Good, serious, hard-hitting journalism is adapting to the fact that many readers no longer want to buy print newspapers or receive print copies of magazines. The result is a decline in traditional paid advertising. The adaptation is for news organizations to roll out different kinds of paid subscriptions, with more appealing features to online readers and sometimes more targeted content.
I pay to read the New York Times and the Washington Post, because I want to support what they do. I also subscribe to the Atlantic, and now have become a founding subscriber to Masthead. NiemanLab describes Masthead this way:
“The Atlantic is the latest publisher to roll out a new membership program, seeking a new path to more engagement and (most importantly) revenue from readers.
The Masthead — the program’s name, as well as a nod to the access members will get to Atlantic writers and editors — is a separate level of subscription, that launches Wednesday for existing subscribers of the Atlantic; it’ll quickly be opened up to anyone interested in paying more for more Atlantic content and access. Membership comes with a digital subscription to The Atlantic, Masthead-specific stories and updates, behind-the-scenes dispatches, discounts to Atlantic events, and a members Facebook group.”
On Monday morning I’m participating in a 45 minute conference call, my first formal Masthead event, with Julia Ioffe, who is talking about her longtime coverage of Russia.
We have far too many voters who lack critical thinking skills and who get all of their news from Fox, Breitbart, conservative talk radio, and the like — sources only loosely moored to reality that can hardly be called “news”. Democracy can’t survive that way.
My Masthead subscription is an effort to support a pushback toward reality, rigor, and intellectual honesty. There are lots of ways to restore sanity to the political process. What’s yours?