Hey, Alex Breitler at the Stockton Record? I really do like your work, and I read your articles extra carefully. You’re the only mainstream journalist I can think of who covers water* from within the Delta. One of your stories gave me the lead-in for what I still think is the best post I’ve written here.
But I’m not going to pay for a subscription, so I can’t read your stories any more. Now I will know less about the in-Delta perspective on meetings. I won’t be linking to the Record anymore, so you’ll lose at least half a dozen hits. Maybe you could tell your editors that this move will shut you out of the blog discussion circuit. And isolate the Delta voice a little more. Or give Aquafornia permission to quote your articles in full? Aquafornia might as well, since we can’t click through anyway. Don’t know. But the subscription model doesn’t mesh with my blogging approach (read all the news stories until something strikes me) and the small blog niche.
I know that newspapers are looking for a solution and trying out different models; I don’t have anything constructive to suggest. But if each newspaper unilaterally requires a subscription, I’ll just give up on that as a reading/blogging source. I don’t care enough to pay for any one of them. Not for news about a meeting or an update on a political event.
If all the newspapers switched at once, I’d have to think about it more. I might choose one, or hope for an aggregator. (Speaking of which, I’m curious about what the DWR WATER NEWS will do. If they drop the Stockton Record too, I think in-Delta water reporting will have lost a big amplifier.) If I can’t go to newspapers? I don’t know. Go to the next free source. Posted public comments? Other blogs? Those have a punishing signal to noise ratio, but I’m still not going to pay money for something I once got for free.
*You, Matt, Bettina, Seth. Who else regularly reports on CA water for a newspaper?