Online news subscriptions can quickly add up. Here are the monthly online/digital subscription fees for all the papers I read or would want to read online:
Knoxville News Sentinel: $12.00
Maryville Daily Times: $6.00
Chattanooga Times Free Press: $28.50
Nashville Tennessean: $12.00
Memphis Commercial Appeal: $14.00
New York Times: $35.00
Wall Street Journal: $27.00
Even if you leave out the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Maryville Daily Times to get just the papers from the four largest cities in Tennessee, the cost is $66.50/month.
That's a lot just to try to keep current with what's happening in the state. And it's almost necessary, because local newspaper coverage of state government is somewhat lacking and frequently biased, especially here. (Which makes us thankful for Tom Humphrey's blog.)
It would be nice if the papers in the four largest markets could work out some kind of subscription sharing deal, similar to their content sharing arrangement, that would allow subscribers of one paper occasional access to the others.
At least the Chattanooga and Nasvhille papers (and the Maryville Daily Times) allow a set number of free articles per month. That's nice for folks who have moved away but like to keep up with the goings on back home from time to time, and for news junkies trying to keep up with state business. The Scripps papers (Knoxville and Memphis) do not.
We subscribe to home delivery for the Knoxville News Sentinel ($25/mo.) and the Maryville Daily Times ($14/mo.), so we're already paying $39/mo. Online access is included with the News Sentinel subscription. The Daily Times charges $1/month extra, and I refuse to pay it out of principle.
Thankfully, national and world news is still mostly "free" (ad-supported) at portal sites such as Yahoo and Google, including AP content. We wonder how long that will last, though.
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