Paying for Journalism That Matters

Paying for Journalism That Matters

Starting January 11, we’ll be using a meter system that will keep The Nation free for new readers, while also asking frequent visitors to help fund our important work.


What a year it has been! In 2015, we celebrated our 150th anniversary. We toured the country with a live show and a documentary film. We published a coffee table–bending 268-page special issue. We delved into our archives with daily explorations of our country’s rich and tumultuous history.

Perhaps most vitally, on July 6, 2015, exactly 150 years after we published our first issue, we relaunched Our new website, redesigned and reengineered from top to bottom, represents our commitment to being at the forefront of independent journalism for the next generation. Through the generosity of our donors, we were able to make all of our articles free for everyone for the remainder of our anniversary year.

That turned out to be a very good thing—because in these turbulent times, we’ve never been more necessary. We’ve also never had greater reach. Here’s one measure: November 2015 saw a 102 percent growth in unique visitors and a 155 percent growth in page views over the same period last year. Many of these new readers came to us in the days after the Paris terrorist attacks, desperately searching for an explanation of ISIS’s origins and motives, an alternative to the racism and xenophobia that sprung up in response, and, above all, a strategy to wage peace, not war. Probing, passionate, brilliant articles by Juan Cole, Laila Lalami, Lydia Wilson, Kamel Daoud, and Yousef Munayyer were read by millions, more than a third of whom came from outside the United States.

In 2016, an election year, we rededicate ourselves to journalism of this import and impact. That’s why you won’t find empty clickbait on our website. It’s also why, for many of you, nothing will change. New and casual readers will continue to be able to read our articles for free. If you like them, we hope you share them and come back for more.

But doing journalism of this quality is expensive. In the past year, we’ve sent writers to the streets of Athens to report on the financial crisis; to the factories of Iowa to talk to working-class voters; and to the borders of Europe to document an unprecedented refugee crisis. We’ve interviewed presidential candidates, explored what’s at stake in the next election, investigated broken healthcare systems, and exposed the cruelty of the prison-industrial complex. We’re proud that we were among the first media companies to pay our interns a living wage, and that we just signed a groundbreaking contract with the union that represents our staff.

The only way to read everything The Nation publishes (including our 150-year digital archive) has always been to subscribe. Unlike most magazines that rely on advertising to pay their bills, The Nation depends upon the support of our readers and the generosity of our donors. But starting on January 11, 2016, we’re changing to a different model of accessing all of our content online. We think this new metered system will better allow people to read and share our most important work during critical moments (after all, we’re working to help build a movement here), while also asking our regular readers to chip in to support our journalism. Here’s how it will work:

  • Everyone will be able to read six articles for free over a 30-day period.
  • After the first three articles, you’ll be asked to sign up for our one of our newsletters so that we can stay in touch with you about our journalism.
  • After six free reads in 30 days, you’ll be asked to subscribe at our special, introductory rate of $9.50 for six months of unlimited digital access. (That’s less than 37 cents per week!)
  • All print and digital subscribers can log in to enjoy unlimited access. For more details on how to create or manage your subscription, go to our handy FAQ.

Many of you already subscribe (thanks!). Some of you have let your subscriptions lapse (now’s a great time to renew). And for some of you, this will be the first time you’re asked to pay to access our articles. Because we only do journalism that matters, we believe our regular readers will be proud to subscribe—and to help keep The Nation accessible to new readers. Over the next few months, we’ll be keeping a close eye on how this is all working, as well as answering customer queries.

And of course, we’ll continue to bring you the pioneering journalism that made our first 150 years and will make our next 150.


Thank you for reading The Nation!

We hope you enjoyed the story you just read. It’s just one of many examples of incisive, deeply-reported journalism we publish—journalism that shifts the needle on important issues, uncovers malfeasance and corruption, and uplifts voices and perspectives that often go unheard in mainstream media. For nearly 160 years, The Nation has spoken truth to power and shone a light on issues that would otherwise be swept under the rug.

In a critical election year as well as a time of media austerity, independent journalism needs your continued support. The best way to do this is with a recurring donation. This month, we are asking readers like you who value truth and democracy to step up and support The Nation with a monthly contribution. We call these monthly donors Sustainers, a small but mighty group of supporters who ensure our team of writers, editors, and fact-checkers have the resources they need to report on breaking news, investigative feature stories that often take weeks or months to report, and much more.

There’s a lot to talk about in the coming months, from the presidential election and Supreme Court battles to the fight for bodily autonomy. We’ll cover all these issues and more, but this is only made possible with support from sustaining donors. Donate today—any amount you can spare each month is appreciated, even just the price of a cup of coffee.

The Nation does not bow to the interests of a corporate owner or advertisers—we answer only to readers like you who make our work possible. Set up a recurring donation today and ensure we can continue to hold the powerful accountable.

Thank you for your generosity.

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