The link for a one-off contribution is here: https://contribute.theguardian.com/
Or for a subscription, here: https://subscribe.theguardian.com/
I tried the weekly paper edition for a while, but although it was posted on-time at the printers (in Britain or Austria), the Danish postal system usually delayed delivery to me by at least a week.
* no tracking of the articles I choose to read, as in online news subscriptions
* cross-section of articles that I wouldn't otherwise seek out (no filter-bubble)
* very little advertising, none of it obtrusive
It's also a great way to support real journalism, and learn about world news, not the parochial junk my local tabloids cover.
Now you'll get a massive dosage of anti-Sanders, anti-Corbyn hit pieces and similar along that political vein. You'll get a solid 70% of opinion articles pushing extreme feminism. If that's your cup of tea, all the power to you. But I don't think they're remotely impartial for a second anymore.
Comments sections strategically opened or closed or moderated depending on the subject.
Good on them for pulling out of Facebook I guess, but that definitely doesn't mean they're remotely objective at this point in my experience.
I think The Guardian has lost much of their balance in the past couple years though. I see too much rhetoric in what should be unbiased news lately and while I appreciate well thought out opinions I don't like them creeping into "News". When it does I feel the ghost of Orwell leaning over my shoulder and whispering "there it is".
The reason their extreme bias shows: https://theintercept.com/2016/12/29/the-guardians-summary-of...
This is a bit of an exception, because it is quite possibly the worst article I've ever seen them put out. But they definitely have a bias, towards the Clinton/Blair faux-left to the point where they not only dislike the right, but also the people like Sanders/Corbyn.
Edit: Apparently Assange didn't say the things the article claims. If so, it's just shoddy research on the part of the article author, and I'm surprised it hasn't been retracted.
It was during our elections last year that they leaned too far for me to take them seriously as a real journalistic endeavor and I scrapped the bookmark because they were wasting my time.
It wasn't easy though. I really wanted to make a donation and support their stated mission of being truly independent news provider, but I just couldn't because they're not. They have a very clear agenda that's promoted with a left wing tilt but really only supports a different group of corporatists than the right.
I will not subsidize that, and that's really what they're asking from us.
IMO, around that time the editorial policy changed noticably too.
Who writes how the left ignored the working class and how the working class supported Trump before the election:
March 2016: Millions of ordinary Americans support Donald Trump. Here's why
July (post BrExit): The world is taking its revenge against elites. When will America's wake up?
> one Google image search using technology “trained” to recognise faces based on images of Caucasians included African-American people among its search results for gorillas
> Microsoft created a chatbot, Tay, which could “learn” and develop as it engaged with users on social media. Within hours it had pledged allegiance to Hitler
> Robots are racist and sexist. Just like the people who created them
The author is determined to see sexist intent in everything, and bends the truth to match. (E.g. claiming Microsoft software pledge allegiance to Hitler.)
That said, steer clear of the opinion pieces and you can avoid the worst of this junk.
The points she makes otherwise might indeed be worthy of discussion. However I think some of what she describes is simply misclassified data - black people get misclassified, but so do white people (but of course it doesn't make the news). Unless she can prove that white people are misclassified less frequently than black ones, she has no point.
The Tay incident was not due to bias but to trolls purposely feeding the IA racist information. Despite what she vaguely claim later in the article it wasn't encoded, not even subconsciously, in the bot by the developers.
I never saw that claim in the article. She did claim that white, straight men dominate fields of technology and robots, but that doesn't seem controversial to me (though I would happy to see evidence against it).
I'm not sure that either of your points diminish the argument of the article. I didn't get the impression that the author thought that developers are purposefully creating racist robots. To me, she was saying that those who suffer bigotry the least will also be the least likely to account for it in the systems they design because they see the world as less bigoted than it is and has been. Sure, in hindsight, the two examples you mentioned can be explained as poor sources of information. But if we're going to avoid bigoted tech & robots, we'll need to catch those issues beforehand, and I think her point is that more diversity would lead to better foresight on such things.
Take the example of their opinion pieces today.
Article 1: French polls show populist fever is here to stay as globalisation makes voters pick new sides
Article 2: How the opposition parties can still make a contest of this election
Two reasonable articles, which are not amongst the 10 most viewed or clicked on. What is amongst the most viewed opinion pieces then?
Article 1: Allow me to womansplain the problem with gendered language
Article 2: Serena Williams’s pregnant victory reminds us how amazing women’s bodies are. Subititle: Are women the weaker sex? I don't think so.
So the well-reasoned, sane articles are ignored, while the clickbait rubbish is well....clicked on, makes their 'most viewed' and is featured on their front page. A large part of the problem is people's tendencies to click on what you call "socially regressive" viewpoints. It's not like the people agree with them either, most of the comment section involves bashing the author. Some people are just looking for articles to get angry too.
That's not great, but for US news they are certainly in the top 3(alongside NYT and WaPo) and the only ones who are free.
Nobody is objective. The Guardian is clear in how it differentiates news and opinion.
High clarity is what helps people most. Couple that with some diversity in sources, and one ends up reasonably well informed.
Anyway, you make an unsubstantiated (and practically incomprehensible) claim and yes, you're going to catch "flak" for it. HN being the advocate for substantive discussion.
I am quite enjoying it these days. It presents the same news from various news sources and highlights a crowd sourced 'bias' rating for them. So, you can see the same story side-by-side from Fox News, New York Times, WashPo, etc.
No reader is truly objective either, including you ;-)
What about the things that were only described with squeaks amongst porpoises cavorting in the deep? What about the things that happened on the other side of the galaxy? We're predisposed against knowing anything about any of these categories of things.
(1) When I say "written" you can alternatively insert (for example) "talked about" or "filmed" or "addressed in any medium."
Edit to get rid of italics-incontinence.
I know I'm not perfect in those regards, but I try to at least avoid marching to the drumbeat of the two minute hates the politicians use to herd people.
(And if you think you are truly self-aware, you have not read Thinking Fast and Slow. You should.)
Impartiality and objectivity are key principles of any press agency
They are not even close to the hard left that the media paints them as.
The Guardian turned their back on investigative journalism and went for columnists (that write columns concerning the agency news). This was decided years ago and last year there were more cuts to the budget, so even more agency news and flim-flam columnist nonsense.
How can the Guardian compete when they are just churning out the same agency news stories as everyone else?
Opinion pieces from a select few columnists worked fine in the days of print but it does not cut it online, people are not that bothered about what their columnists think.
It is too late to turn the sinking ship around, the rest of the Scott Trust money will be thrown down the same hole and it will be game over, with cycles of cutbacks along the way. At the moment the chickens are coming home to roost, a friend in the Farringdon area recently took on two refugees from the Guardian, or maybe they were 'rats leaving the sinking ship'. In former times the Guardian would be the company you would want to work for, not flee because the writing is on the wall.
Had they done it differently and actually done the independent reporting and investigative journalism instead of the agency news with columnists, then things could have been different.
Nowadays the 'please donate' deal sounds a bit like 'give us some money then we will do this investigative journalism stuff, honest'. It is back to front and not as if they really believe honst money can be made from honest journalism - everything is someone else's fault.
If you want to take a moral position it should be based on an overall assessment of whether the world will be improved by a particular news source ceasing publication. Given the rumored state of the industry it's easy to imagine that in a few years we could be in a "post news" society, where reputable sources have not managed to keep the lights on and it's only the populist publications that are still in business. If the long term choice is between "support a publisher that once made a bad mistake in a technology story" and "The Daily Mail is the only source of news", well to me that's not a moral dilemma.
It's £5 a month, and whilst you do get some extras it is mostly just to support their journalism.
You can pay more as partner and patron if you choose.
Also, when I had Netflix I found it to have a pretty terrible selection after I'd finished the two or three series I liked. Maybe that's just me though.
Finally, at £145 a year, the BBC costs quite a bit more.
Because anyone in the world can have free access
Only BBC television costs £145 a year.
> BBC iPlayer only works in the UK.
> Sorry, it’s due to rights issues.
Yes, of course??
Since I spend 9 months of the year in Spain I use a vpn by default and I access iplayer just the same way I would back home.
The not free aspect amounts to a tick box to say you have a licence. To most people on the internet today this does mean it is free.
The point was to explain why the bbc is expensive compared to netflix since it is a lot less convenient to get content for nothing.
Yes, I do have a licence and subscribe to netflix as well as prime. The point was theoretical.
However, the BBC news I use does appear to be funded by licence-fee payers, among other sources.
"The World Service is funded by the United Kingdom's television licence fee, limited advertising and the profits of BBC Worldwide Ltd. The service also gets £289 million each year (agreed up to 2020) from the UK government."
I can assert this because I used to work there.
Same here. I had a subscription and they'd usually arrive in Germany a couple of days too late. Luckily, Germany has Der Spiegel, which is also more than worthy supporting.
And of course get enough traction for it to get popular and be used by enough people to be sustainable.
Until then, your problem will be mentioned on HN again and again...
1. Autopay using PayPal or something or the other.
2. Open the payment links with the relevant fields autofilled.
What if adblockers kept (locally stored) stats on sites you visited (where ads were blocked) and how often, and provided a link to donate to them, if you were so inclined. In your case, it might say "You visit guardian 10 times per week. To donate, click here, or to subscribe, click here".
If I can read The Guardian for free, I'm not going to pay for it. Period. And I'm going to block the ads if I can. Note that I'm not saying I would never pay for access to content; I do, e.g. Netflix, and my town's local newspaper website (which has subscription-only access).
Content is either worth paying for or it isn't. News orgnizations are in a tough spot here because there are so many news sources online it's not necessary to pay anyone. Anything newsworthy will be covered by a number of sources. The exceptions are local news, or highly technical/industry-specific news and analysis.
interestingly, their lack of a paywall is a definite part of the value i feel i'm getting for my subscription; if i had to log in to read them i'd be a lot less likely to subscribe in the first place. i wish more sites followed an explicit "pay to help keep us free for everyone" model.
As a member I shouldn't see these but I am often not logged in so I still do which is annoying but unavoidable. But to be honest they are not that intrusive (mostly a paragraph at the bottom of an article) and 1 million times better than a paywall.
The web is at a crossroad and we should promote multiple platforms, old-style blogs, decentralized navigation, classic journalism, etc.
For too many people, Facebook is the web and this is really sad and wrong.
We must find other ways to pay for information and curated content, limiting tracking and defending privacy.
Facebook / instagram / messenger, from what I can see, are just hard charging innovative platforms trying to create products people like. Their businesses could crater pretty easily and the only reason it doesn't is because they keep trying different things.
It's not like search and microsoft's OS dominance / network effects from their Office products.
You don't need to log onto facebook in order to work, you chose to because it's fun and you can connect with friends. Google / MSFT have far deeper hooks.
Facebook has 1.86 billion monthly active users as of Q4 2016. At that time approximately 3.4 billion people used the internet. So a little over 1/2 the internet-using population, and 1/4 of everyone on Earth, has a Facebook account that they access at least once a month. If you drill down a bit about 80% of American adults use Facebook regularly. You may know tonnes of people who don't use Facebook, but I think that's actually quite unusual. Outside of our HN-reading, privacy-interested, technically-competent bubble the overwhelming majority of people use Facebook, and Facebook does have an effective monopoly.
However, you cannot start a social network tomorrow and expect to make a reasonable income. People will not join your network, because their friends are not there. Facebook holds a significant part of the world population hostage, because they cannot 'dine' somewhere else. Contrast this with a situation where social networks are federated. You could opt to go to a competing network because their service is better, without losing contacts to your friends.
I would not know if that qualifies as a monopoly legally, but there is clearly a huge difference between McDonalds and Facebook.
They tried to buy Snapchat too.
Some interesting reading on how we might measure the unusual cost of Facebook's monopoly to society.
You people obviously don't use FB< if you did you'd realize that there is huge fatigue on the platform
The reason FB has done well is because they did some smart, viral things, but they can't just iterate like google or msft. They will die very quickly if they do. It's a very tenuous business they have
Of course, but it'd take a long series of significant mistakes by Facebook for them to actually die. While another social network could potentially eat their market Facebook aren't just going to sit idly by and let them. They have the resources to tackle pretty much any threat, so the only way for them to fail is by getting things wrong internally. No one is going to invent a new way of communicating that Facebook can't copy.
Why do you think zuck is working so hard on VR or why he split off messenger - because he knows facebooks survival is limited. What's app and Instagram is more of a threat than FB.
I suspect a lot of Facebook's 'side projects' are driven by what Zuck finds interesting rather than what he thinks is important to Facebook's future.
I don't think it's possible to gauge 1.86 billion people's opinions of Facebook by the things you see when you log in to your own account.
The reason fb is popular is zucks sheer force of Will and not because it's particularly necessary.
LOL, those people will grow up too, and a large percentage of them will join places like FB and even LinkedIn. It's not like what people use in their teens is what they use when they get older, start working, etc.
Besides "What's app and Instagram is more of a threat than FB" is missing the point, as both are owned by FB, the company.
That's a pretty charitable interpretation of Instant Articles.
Those people don't have a need for the web, and, more importantly, the web has no use for them.
If you don't think the web has any use for them, someone else's "web" will. And that web will have a better user experience than yours. Before you know it, people are all using their "web" (see facebook).
The real issue here is how can we enhance the experience of the web we're trying to protect. If someone else has something that's easier to use, people are going to use it.
Facebook is in no way a "better web". I don't use it and I m not missing anything.
I also don't agree that "ease makes it better". The early days of the web were mindbogglingly interesting because it attracted an inquisitive crowd who found ways to make it work (and invented things, if needed). Even today, interesting crowds often flock to low-UX corners of the web (case in point HN).
You and I can probably live without Facebook, but for many, that's literally the only way they connect with friends online. And that's important, because the average user will become what defines the web. Just like trump is the president now, both are things I don't personally like, but that's just the people speaking.
In a way, we (hn users) are also uninteresting -- and the Facebook content are kind of interesting to other people as well. People are different, and we just have different objective functions. In that sense, HN itself is also a "silo". We don't want to be living in silos.
Your news feed is designed from the ground up with powerful artificial intelligence to become an echo chamber, and lots of FB users just don't understand this. They fall for it completely.
I have more liberal friends than conservative friends, and my FB feed literally only shows me anti-Trump pieces (along with ads and other spam), some of which are astoundingly blatant in their bias.
I have to go out of my way to seek out opinions from or articles shared by my conservative friends. Even if I do this frequently, FB still does not incorporate them into my feed. Instead, every single day, it shows me low-quality clickbait anti-Trump articles shared by someone who lived on the same floor as me in a college dorm 7 years ago with whom I shared one conversation in real-life and whom I've never interacted with on FB in any way aside from approving her friend request.
The evidence doesn't seem to show an effect: while there's definitely partisan selective exposure as a result of Facebook's algorithm, our longitudinal audience data suggests that before Facebook people mostly only read or watched a single news source. So even the attenuated diversity you get through a selective feed still seems to result in wider incidental exposure than the pre-social media world.
No paper to link, as the research is still ongoing. I understand they look like pretty robust results, though - it's certainly changed the way we look at things.
(Also rather reassuring, and interesting in terms of narrowing down the causes of the hyper-partisan trends that seem to be developing in politics.)
Please do post the paper on HN when it comes out!
So even if you read the "Unbiased Times", you can get a biased selection of articles because of the algorithm.
However, in the old days, you could get away with fake news, and today, you can get away with fake news (even break the law, because it's the internet, and you can write in English and have .com or .us domain in whichever country you want), and it's even lucrative to do so!
Back in September (two months before the election), a random meme of Hillary Clinton popped up on my Instagram Explore feed. It was funny, so I liked it. Immediately after, after one like on a seemingly innocuous meme, I started getting full blown "Hillary is a criminal" memes. Along with that, gun activism, taxation is theft, and that WW3 was going to happen. And I tried to fix this by flagging all the suggested posts as "not relevant to my interests", and even blocking the meme accounts, but Instagram wouldn't get a clue. So for weeks afterwards, my Instagram account was bombarded with pro-Trump memes. All because I thought one joke about Hillary Clinton was funny.
With all these automatically curated feeds, there's no space for moderates anymore on the internet.
Autocuration is cancer.
> has single-handedly almost ruined news consumption among certain demographics in the US
but you just keep using it. What would it take to make you stop?
I don't mean to single you out --- I'm just reaching a breaking point here. I usually hold my tongue, to avoid sounding "holier than thou." I stopped using Facebook about six or seven years ago when I stopped liking it. I don't miss it at all. On the contrary: as a non-user, I hate it more than ever. It is an out-of-control addiction causing real problems for society, and people know they hate it but can't stop).
My sister --- who never used it in the first place --- sometimes says that she feels like Wesley in that episode of Star Trek TNG where everyone was addicted to that holographic puzzle game, and he had to pretend that he was into it in the hopes of delaying his assimilation.
I feel that way more and more, especially on a thread like this where there is so much "concern" about Facebook from its very users, even among "our HN-reading, privacy-interested, technically-competent bubble" (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14177389).
Exhibit 2 might be the NYT taking on massive debt 10-15 years ago even as it was pretty clear that their business was changing. Money was cheap and their magic 8 ball said outlook good, so that was all they needed.
Exhibit 3 is probably the lack of care publishers have around the user experience on the web. AMP and IA is Google and Facebook saying "your product is great, your presentation is terrible". A 500 word story should load on a phone in under a second all the time.
Exhibit 4 would be lowering of the editorial bar by lots of outlets. This is probably the big one in my opinion:
* the NYT reporting in the run up to the Iraq war still bothers me, trust is hard to earn and easy to lose
* editors know that there aren't always two equal sides to every story, but that's the format they have
* their interview formats seemed designed so that a question with a yes or no answer can be spun on fly into a statement about something unrelated
* when everything is called breaking news, nothing is breaking news
* the patterns of news outlets are so obvious, that they are easy to manipulate (how many hours of television and lines of print were spent on Obama's birth certificate?)
Exhibit 5 is probably the overly conservative approach to the web. A digital newspaper is the obvious path and it's the only one too many outlets are exploring. Buzzfeed is a nice exception. I don't even think they expect readers to go to their website. Buzzfeed packages everything for sharing and the content flows just about everywhere. I don't think the conservative behavior of most outlets is due to lack of ideas. Some very smart people (like Dave Winer and Jonathan Abrams) have expressed a lot of interesting ideas that nobody seems to be willing to experiment with.
A decent amount of shrinkage in the news business was overdue. If you travel and read local papers, they are all almost exactly the same. If you watch local evening news, every program has the same format and basically the same set. There's a ridiculous amount of duplication and redundancy and getting rid of that frees up a lot of resources to work on other stuff. Fortunately, I think the shrinkage is mostly complete.
I was also turned off by this and stopped using it for that reason.
Precisely. FB's brand with respect to news is damaged to the point where it's negative. FB is the place to get fake nuz. The Guardian and the Times are wise not to allow their content to move under the FB brand.
I had some hope that Apple News could help RSS but that was apparently never Apple's intention.
>Publishers are also paying increasing attention to Apple News, which added push notifications as part of a redesign last year and now delivers significant traffic thanks to the fact that it comes pre-installed on hundreds of millions of devices.
That's not the impression I get from reading both articles. Some publishers like Mic seem to be still in a honeymoon phase with Apple News, but there's a lot of criticism similar to Instant Articles. "Being committed to" and "spending a lot of time" doesn't equal to a financial success for publishers.
Here's a few more stories
I have smaller topics like Ruby, Arduino, security, AI, etc subscribed but I've never seen anything from those subjects in my feed. If I scroll down far enough it starts going back days, rather than showing more subjects.
I read it once or twice a day to keep up on big news, but I've given up any pretenses that it can be personalized in any way. It's a big-media news aggregator, that's it.
"[...] If you leave these countries, you won’t be able to save videos offline, videos won’t play in the background, and you will see ads. " 
That's just BS.
That's because you do not own the content, you are licensing the content and the content have geographical restrictions set in place by the content providers.
Until everyone sign an agreement to get rid of geographical restrictons, nothing we can do.
And with this I would continue to pay for service AND also receive ads.
I kinda understand perverted logic of licensing content and region locking due to price discrimination, but just in my mental model Youtube is more of a service provider than content seller.
Edit: Either way, I'm paying for not seeing ads - so why would they still show them to me, after taking my money? It's their problem how they deal with second side (content creators & right owners, etc.) And right now it just seems like punishing paying customer (hey, adblocking is free :)
They are not news companies, they are not in the news business, they don't know it, and they have not done anything to be worth the trust of the public. They are just convenient because they are a monopoly in another area.
almost none of them know about news, they just happen to own the largest distribution media in some region and because of that everyone have to listen to them.
add to that that traditional media (tv, radio) you are limited by government allowing you to own a frequency.
In some sense, Apple faced that problem, too. It created its own sales channel, whereas the Guardian has one to fall back on.
In contrast, Intel when faced with that problem in the PC market, choose to work on brand awareness through the "Intel Inside" campaign. Reason likely is that, to create their own sales channel, they would have had to start making PCs, thus competing with their own customers.
So, Intel accepted that there were larger entities offering both their and their competitor's product, as long as it had ample opportunity to market its brand there.
So, perhaps the aggregators should work on two things: pay more to their contributors, and allow contributors more to present their brand.
The dead of the omnibus paper the press is forced to choose between a return to the old local/partisan model where the paper becomes a part of political movement and receives "patronage" from that movement in forms of paid subscriptions, or the yellow(named for the color of cheap paper) model that lives off scandal creation.
*Most of the newspapers of the 90ies based most of their revenue off content sourced from their network of partners a model that only really worked because the paper had access to long distance communication networks too expensive/exclusive for widespread usage among consumers.
Are you serious, that is the draw? Apologies as needed from me (someone who doesn't know or care a thing about Facebook) but I'm surprised. Couldn't a publisher easily silver-bullet this just by removing the bloatware from their own site?
Integrating with FB IA & Apple News is giving up power for gains that may not be worth it in the long run.
I'd still rather support them though!
I think it's best for the internet's health that Instant Articles is slowly declining, but it did show me how much better the experience could be if people paid attention to that stuff.
(I'm only commenting on the bigger picture, nothing about the Guardian specifically. They actually have one of the better websites out there.)