CHARLENE ROLLS | This column is free – but this is why you should pay to read our stories

play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Charlene Rolls is YOU's editorial director.
Charlene Rolls is YOU's editorial director.

We’ve been called everything from greedy to con artists. We’ve been accused of being unfair and irritating; stupid and simple. We’ve been told we just want to make it all about the money. We’ve had to face insults and the kind of rude comments that makes us wonder if people would say that to someone’s face.

And the source of this rage? The fact that some of our stories are for subscribers only. 

It makes my heart sink when I see those comments because I wonder if the people making them are thinking of the team working so hard to bring you the beautiful features that are so worth paying for. 

We spend time, energy, effort and money trying to create wonderful stories that will inspire, inform, entertain, educate, enlighten, enliven and offer escapism. We love what we do and we want to keep doing it for many years still – so that you can also keep enjoying what you get from the YOU team.

How would you feel if you were constantly told that people shouldn’t pay you for the work that you do?

There’s been an increase in complaints about some of our online stories being available only to subscribers. 

Some people take pleasure in asking another person to copy and paste the story on social media so they can read for free. 

Others talk about how lekker it is that they don’t pay for the magazine but get it for free when someone else is done with it. 

And the worst are the people who become incredibly rude because they can’t read the story yet refuse to pay the R75 a month to read not only YOU but a host of other great content from News24 and other Media24 publications like City Press, True Love and Fairlady magazine. 

But here’s the thing: how would you feel if you were constantly told that people shouldn’t pay you for the work that you do? 

Because that story that you’re so angry about having to pay for didn’t materialise out of thin air. It was created by a devoted and talented editorial team who put in long hours and work really hard to produce a fantastic magazine.

Have you given any thought to this team and how your insistence on not paying them for the work they do will affect them in the long run? 

Do you think of the journalist who spent hours doing research, calling people, putting in the effort of weaving together an incredible story?

Have you considered the copy editor, who takes the time and energy to check various dictionaries and style guides to ensure everything is just so because we respect our readers and take pride in what we publish?  

Do you wonder who takes the time to find the perfect image, put it through the system, resizing it and ensuring it’s cleverly captioned for your reading pleasure? 

Have you thought of the designer who’s studied for years to be able to put together the perfect combination of words, images, colour, shapes and adding the kind of elements that’s a joy to behold? 

How about the office manager who answers all your queries or the subscriptions team who listens to every lament?

And what of all the many other people – single moms, people who look after their parents, those who support five families – who work so hard every day to ensure you get to read that story you’re so mad about? 

Have you thought of them, these people who give their everything to produce content for you, needing to show up at work every day and the fact that they have bills to pay? Did you consider that they have children and cars and parents and medical aid fees and utility payments and school fees and home loans and grocery bills and geysers that break – all the same things you have to fork out for? 

We love what we do – you can’t be in journalism if you don’t. We get a thrill out of creating awesome content for our audiences on all our platforms and we want to do it for a long time still. 

So please do consider my lovely team the next time you want to get upset about having to pay for one of our stories. They’re just out there doing their jobs, just like you. Your subscription is helping us to pay the bills so that we can keep bringing you the stories you so clearly want to read. 

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Show Comments ()