If you're not paying for journalism...

... you're paying to not have journalism

We lost a reader yesterday. And I am more than fine with that.


"Floyd" wrote in asking why we "post so many links to NY Times, when we are not allowed to read Times articles online without payments?"

"I dislike this very much and will stop visiting your site," he added.

Floyd's note arrived at the end of an extraordinary week that saw journalists scrambling to get fast-changing developments on the impeachment of President Donald Trump, trying to make sense of disarray in Europe, offering insight & perspective on potentially bell-weather elections in Virginia and Kentucky, and – within the New York Times, finding space and time to cover Trump administration rollbacks from the Paris Climate Agreement to water pollution from coal plants.

So maybe I was a little harsh on Floyd. "We post from the New York Times because it has become the de facto paper of record for the United States; it makes an enormous investment in a far-flung reporter staff; it publishes a wide range of in-depth, accurate, objective journalism; and an online subscription only costs $15 a month," I wrote back.

"We hope you continue to read us," I added. "But our mission – for which foundations generously support us – is to bring the best news about the safety of our health and environment to light. And as long as papers with modest subscription costs like the New York Times, the Washington Post and The Guardian to publish such news, we'll continue to post it."

Stephan Pastis, creator of the syndicated comic strip "Pearls Before Swine," nailed this last month with his sketch of a conversation between Goat and Pig. Pig thinks a city planner asked for a bribe during a permit application. Goat replies such corrupt behavior would surely have been exposed. Enter a former journalist, laid off after subscriptions tanked.

"If you're not paying for journalism, you're paying to not have journalism."

Time to go renew some subscriptions.

Print Friendly and PDF
SUBSCRIBE TO EHN'S MUST-READ DAILY NEWSLETTER: ABOVE THE FOLD
From our Newsroom

Breast cancer: Hundreds of chemicals identified as potential risk factors

Researchers find nearly 300 chemicals linked to breast cancer-contributing hormones in everyday products, and call for a renewed focus on women's exposure risks.

A toxic travelogue

The first four stops on a tour tracing American history through its pollution.

My island does not want to be resilient. We want a reclamation.

Unlearning academic jargon to understand and amplify beauty and power in Puerto Rico.

Measuring Houston’s environmental injustice from space

Satellites show communities of color are far more exposed to pollution in Houston, offering a potential new way to close data gaps and tackle disparities.

Fractured: The body burden of living near fracking

EHN.org scientific investigation finds western Pennsylvania families near fracking are exposed to harmful chemicals, and regulations fail to protect communities' mental, physical, and social health.

The real story behind PFAS and Congress’ effort to clean up contamination: Op-ed

Former EPA official Jim Jones sets the record straight on 'the forever chemical' as lawmakers take up the PFAS Action Act

Above The Fold

Daily & Weekly newsletters all free.