Media sites I subscribe to (and pay for)

Wednesday, December 31st, 2014

In the late nineties, I subscribed to several weekly and monthly magazines. Business Week. Entertainment Weekly. The Economist. Red Herring. Upside. Harvard Business Review. And so on.

Fifteen years later, I subscribed to none.

That’s the way of the world, I suppose, and part of the ugly reality I lived through in the newspaper business.

This year, I decided to change it up, and see if I could atone for the web’s original sin. I took a look around and decided to see what was worth reading, what contributed more to my life than the Dunkin’ Big One or three I’d be sacrificing.

Here’s where I’m currently spending my cold, hard cash.

Public Media

Disclaimer: I have a large vested interest in the long-term success of public media. That said, I want my local stations to stay viable, which is why I donate to WBUR and WGBH. I also added WXPN (in Philadelphia) to the list this year because Robert Drake’s Day Before Christmas brought my family a lot of joy on Christmas eve.

Plus, if you don’t contribute, Elmo knows where you live.

Mainstream Media

The New York Times still has an insanely confusing matrix of options; I have the basic online subscription. Lots of people in my Twitter feed link to the Times, so it’s useful to be able to click on those links without having to remember to clear cookies, etc.

The Economist has grown-up stories and reasonable subscription plans. The feature that pushed me over the top is the audio edition. I can listen to all the articles in the magazine (er, newspaper) through a podcast. This usually gets me through a couple of commutes and a walk.

I quickly scan The Wall Street Journal each morning. I think about canceling every month, but I usually find at least one or two articles that make it worth keeping.

Technology and “media” media

The Information is a relatively new tech-industry site. I’ve found their reporting to be worthwhile.

Stratechery by Ben Thompson has high-value takes on the technology and media worlds. His deep dives on the system dynamics of my world always get me thinking.

Baekdal Plus by Thomas Baekdal goes very deep into the business of media. If you’re in the media business, you should subscribe.

That’s where I am right now. What else should I be checking out? I’m especially interested in Stratechery and Baekdal-style sites, featuring the voice of one person.

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