to be crystal clear here.
dangerousmeta! has been a hawk soaring over the landscape of the internet for almost nineteen years now. I've been able to pick off fat rabbit/articles at will.
Today, I can no longer do so.
I will not contest with hard paywalls, and I only use soft paywall sources if I must. If I cannot guarantee a reader can follow me, I will likely never use the source. And that throws me into ad-stuffed, autoplay video, bajillion-tracking-cookie secondary sites. Triangulation with other sites is also now necessary, to be sure I'm getting an accurate picture. Time? You have NO bloody idea, until you do what I still try to do. It's unsustainable now; it's only going to get worse.
I am no longer a hawk. I'm a parakeet in a little bloody cage with a bowl of stale seeds, a giant bag of money sitting on top. Pennies are dropping in the bag, further crushing my cage. If I paid up for services, stacked bundles of dollar bills in the corners, I could maintain or extend my cage a bit ... see a little bit more ... but it is STILL A CAGE.
Look at Amy Siskind's "The List". That's the kind of range I used to have, except my interests soar far beyond just politics. Count up all the subscription costs for her to do what she does, and you're over $1k/year. Privilege talking, without even a blink of recognition of the fact. To do what I used to do, I've already projected over $2k in subscription costs and I'm still finding sources I'd like to reference but cannot. I don't think even a hardened news junkie would ever shell out that much. I can't do that here - I do this in spare time. And I've never monetized in my entire history - in fact, I take a perverse pride in that (folks have said since '02 that it couldn't be done). Far too late now, with reader numbers where they are. And who'd be able to afford to follow me everywhere?
What the linked article is missing, and I am calling out here, is that NY Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, LA Times and more are foundationary organizations.
Virtually the entire national conversation is based on these - not the free sites - and they are out of reach for me (for the most part) except on the first days of any given month, because of paywalls.
As a citizen of the US in these troubled political times, as a human being on this globe, certain news needs to be freely accessible. Thank goodness for AP, Reuters and The Guardian/US. They're about all I've got left for definitive sourcing.
But for how much longer? Because I cannot comment on what's being passed around from the prime sources, my irrelevance grows. The days of my purposefully limited blog style have been numbered; journos always felt bloggers were vultures in the '00's. Well, now I'm like the last dodo bird still singing in what's left of the jungle. When the commercial interests pave me over, you'll never hear a sound. But for today, I'm snapping my beak at their approaching ankles, and I must confess it feels good.
News orgs should have thought of package deals by now, but they're too busy desiring to create their own Fox News-like echo chambers. Or perhaps it's just another great idea they haven't thought of yet.