We've all gotten used to reading anything we want from newspapers and magazines for free online. But that model is about to change.

Newspapers have finally hit the point where they can't do this anymore. One by one, they're starting to charge. I read about 30 different newspapers online each day. It used to be 36, but six are now behind pay walls.

The San Francisco Chronicle went behind a wall, so I now use SFGate.com, which provides limited content for free. The Boston Globe went behind too, so I go to Boston.com.

The Wall Street Journal has always been behind a pay wall, and I pay for it. My favorite newspaper, The Financial Times of London, I also pay for because the content is so valuable for me in what I do every day.

And there's the rub: Newspapers will need to provide a compelling reason for you to pay for them. Ditto for the magazine business.

So item by item, we will make that choice. But what you got used to for free, well, those days are numbered. Somebody's got to pay somehow and so far the advertisers aren't stepping up to the plate.

Image of Clark Howard About the author: Clark Howard

Clark Howard is a consumer expert whose goal is to help you keep more of the money you make. His national radio show and website show you ways to put more money in your pocket, with advice you can trust. View More Articles

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