Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Sonya Mann’s Journalism Spend

Sonya Ellen Mann recently bought a copy of Monocle, a magazine I adore. She became curious as to how much she spends monthly on journalism, and it’s intriguing (via Samantha Bielefeld):

This is all for digital material. $36.17 per month; debatably actually $26.17 because The Marshall Project is a nonprofit and the donation comes off my taxes. Either way, it’s really not much. I could easily drop $36.17 on dinner or drinks.

Good-to-great journalism is surprisingly inexpensive these days. I spend approximately a similar amount, and could probably increase that by a fair chunk should I so choose.1

But great journalism often comes in two forms: publications that are regularly good sources, and publications that are occasionally good sources. The former makes sense for someone to buy a subscription, but the latter probably does not for most people with limited means. I would love if there were a way for me support the publications I read only occasionally by paying $10-20 or more per month to a service that would distribute the funds accordingly. In Uber-but-for terms, something like Spotify for journalism.

Update: Jonas Wisser just reminded me that the Spotify-for-journalism thing was tried with Readability. That didn’t end well three years ago, but perhaps a spin on a similar concept today would have more success.


  1. Is there anything you think I should be reading? ↩︎