newspapersThe newspaper industry has been in decline for years. Some newspapers are reducing the number of days they print. Many have halted production of their paper copies in favor of online-only version. While others are closing their doors completely.

This is no surprise being that mobile phones, tablets, and portable computers have taken subscribers attention away from the paper (analog) medium towards a purely digital platform. Nonetheless, there are many benefits to reading your newspaper online. Digital newspapers are much more interactive and provide quicker access to breaking stories. They are often updated more than once a day with the option of being notified on breaking news. In addition, they require much less energy to produce and are more portable. Reading the morning paper on your smartphone, tablet, or ebook reader is quick and easy to set up. Moreover, delivery of a digital newspaper costs the same whether it is being sent to 100 subscribers or 1 million subscribers. So how can you get all this digital goodness for free?

As mentioned above, most newspapers offer a digital version of their publication. Some will include this as part of your print subscription, and others will offer it as a standalone service. As with their offerings, the cost also varies. The Edmonton Journal, for instance, offers a digital subscription for approximately $10 per month. This is the same cost for the Calgary Herald and Vancouver Sun. But, as the title of this post suggests, there is a way to read these, and many, many more newspapers online, in their entirety, for free.

Press Display is a service that offers access to over 1700 newspapers and magazines online. If you have a local library membership, you get access to all of these for free directly through your web browser. For example, the Vancouver Public Library offers a membership with access to all their digital content for free. The Edmonton and Calgary Public Libraries also offer a free membership if you are under 18. If you’re not, an adult membership will set you back a whopping $1 per month. It doesn’t get any closer to free than that!

I’ve been reading newspapers online for years and absolutely love the convenience. What do you think of papers going digital? Do you miss the feel and smell of a freshly printed newspaper? Let me know in the comments.

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