We hear fairly often from regular readers frustrated that some articles we link to are behind a paywall. That is, you may need a subscription from the publisher to see the article, which is the case with the Chicago Tribune, Wall Street Journal and some others.
We understand the frustration and it’s a matter we have struggled with, but here’s how we’ve decided to handle it for now:
We will soon start marking with an asterisk those that might require a subscription, but we will continue to link to them, for several reasons.
First, most publishers that require a subscription do allow you a certain number of free views per month, so an asterisk doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t be able to see it. That will depend on how often you’ve visited their site recently.
Second, we think it’s important to link to all major or significant articles, from all political viewpoints, and we spend lots of time identifying those for you. We think you should at least know about them, even if you only see only the headline and short summary. Those may include op-eds by important people, editorials from major papers and national publications that deemed a particular Illinois story newsworthy for the whole nation.
Third, we do try to stick to free stories whenever we can. For routine news items that are widely available, we usually find a free source.
Fourth, we want to respect ownership of the stories. A source that produces the best or first article on a particular topic should get the credit with a link. Though we often criticize some of the media, many are struggling with financial problems, and we are happy to be sending hundreds of thousands of pageviews to them on their best stories. We also keep our summaries of their stories fairly brief, again out of respect for their work product.
We do not share in or profit from any links to articles from other sources, and you will never be asked for payment on our own articles, which appear in the right column of our homepage.
We hope that works. Feel free to make suggestions on this or other topics in our comment areas or by email.