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Staff reportersNorth West Telegraph
Picture: Tony Le Clezio
Camera IconPicture: Tony Le Clezio

There have been a lot of comments, or complaints, on the North West Telegraph Facebook page recently about having to pay for stories on The West Australian website.

There has also been some confusion as to why content from The West is posted on our Facebook page in the first place. That’s easy to answer: the North West Telegraph is owned by The West Australian.

When it comes to paying for access to The West Australian’s website, we understand people’s frustration — it has been free for a long time.

What people need to understand is when paying for The West online, you are not paying for the story — you are paying for us to write it.

Journalism does not happen without journalists, and journalists do not exist without getting paid to do their job.

When a plumber comes to your house to fix a tap, you pay them to perform that service.

When an author writes a book, you pay to read it.

When you want to watch your favourite television series on Netflix or Stan, you’re paying for that service.

When you want to listen to your favourite song on Apple Music or Spotify, you’re paying for that as well.

Journalism is no different. I need to earn a living. How do you expect us to earn that living if you will not pay for the service we provide?

A lot of people also hold the opinion of “well, the ABC is free, why don’t we have to pay for that?”

The simple answer is that while you may think the ABC is free, it isn’t — your subscription to them is taken from your tax.

So next time you want to complain about paying a few dollars a week to read articles you’re clearly interested in, think instead about how you are actually paying us to do our job.

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