I cancelled my subscription to Foreign Policy yesterday afternoon, spurred by an email from FP about an upcoming auto-renewal charge. The quality of the print journal has been in decline for several years, no doubt due, at least in part, to structural challenges the publishing industry faces. I am sympathetic to that; I know firsthand (though at much smaller scale) how hard it is to keep a print publication going in 2018, especially when other outlets are giving similar articles away for free online. In that respect, I feel bad about this parting, because I believe sound, sensation-free journalism & well-informed editorial opinion matters, now as much (or more) than ever. Publications, like FP, that present issues in detailed, yet plain, language have an important place in our culture and provide valuable service to our society.
I also had some issues with their content management set up and particularly their lack of good RSS feeds as I’d prefer to read them digitally than in print. I actually ended up reaching out to them and worked a bit with their customer support team and their programmers to try to help them better support the types of RSS feeds that I’d like to see coming out of their Drupal platform. I’m hoping they get it all sorted out soon so that it benefits not just me, but the rest of their work. I see it as increasingly important for journalistic outlets to own their own websites, content, and at least part of their distribution on the web going forward. I’m happy that services like this are still supporting web specs like RSS until something better comes along.