Today I subscribed to heraldscotland.com. Being the self-righteous type I give to various charities and good causes monthly and I consider this to be the same. Newspapers are losing readers fast as people either read them on the internet or stop bothering to care about the news. Newspapers are responding to this by either moving into sensation tabloidism ending in scandals like phone hacking or re-printing articles from agencies and other papers (churnalism is the term). So I think it’s up to everyone to support decent newspapers while they still exist. I buy the Sunday Herald every week because it has genuinely interesting and original articles, it’s Scottish and has good design. But that’s still nothing compared to my parent’s generation who buy newspapers every day of the week.
The Herald’s website heraldscotland.com recently required a registration after 5 articles and subscription after 10. It’s only Â£35 a year (or Â£3 every 4 weeks) which I recon is very cheap. However when charging for something that used to be free, and is freely available from many competitors, something more should be given. You still get annoying flashing adverts which I would have expected to disappear when subscribing. And the need for a subscription is trivially worked around anyway by just deleting the site’s cookies in your browser. The subscription has a joint option with the daily Herald but I’m not Glaswegian and only want to read the Sunday Herald yet there’s no subscription option for that. It’s good to help responsible journalism but I think to be at all sustainable they need to give us readers more of a reason to subscribe.by