News isn’t free, even if it’s fake. The Onion announced that they are testing out a new paywall system.
If you live overseas, and read more than five satirical articles a month – time to get out your credit card.
Unless, of course, you are overseas serving the US, in which case read away.
The Onion explains: “It also won’t apply to areas where a lot of American troops are deployed in combat, as The Onion recognizes that it has a large fanbase in the armed forces, and it doesn’t wish to charge them for being overseas. They also have better stuff to worry about.”
While this is a good and noble idea, does it trouble anyone else that the armed forces is a “large fanbase” for the satirical news source? For example, an article earlier this summer ran with the headline: “U.S. Quietly Slips Out Of Afghanistan In Dead Of Night.” Hopefully, the armed forces fanbase reads other papers, too.
The new system won’t limit access to the homepage, individual sections or the non-fake culture pages (The A.V. Club). All of that content is still free, as is the print publication.
Overall, this new plan is fairly unobjectionable. It also doesn’t sound like a moneymaker. But maybe fake news fans, who are overseas, who aren’t in the armed forces and read English are a big enough demographic to make a dent in the production costs.