Beginning tomorrow (Tuesday, June 1, 2021) my news outlet is lowering its monthly allotment of free articles from ten to five. I know, I know … what in the hell, right? The nerve.
Bunch of damn boa constrictors …
Never mind that most of our competitors offer just three free articles per month before compelling readers to purchase a subscription … or that some allow only one free story before they start charging (others zero).
Oh, many of these outlets modify their free content policies without informing readers ahead of time (or providing them with the bare minimum of notice). Me? I’m writing a whole article about our policy shift … (although I did make sure this post didn’t count against anybody’s free clicks).
As someone who never wanted to institute a pay wall in the first place, the whole discussion of paying for content offends me. As I often tell the people I work with, I view myself as an artist. And art is cheapened by the coarse talk of economics. When people talk to me about paying for news, I immediately think of birdcage liner. Still, the phrase “starving artist” does come to mind … and as many of you know, I am an “artist” with an expanding brood of dependents.
So, starvation is not an option … and besides, labors of love last only for as long as there is money in the bank.
Providing for my growing family isn’t the real reason for this decision, though. If it was, none of you should consider subscribing. Because that would be charity, and charity is not what I am looking for. What I am trying to do is continue building a legitimate media operation that facilitates the free exchange of ideas within the Palmetto State’s marketplace, challenges established perceptions and holds leaders at all levels of government accountable for their actions (or, as is too often the case in South Carolina, their inaction).
While I certainly want to channel the Pet Shop Boys and “make lots of money” one day – today is not that day. For now, I am focused solely on improving the quantity and quality of the work we do at FITSNews – which means making investments in the site, not endeavoring to make money off of it.
I want this venture to be profitable so that it can continue to expand … and continue to improve.
FITSNews took a huge step in that direction last January when we brought on Mandy Matney as our news director. Mandy has done some truly incredible, impactful work over the last seventeen months – and added a compelling new voice to the site in the process.
Your subscriptions made it possible for us to hire her … and I am hoping the new subscriptions generated by this policy shift will help me hire even more new talent. Your subscriptions have also enabled us to launch our daily newsletter – and maintain our news aggregator, Palmetto Wire.
So thank you …
Bottom line? FITSNews is growing rapidly … and I have big plans for its future growth.
But those plans will not amount to anything absent the resources to implement them. So, in announcing this shift in our free article policy, I would humbly ask regular readers to help us continue the expansion and enhancement of our operations by subscribing today and supporting the work we are doing.
Oh, and if you have a business and you want to support our work through your company, those small business and corporate subscriptions are particularly helpful!
Thank you very much.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR …
Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and seven children. And yes, he has LOTS of hats (including that Magnum P.I.-style Detroit Tigers’ road lid pictured above).
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