10 Ways To Get Around Online News Subscriptions And Paywalls


This is the month of the digital news paywall.

The Daily will start requiring subscriptions to access its tablet newspaper today and the New York Times will begin enforcing its paywall on March 28.

We suppose it was only a matter of time. You can’t get great content for free forever, after all, and online advertisements aren’t cutting it any more for some big budget newspapers.

So how are you supposed to get your news without signing up for a subscription, at least until the papers bond together to chain down all content?

We rounded up a few ways around the paywall with some useful news apps and aggregators, plus a way to trick the Times into letting you read everything for free.

If you don't want to pay for news content, start relying on news websites with free content.

Google News is a great place to start. The site has links to the most important articles on a variety of news websites. Find some sites you like and stick with them.

These sites will always allow you to access their RSS feeds, but will be ad-supported. You can feed RSS feeds into some apps we'll show you next.

Newspapers has links to official newspaper websites around the country

Newspapers is an incredible app which is essentially a directory of links to every newspaper in the country that has an online website.

Inside the app, you can choose to read articles through Safari or you can send articles to Instapaper for reading later.

Price: $1.99 for iOS

Use Reeder to aggregate your favourite news websites, which will constantly pipe in new content.

Reeder is both a beautiful and smart RSS reader.

The app makes reading RSS feeds feel like a real newspaper, and the app does the hard work removing ads and reformatting your favourite sites so they look clean as a whistle.

Price: $2.99, iOS

When you open Zite, you can add Twitter and Google Reader to start 'customising' news feeds curated by Zite. You don't need these services, however, for Zite to start recommending news articles for you to read.

As you pick articles to read (within a variety of unique sections like Gadgets, Social Media, Mac, and more), the app learns your interests. You can even give the 'thumbs up' or 'thumbs down' to any article to further personalise the experience.

Price: free for iPad

Use fan-favourite Flipboard to bring in all your Google Reader RSS Feeds

Flipboard quickly turns your RSS feed collection into a colourful news magazine.

The app has traditionally been used for social news (streaming from twitter, Facebook, etc.) but in December a new features was added to expand Flipboard's functionality to include any news you can grab using an RSS feed!

Price: free for iPad

The Associated Press' mobile app combines worldwide and local news

The Associated Press' mobile app lets you customise your news feed: you can select which local or national broadcasters and news are your favourites, then combine them with national and international AP content.

We love this feature, and we also like the slick interface and 'Categories' tab on the bottom to help find what you're looking for, fast.

Price: free, for iOS and free for Android

Use Twitter? This loophole makes it easy to get New York Times content for free

While there's no guarantee that they'll keep this easy once the paywall goes up on March 28th, you can create a list of each New York Times Twitter feed. Since articles you visit from links in blog postings or Twitter don't count towards your 20 articles per month limit, you'll be able to access them all for free.

Check out this list of 40 New York Times feeds, via Lifehacker.

CNN's app is one of the premier news apps in the App Store

New features for this iOS and Android app include streaming video, weather and traffic,and social network integration.

CNN even lets readers get involved from their devices with the iReport feature, which lets you submit photos and videos of your opinions to CNN. The app also uses push notifications to send breaking news your way, as well as local news options.

Price: free for iOS and for Android

The Daily just put up their subscription paywall today (after a while of free trial use).

The day after The Daily was debuted, we discovered you could read all of its content for free on a computer anyway.

Apparently the guy running 'The Daily: Indexed' decided to call off his Daily subscription, but two others are taking the reins and stepping in very soon to continue the site (as of March 19th). Let's hope they start it up again soon.

Here's how to read the New York Times online for free

Even once the paywall officially goes up, you'll still be allowed to read 20 articles per month on the New York Times' website.

If you want more (but aren't willing to splurge on a subscription), you can use a search engine trick to read up to 5 New York Times articles per day. Since NYT allows you more five visits per day when linked from a search engine, you can paste headlines directly into Google.

So combining these two options, you can read 170 articles per month on the New York Times' website. The New York Times is allowing unlimited access to their front page online too.

Update: get the Wall Street Journal and The Economist for free just by visiting Starbucks and using their Wi-Fi

Lifehacker reports on this free and easy way to access some great content from the WSJ and The Economist.

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