5 Alternatives To The New York Times That Are Still Free

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better than new york timesThe New York Times is now behind a paywall, but it’s not the only newspaper on the Internet. If you’re looking for a free alternative to the Grey Lady there are more than a few that offer quality, well-written reporting.

Consider yourself a regular New York Times reader, but can’t afford to pay for a subscription? You’re not alone, but sadly you’ll only be able to read 20 articles a month. There are certain exceptions of course, but for the most part you’ll need some sort of subscription to read regularly.

Not just any paper offers an alternative to the Times, of course; that publication’s readers will expect a certain level of quality. The list below attempts to include only the best alternatives the web has to offer, so keep reading to see if you can’t find a new homepage.

The Washington Post

better than new york times

This is an obvious place to start. The Washington Post has long been the New York Times’ main domestic rival in the United States, competition that’s made both papers better. The two newspapers have long competed for scoops, but with the Time’s new paywall, the Post will probably pick up a lot of web traffic. We’ll see whether that’s actually the case or not, but for now it’s worth taking a look at this paper’s homepage and finding out if it fits your regular reading needs.

The Guardian

alternative newspapers

World famous following their recent collaboration with WikiLeaks, UK paper The Guardian has slowly been building up readers around the world with their in-depth international reporting. Expect to find well-written reporting over a wide range of subjects. As a newspaper that seems dedicated to building up its brand internationally via the Internet, it’s unlikely The Guardian will be behind a paywall anytime soon. Probably not an alternative to the Times for domestic politics in America, but it’s still worth checking out.

The Christian Science Monitor

alternative newspapers

It’s hard to explain why this paper isn’t better known. Consistently engaging and comprehensive, the Christian Science Monitor is perhaps best known for its feature articles but also manages to keep its readers up-to-date. This paper is consistently excellent, and great for those who like longer reads. Don’t let the name confuse you; this is a secular newspaper with a commitment to objectivity and fairness.

The Economist

alternative newspapers

Read by some of the most powerful decision makers on the planet, The Economist is well known for its international reporting and analysis. Though decidedly a publication that sees the world through a liberal, pro-capitalism and pro-globalization lense, The Economist is also an excellent source for hard news from around the world. Of particular interest are their in-depth reports on important stories, and (for our readers) their quarterly reports on current trends in technology.

The full table of contents for the print edition is behind a paywall, but it seems that all the content is free to access from the website. An interesting strategy, to be sure.


better than new york times

OK, so NPR may not be an alternative to the New York Times in many respects. Primarily a broadcasting outlet, NPR is sometimes better known for its shows about fictional small-town Minnesota and car repair than it is for its journalism. Don’t let that fool you; NPR does a lot of quality reporting, making its website a great place to look to keep up with world events.

Even better, there’s the NPR Web App 12 Best News Sites You Can Trust 12 Best News Sites You Can Trust Want the best news sites around? This list of top-ranked news sites kill fake news stories and publish credible content. Read More for reading and listening to all of the day’s top stories. It’s the closest rival to the amazing NY Times app I’ve found so far. Or if standard websites are more your thing, click here to read NPR.


There are plenty of hacks for reading the New York Times for free; following them on Twitter, for example. Also see, 5 Ways To Get Around The New York Times Paywall 5 Ways To Get Around The New York Times Paywall 5 Ways To Get Around The New York Times Paywall Did you know that the New York Times spent an incredible $40 million on their recent paywall solution? Did you also know that it can be circumvented with all but a few clicks? If you're... Read More . But as The Onion recently pointed out, there’s nothing inherently absurd about a newspaper trying to charge for content. Producing quality content isn’t cheap, after all.

But for now, lots of publications are giving the content away for free. Let me know what alternatives you like best in the comments below, or just discuss what you think the Times new paywall means for the industry.

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  1. GuyInNewYorkCity
    November 30, 2017 at 5:09 pm

    I'm a paid NYT subscriber. Since last November, I've become far less interested in opinions, and really just want to read well-written factual articles, devoid of persuasive language. Lately, the Times has been not living up to that standard. The articles are still well-written (I love it when an article makes me run for the dictionary!), but, oftentimes, riddled with words that betray the author's opinion too easily. I appreciate how difficult it is to keep one's opinion at bay, especially when writing about a topic one feels passionately about, but that's the challenge (and the joy) of superior journalism. I would hate to see the Times succumb to the temptation of the times (pardon the pun), and devolve itself into another opinion mill. We have too many of those already.

  2. Dislikes Morons
    April 17, 2011 at 5:32 pm

    Sull765 in case you missed it the first time, I will replay it, S.T.F.U. Moron.

    • jhpot
      April 17, 2011 at 7:08 pm

      The fact that he didn't respond the first time tells me he's not a moron. I do have questions about other people in this thread, however...

  3. Dan
    April 9, 2011 at 5:49 pm

    The Economist isn't what I would call liberal, but it's still a great publication. Also, the Economist is a news magazine like Time or Newsweek, rather than a daily newspaper. The CS Monitor is mostly secular, but they are still controlled by the Church of Christ, Science. And that means that they cannot criticize the church or its founder Mary Baker Eddy; and that they have a Religion column. Still, it's a good newspaper and I used to read the online edition regularly.

    Now, I just read Google News and click on the major headlines.

    • jhpot
      April 9, 2011 at 6:06 pm

      "Liberal" has a historic meaning, and I meant it in that sense; basically, pro-democracy, pro-capitalism. The Economist calls itself liberal regularly, and this is that meaning it has in mind.

      • Dan
        April 9, 2011 at 6:06 pm

        I know, I read John Stuart Mill for kicks. Classical liberalism is now known as "libertarianism". Since we're talking in the 21st century, we should use words in their current usage, and as such liberal is not an accurate description of the Economist. The Economist wants to resurrect the old meaning, but no one is taking them seriously since the term is loaded with excess baggage.

        Politically, I am a moderate liberal with some conservative leanings. Indeed, I fancy myself a libertarian at times, usually when I'm bored.

  4. Guest
    April 7, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    Washington Post is the mouthpiece of the corrupt DC establishment elite. McClatchy News is 100 times more honest. http://www.mcclatchydc.com/

  5. Justin Tyler
    April 6, 2011 at 7:51 pm

    Try your local library. It might be in one of their databases.

    • jhpot
      April 17, 2011 at 7:07 pm

      Local libraries also usually have print editions as well, if you want to read today's news.

  6. Cfs_z
    April 6, 2011 at 6:53 pm

    Sull765 - STFU

    • jhpot
      April 17, 2011 at 7:07 pm

      Not particularly helpful.

  7. Sull765
    April 6, 2011 at 6:02 pm

    Undermining the efforts of news organizations to stay afloat in devastating economic times is not your best side, MakeUseOf.

    • jhpot
      April 17, 2011 at 7:07 pm

      I'm probably going to buy a Times subscription sometime soon, so my purpose here really wasn't to undermine the Times. I'm just pointing freeloaders towards other organizations.

      Paid subscribers make money for the Times; freeloaders largely don't. Not only do paid subscribers pay for the content; advertisers are willing to pay much, much more to reach paid subscribers. Basically, from the advertiser's point of view, people are more likely to read content they pay for than content they get for free. It's media 101, and newspapers on the web have been missing it for a long time. The Times is trying to re-create it, but still give people who only read articles occasionally a registration-free way to do so.

      I think what the Times is doing is brilliant; I just thought it might be worth pointing out to those who disagree that there are other newspapers out there. My bet is all of them will have something similar to the Times in a few years: free to those who only read occasionally but not to those who read regularly.

      The Times knew articles like this would be written; in fact, they probably counted on it. If they wanted freeloaders to hang around forever they would have stayed free.

      • Anonymous
        April 28, 2011 at 9:39 pm

        Don't call me a freeloader, moron.
        I can barely afford tuition. I just want to be informed, and know about the world's events without having to pay.
        Good journalism can be free. BBC for example.

        • jhpot
          April 28, 2011 at 10:34 pm

          The BBC is paid for by mandatory fees all Brits have to pay. The Times has no such structure.

          What you're basically saying is "I'm not a freeloader, I just don't want to pay for stuff." Classy.

      • proactive
        October 1, 2016 at 10:41 am

        I pay for the nytimes and I'm just eager for another opinion. Also, the times doesn't keep up on there shit. It took 2 hours to even mention the recent dumpster bombings in NY in real time. Not a good selling point!