They are not blocked. They have chosen to take their services offline because they don’t think changing their business model such that it no longer depends on aggressively tracking their users is worthwhile or cost-effective. Which is fine by me imho.
I don't agree that if a business chooses not to operate in a country, because it's unwilling to spend the money required to comply with the country's laws, that that is equivalent to censorship.
Another person's personal information is not protected speech.
I was fine with that transaction. In fact, I would rather have them sell my data instead of charging money.
Consumers have a choice on whether or not they want to go to these sites, it's not like they are forced to give away their personal information to news sites.
I would say the GDPR blocking news sites is a net negative because it denies consumers the choice to read news stories.
And I always thought (back in my more naïve days) that I read the site in exchange for being advertised to. Point being, the exact details of the transaction were never shown to the visitors. GDPR fixes that by forcing companies to state the terms of this transaction explicitly, and actually ask the visitors if they're willing to participate in it.
GDPR isn't blocking any sites, it's only disallowing a very particular way of getting users to give up their data and then monetizing that data. Nobody is entitled to their business model working forever, and some companies prefer to shut off a large segment of their market instead of updating their business model. It's their choice.
*metaphors can get quite silly
Self blocking in response to a law to avoid the penalties under the law is being blocked by the law.
That's all there is to it. GDPR isn't banning news sites, or other companies; it's banning a very particular set of antisocial business practices.
The problem isn't only adjusting business models. It's proving you've adjusted your business model to twenty-eight EU regulators. If one of them misbehaves, you now have to wage a legal fight in a foreign jurisdiction. Against those costs and risks is a minimum required revenue. If that revenue doesn't exist, it doesn't make sense to serve that market. Regardless of your business model.