In celebration of fake holiday Columnists Day earlier this week, I encourage – nay, demand – you to pick up a newspaper or head to your favorite news site and appreciate strange and wonderful journalism.
There’s a lot of gold in there, honestly. From advice on how to best break it to your partner of a decade that you’ve been consistently swapping the Betta fish in the tank, to longform pieces on how business is conducted in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
There are problems afoot in the industry, however. Print is kind of dead and there are lots of issues on the online terrain. How, as a reader, can we try our best to support journalism – without being prompted to turn our adblocks off (ugh) and being pushed to an array of confusing paid subscription packages to view one article (double ugh)?
Here are five services that help you support good content without having to deal with ads or subscriptions.
Empower journalists from around the world with crowdfunding platform Beacon Reader. It lets you support journalists and fund stories directly, so they can work on in-depth features, from encryption to histories from Manhattan’s Chinatown, without the pressure and input of advertisers.
With paywalls, advertisements, and blocks – access to excellent journalism is getting, quite frankly, tricky. Dutch startup Blendle is doing something about it. It has signed up with major newspapers and magazines like TIME, The Economist, and Foreign Affairs to offer articles at 10¢. No subscription, no ads, just good ol’ journalism.
Bored? A lot? Dull is an app that lets you simply “swipe left for the best of the Internet”. Subscribe to a range of content feeds from social media and news to music and let the app do the rest for you. This gamification of content consumption keeps you up-to-date on the latest Internet news and memes so you are, I suppose, never dull.
For simple and quick article saving and sharing, Linkpack is a frills-free extension that lets you drag and drop those nifty links for later reading. It tracks your reading progress, which is useful when your morning is full of distractions, and offers narration for when you need to read hands-free.
The Old Reader
Is the RSS feed reader dead? I sure hope not. Moscow-based The Old Reader is a web-based news aggregator slash social reader. It lets you subscribe to your favorite sites and connect with friends so you can start reading, sharing, and discussing right away.