A new way to keep Current: Introducing our digital subscriptions

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Ready for some big news? Current’s digital subscription is almost here! We are truly excited to finally give you a chance to help fund all of our content that you enjoy.

Current began publishing online in the early days of the internet. Back then we suffered through the harsh bleating sounds of telephone modems, that annoying AOL announcement “You’ve Got Mail” and slow-motion browsing. Readers could access a limited number of stories posted days or weeks after publication in our then-biweekly newspaper. It was the digital version of the Pony Express.

Today Current.org delivers fresh stories nearly daily, and most of our readers find their way to us through a weekly email newsletter or links on Twitter and Facebook. We continue to publish in print (about once a month) and distribute the paper at public media conferences.

Unlike many trade journals, Current has never charged readers for online access. We gave our content away for free, just as public radio and TV do. But that’s no longer an option for Current.

Wondering what our digital subscription plan means for you? Well, if you aren’t a subscriber, you’ll be able to read only a limited amount of our online content. There will be a meter on your visits, so you won’t be able to access the full breadth of our coverage — important breaking news, in-depth reporting, and the analyses and thought leadership we provide to this industry. And you’ll miss out on the People column! You can fix that situation by subscribing through our paywall partner Wallit.

Now, if you are an individual subscriber to Current in print, don’t worry: We will automatically give you online access. But we do have to add your email address to our database, so make sure we have that and we’ll get you started.

If you work at a station that has a group subscription to print editions of Current, then you may be covered. We’re asking your station’s leadership to provide a list of staffers who will have unlimited access to Current online.

Our sincere hope is that stations will choose the option we consider our “best of all possible worlds”: the universal subscription plan, which provides access to Current for everybody at the office. The universal subscription is a great way for stations to promote a spirit of inclusion at work and demonstrate a real commitment to the professional growth of all employees.

It’s also the best way to ensure that Current can deliver on its promise to keep public media informed, connected and inspired. Indeed, our very survival depends on the success of our new digital subscription program.

Some of you have asked what is happening with the print edition of the paper. Perhaps you didn’t even know there was a print edition! Well, we put a lot of effort into producing it. But because it’s clear that more and more of our readers are exclusively going online to get their public media news, we are compelled to embrace new strategies to finance our reporting. The future of Current is up to you, the people of public media. We may be putting up a paywall, but please know that our doors and minds remain open to your ideas. So come on over and tell us what you think. And subscribe, subscribe, subscribe!

  • Trip Ericson

    So… we need a subscription to read the article about needing a subscription? That seems… unhelpful.

    • Good point, we fixed that. Thanks.

      • I’m a regular NPR listener & PBS viewer in North Chile. Especially I’m watchin’ the NewsHour every weeknight and weekend online. I don’t have money, but I’m a regular Current reader. I’m interested in public media. My favourite NPR programme is “All Things Considered” and my local programme is “Boston Public Radio” on ‘GBH. And of PBS, my favourites are the NewsHour, Washington Week, Curious George (from ‘GBH, my nephew’s favourite as a toddler), peg + cat (due to catchy math) and another two ‘GBH’s programmes: NOVA and FRONTLINE. And many more. Many PBS programmes are on many TV stations worldwide (many of those public), especially in Latin America. Please consider this as a special free-of-charge membership. Thank you Mike, keep Current alive!!! #PBSNEWS

  • Ann Alquist

    Good for you. Julie and Team have taken Current into the stratosphere. Count me in for a digital subscription!