More than 80% of Americans say that online news paywalls have prevented them from reading articles, according to a new Forensic News poll conducted with SurveyMonkey.

A Forensic News poll conducted with SurveyMonkey shows that 83% of Americans say that paywalls prevent them from reading news stories online, with 61% reporting it happens “frequently” or “very frequently.”

Those surveyed said that, on average, every other news article that they attempt to read is hidden behind a paywall.

The responses in the poll, conducted online with a sample size of 507 (4% margin of error), prove that the Forensic News mission of providing news without a hard paywall is not only a strong ethical position but likely a smart business decision as well.

Link to the full poll:

Previous studies have found that approximately 5% of a digital media outlet’s newsreaders will pay for a subscription and the new Forensic News poll found that nearly every American (92%) is spending less than $25 dollars a month on paywalls/subscriptions.

The poll, however, also asked a hypothetical question to determine the likelihood of readers donating $1 after reading an online news article that they enjoyed, as an alternative to a paywall.

While most respondents were not enamored with the idea, more than 1 in 4 said that they would be “likely” or “very likely” to donate the $1. If this rate of likely or very likely donors (28%) is to be compared to the rate of digital subscribers (5%), it is clear that paywalls are not the only viable business model.

About Forensic News

Forensic News was founded in 2019 by investigative journalist Scott Stedman. Its’ reporting focuses on corruption, national security, financial crime, and espionage.

Paywalls have never been used by Forensic News. All efforts are funded by donations.