Are subscriptions right to protect writers job?

When I read that for this week blog post, we had to find a piece of content that we don’t have access to online unless we pay for it, my mind went straight to newspapers and magazines.

Since I started university, plenty of times, during my researches regarding any issue or topic, I bumped into articles that I couldn’t read, if not subscribing to the site.

I chose to share with you, one of them: The Economist.


Non-Registered users of The Economist are allowed to read two articles weekly and registered, but not subscribed users have a weekly article limit of three. After have read the amount of articles permitted, this screen appears to the users:

Screen Shot 2016-03-12 at 10.41.29.png

If The Economist could share its contents without asking for subscriptions, of course the advantage could be to have more readers and probably more content sharing on social media platforms and consequent more site traffic. On the other hand, The Economist has a very peculiar target audience that read it, and if it was free, not necessary everyone was going to read it.
The limitations to have its contents shared with the public could be loss of The Economist writers’ intellectual property and, of course, of profit for it: everyone could then, not just share, but also copy their contents easily.

I believe that every newspaper and magazine subscription is right, to defend their writers ideas and job. I believe that, as we pay for reading a book, it is fear to pay for newspapers or magazines, printed or online. A lot of people work on these contents, and it is correct to pay for their work and their ideas. What do you think about? I know it is for all of us annoying when we want to read something and we need to pay maybe monthly subscription for it, but is it not right that people job receive the right fee?



  1. I agree with your idea that it is right for magazines and newspapers to ask for fees. It is not for money; it is a kind of respect for authors. And is the magazines like economist is free to read, I believe the quality of it is going to be lower. The good content deserve people to pay.

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  2. I also know how annoying it can be when it comes to trying to access an article for a piece of work! It has angered me before as something so easy becomes so hard to read about or reference. But, to be honest like you have said, the authors have the right to have that respect and their work be recognised, especially if the content is of high quality. Reading your post made me think about how maybe i won’t find it as annoying not being about to access some information, simply out of respect to the talented authors.

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  3. I agree that people deserve the right to decide whether they want their content open to the public or only available to subscribers. I think it is strategic of The Economist to allow all viewers to access two articles a week because it shows confidence in their work. They know that they have the ability to rope in a non-buying customer by offering a sneak peak, the viewer will want more. I appreciate your comment on the intellectual property of the website. Perhaps they don’t want just anyone viewing their articles due to a high level of prestige.

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  4. I think that the Economist is a great example because it is such an intellectual magazine. You have talked about it’s target audience and how they are a minority special group of people. Now looking at the price of the magazine, around £4 for a copy, it can be understood that the these group is middle-high income shopper. I think that the magazine works very well having their selected buyers and that they do not need to come under a Creative Commons license.

    In addition I agree with you that it is right to defend the writers work and pay for it. It can be annoying for people that can’t afford paying for the Economist weekly, however they have a lot of different newspapers and magazines free or cheaper.

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