Washington D.C. politics has gotten intensely interesting in the last year and a half, and the flood of news has been enough to drown most casual observers. How do you stay afloat? Is there any news source that can keep it all sorted -- and do it without breaking your budget?
Well, thanks to the magic of capitalism and the deep pockets of one particular tech billionaire, the answer is "Yes." But it may be the best kept secret in the war against fake news.
Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon, personally bought The Washington Post in 2013, and Amazon customers can now score a ridiculously good deal on a digital subscription to the paper (which collected another Pulitzer this year for its coverage of recent events in the nation's capital). If you have an Amazon Prime subscription, you can get a whopping six-month trial of The Post for free, and then pay only $4 a month after that.
SEE: The Washington Post app (read our full review)
That's less than half of what you'll pay for competitors like The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. You can then read all the day's news on your phone, tablet, laptop, or desktop. Oddly, Amazon Kindle e-reader devices only get an $11.99/mo subscription, though that version is at least ad-free.
Even if you don't have Prime, that sign-up page offers an annual subscription deal that works out to $8.33 a month, with a free 30-day trial.
Is the Washington Post really that good?
It was D.C. politics that originally put the Post on the map, when it led the media's investigation into the Watergate scandal in 1972, which forced President Nixon to either resign or face impeachment two years later. It's true that you can get a lot of news on the Internet for free, and the Post itself lets you read a few articles a month without having to sign up for anything.
But if you want premium investigative journalism to stick around, throwing a little money their way opens up a future that's less reliant on the volatile world of ad revenue. If you're still on the fence, we've got a guide to all the major news apps that might help.
Amazon Prime has a lot of other perks you might not know about
If you sign up for Prime, you get a lot more than just a newspaper deal and free 2-day shipping. If you are a reader, there's a library of over a thousand free e-books in the Prime Reading program. Separately, you can get one free book a month through Amazon First Reads (previously known as Kindle First) and pre-order future First Read books at a discount.
You can also sign up for the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card, which gets you an extra 5% back on everything on the site that's listed as "sold by Amazon.com" (as opposed to one of their many third-party sellers). And if you're running out of space for photos on iCloud or Google Drive, Prime Photos has unlimited storage for all your pics, and a free 5GB stash for non-Prime Amazon customers.
Another highlight is Amazon Prime Video, which offers all-you-can eat streams of popular TV shows and movies like Netflix and Hulu do, some of it in 4K with HDR. We've got a three-way comparison of all three services right here.
Some other benefits include:
- A selection of especially discounted Android phones from Motorola and LG
- Free same-day delivery on some items, if you can jump through all the hoops
- Two million streamable songs via Prime Music, ad-free, and a discount on Amazon Music Unlimited (Read our full review)
- Membership sharing that lets you split the cost with another household member
- 5% back on purchases at Whole Foods Markets with your shiny new Amazon Visa card
The annual membership fee of Amazon Prime crept up to $119 on May 11. But with Prime's steadily growing list of perks for shoppers, readers, music lovers, selfie snappers, and TV bingers, you can get a lot of bang for your buck.
- Amazon Prime has more than 100 million members; Bezos outlines tips to teach high standards (ZDNet)
- Zuckerberg takes Facebook data apology tour to Washington (CNET)
- Trump again attacks Amazon, alleging 'Post Office scam' (CNET)
- White House will host Facebook, Google and Amazon for AI summit (CNET)
- Coming to your parked car: Amazon Prime in-car deliveries (ZDNet)
- The Washington Post Builds "Truth Teller" App with Cloud-Based Speech-to-Text Service (TechRepublic)