Thursday, November 30, 2017

Democracy Dies In Darkness at Jacksonville.com

I read a lot of news online. I'm not unique, either. People are always reading their news feeds for weather, traffic, sports, and other interests. I'd like to know the local news, too, especially since I'm trying to write about my experiences here. The problem is that Jacksonville.com wants me to answer a survey of six or fewer questions. Therefore, I won't read the article.


This has happened a number of times since I've moved here, and I guess that means I have yet to read an article from the main Jacksonville news source. That's pretty sad, since I then move on to some other source for my news, like one of the TV news websites, complete with their consistently bad editing and sparse, sensationalist reporting.

I'd like to get the best local news, but it's not important enough to me to answer surveys from Google while logged into Google on my computer or phone. I noticed on my laptop that I could skip the survey, but that was after I'd already started writing this article, so I'll keep going. Some websites offer an out, some make it so you can read just a little bit, and some don't let you get anywhere. You know which news sites let you read all the content? Fake news sites certainly do. Twitter and Facebook do. All the really awful ways to get news let you get it easily. No one wants to work to get the info they want. No one who reads this article is going to click on an ad. But I understand the need to make money on the content.

The problem is that the news sites that make the most money often aren't selling well-reported news but infotainment, but it's wonderfully accessible to all, so that's what appears to be real news to those of us unwilling to click a survey or give away our emails to read more.

When I finally read the article that got me to write this one, it wasn't very interesting, anyhow. And now my ip is registered as someone who skipped the survey, so does that mean I won't get let past it next time? Or that they'll try some other tactic on me? [UPDATE] The next day, I had to watch some Jaguars ad for 30 seconds before I could continue, and then I had Jaguars ads in all my articles and on the sidebar. No survey, but still annoying. Lots of drums and nonsense.

I looked into the subscriptions at jacksonville.com, but $10 a month for "Unlimited ad-light digital access to all our online content" implies I'll still get ads, even if they are the light versions. When I build websites, I charge less than $10 a month and don't throw any ads on the domain. Granted, the ad-heavy version of the site is impossible, so I'd like to see ad-light in action. Feel free to send me your login credentials so I can give it a try. Wait, you're reading this, so you probably don't have a subscription either.

While New Jax Witty won't send out reporters or fact check with government on any opinion or research, you can always read it for free, even though it would be nice if you also clicked on a link so I can buy me an energy drink.