Sub­scrib­ing to your local news­pa­per

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The Syd­ney Morn­ing Her­ald has a deal for aca­d­e­mics and stu­dents right now that lets aca­d­e­mics pur­chase a year’s sub­scrip­tion for $60 for dig­i­tal and print (deliv­ered on cam­pus) and $40 for dig­i­tal alone.

I think that’s excel­lent value, and I’ve signed up (to the digital–no sense wast­ing the trees). I’d urge other aca­d­e­mics and stu­dents to do like­wise, for sev­eral rea­sons:

  • The value alone. $60 for a year’newspapers is cheap! I’m also pay­ing  $8 a week for the New York Times (dig­i­tal only). That is at the level where I might con­sider de-sub­scrib­ing, and putting up with their limit of ten free reads a week;
  • If enough peo­ple don’t pay for a rea­son­able ser­vice like this, news­pa­pers are going to die. We lost a lot of good journos last week when the SMH accepted vol­un­tary redun­dan­cies. It costs an enor­mous amount to deliver the “free” news­pa­per we all read on the Net, and if those costs aren’t cov­ered, then ulti­mately news­pa­pers will become shad­ows of their for­mer selves. We would all be the poorer for that.Whatever some peo­ple think of the “Main­stream media”, I’d rather have it than not.
  • Feel­ing bet­ter about your­self. I’ve been read­ing papers online now for at least ten years. I am so com­pletely out of the habit of buy­ing phys­i­cal news­pa­pers that I resile at the rel­a­tively min­i­mal costs of buy­ing one–even though I fork out for 2–6 times that much for caf­feine every day. Now I can read the paper with­out feel­ing guilty about get­ting some­thing that I know costs a great deal to deliver for free.

I  have been hop­ing for ages that some­one would per­fect micro­pay­ments on the web, because the prob­lem with old-fash­ioned com­merce via the web is that it feels too expen­sive: why pay a cost based on the print media when there’s no print involved, and so on. A micro­pay­ment sys­tem (where you might pay a cent for each arti­cle you read) seemed the way to go, but no-one has devel­oped it, and maybe it will never hap­pen.

So the SMH’s idea is a good com­pro­mise in that direc­tion, and I hope they extend it (at a higher price) to the gen­eral pub­lic.

If you’re an aca­d­e­mic in Syd­ney (or stu­dent, for whom it’s half that price) and you reg­u­larly read the SMH online, then sign up for the deal. And if you live else­where, and if your local news­pa­per is some­thing you read online, and they offer a sim­i­lar deal, then con­sider it.

About Steve Keen

I am Professor of Economics and Head of Economics, History and Politics at Kingston University London, and a long time critic of conventional economic thought. As well as attacking mainstream thought in Debunking Economics, I am also developing an alternative dynamic approach to economic modelling. The key issue I am tackling here is the prospect for a debt-deflation on the back of the enormous private debts accumulated globally, and our very low rate of inflation.
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  • al49er

    Would you rec­om­mend a sim­i­lar sub­scrip­tion if it was for “The Aus­tralian” Steve?