More than a week behind schedule, the Seattle Times set up its paywall, so viewing their website now costs $4 per week. This would probably be well worth the price if the articles were particularly unique. But they're not. Lots of other news outlets, from mainstream broadcasters to neighborhood blogs, cover the same sorts of stories, and they post their articles online without charging a penny. The hardest part for local news readers is assembling all those stories from across the region in one place (which is what the Seattle Times essentially did on its homepage), but in this day and age, it's easy to peruse all those outlets' articles on a single screen.
That's why I've made a list on Twitter that puts all the free local news stories in one place.
The list is called Free Seattle Times.
The stories at Free Seattle Times won't be identical to the Seattle Times, exactly, but they will be just as timely and just as good. In many cases they'll be better—and, again, free. News intern Jocelyn Macdonald helped put together the list, which includes lots of accomplished local blogs and outlets. If you think there's a great local news site we left out, suggest it in comments. The biggest substantive difference between this list and the Seattle Times is that you're not getting those Seattle Times editorials. Which raises an issue. I mean no ill will to the reporters at the Seattle Times—Emily Heffter and Mike Lindblom are excellent journalists—but the business side, which leverages those reporters into revenue, and editorial board of the paper aren't worth paying for. They've famously paid to promote a right-wing candidate, fought against low-income housing for their own selfish profits, endorsed George W. Bush as "the clear choice for president," opposed light rail in 2007, opposed it again in 2008, unfailingly supported anti-tax campaigns that gut funding for schools, and then pretended like readers and writers are too stupid to figure out why schools are underfunded. Making it worse, that opinion and business agenda has tainted the paper's news coverage.
So it's without a morsel of remorse that you should use Free Seattle Times instead of paying into a business that doesn't represent Seattle anyway.