You can get quite a lot of news on the Internet without paying a dime, so you might wonder why someone would bother subscribing to a digital newspaper like the Washington Post or The New York Times. Well, they've both been delivering a river of breaking international news lately, and a subscription helps support their continued efforts to inform the public with premium journalism. In fact, if you're an Amazon Prime subscriber, you can score a deal on the Post that costs less than a deli sandwich. Let's have a look.
Good usability options: The app offers five different text sizes, text-to-speech for the vision impaired (or for listening in the background), the ability to highlight and copy text, and an optional dark theme for reading in a dim environment without causing eye strain. You can also toggle push notifications on and off, though it's an all-or-nothing deal, whereas the New York Times app offers seven different notification topics (Top Stories, Breaking News, Politics, Sports, etc.). However, we found the dark theme more consistently readable than the NY Times version, which is still in beta after many months of testing.
Very good value for Amazon Prime users: Jeff Bezos owns both Amazon and The Washington Post, which gives him major leverage for cross-promotions. If you are an Amazon Prime subscriber, you can get a whopping six-month free trial of the Post app, and you'll pay only $4 a month thereafter. Compare this to $15 a month for the cheapest subscription to The New York Times, or $37 a month for The Wall Street Journal (though both competitors frequently offer promotional prices). Given that the Post is a frequent source of both international breaking news and polished in-depth coverage, you're getting a lot of high-quality journalism for your money.
One subscription, multiple ways to read: Some digital papers put tablet or desktop access on a more expensive tier, but a subscription to the Post lets you read on most any phone, tablet, or computer. Unfortunately, the aforementioned Amazon Prime offer does not extend to the Kindle edition of the Post, which still has a separate subscription for $12 a month, with a free 14-day trial. (However, this is still a more favorable price than the Kindle versions of the NY Times and The Wall Street Journal, which cost $20 and $29 a month, respectively.)
If you live in and around the District of Columbia, you'll probably want the Washington Post Classic app instead, which includes local Washington news, unlike the regular app.
Content presentation may take getting used to: The Post app is highly optimized for vertical scrolling. Instead of a buffet of multiple stories visible at once, the promo for each one will take up almost the whole screen. The editorial crew is very good about prioritizing the hottest news first, but people looking for a snapshot of the day's events may be served better by the Most Popular section in the New York Times app, or the Top Stories section of Google News & Weather, the latter of which is free.
High-quality journalism doesn't come cheap, but Amazon Prime sweetens the deal, and the Post is still a reasonably priced paper without the Prime discount. At the least, all avenues to a subscription include a free trial, so you can judge for yourself if it's worth your money.