Paywalls are killing my Budget

I just cancelled the Sunday New York Times and took digital-only (browser and smartphone) for $15 a month, discounted by half for 12 weeks. My most recent home delivery bill was $33 and some change. For Sundays! A promotion cutting the price in half for 6 months expired in April. I’m not eligible for another deal, and I don’t get $7-plus a week value from Sundays and all-access digital.

I’ve subscribed to the Times since 2001.

Wall Street Journal is worse. Few months back I cancelled the digital subscription started in 1996. Right, digital that long ago. Back then the Journal used PC software client and PDF. In late February, WSJ snatched $207.48 from my bank account for the annual payment. Choke, choke. Murdoch and company charge more and more each year—hell, I wish my pay rose at such a high rate. I cancelled within hours.

In 2009, I paid $119. A year later, the Journal jumped the rate to $155, and I temporarily cancelled but returned within days after receiving a $79/year offer. I don’t recall the 2011 rate but vaguely feel it was something like $179. I’m uncertain.

Correct my math (which arguably is often shaky), but I get a rate of change around 74 percent since 2009 and 34 percent from 2010.

And people wonder why Huffington Post’s approach of aggregating to holy high hell is successful. I’m all for paying for news. Hell, I work in the industry and want to support it. I’m also a long-time, paying subscriber, which is worth what? The privilege of paying more.

I get value from both publications, which have been among my top reads. But I must confess to increasingly being led to more valuable news or other info from sites like Google+ or Twitter. Social journalism just might have a future, but that’s topic for another day.