I guess we need to reconsider ‘who' gets what.
We once lived in a golden age (50’s & 60’s) with radio and print media being dominant. An era of greats like Edward Murrow who’s intelligent and articulate discourse woke a nation to a tyranny from within, but since then TV (then the Internet and cat pics) has taken hold and the words we use are no longer sophisticated nor intelligent, but rather dumbed down lockstep with print and radio’s decline.
So I ask you, who do you want to reach? If you have a magazine like The New Republic, are their articles really meant to be free (I’m agreeing with you btw) and for a wider audience or are they premium like The Economist? I think like in all things in life we need to accept that quality comes at a price and those who want to watch Jerry Springer for free will do so and those who want to read for 20 min and then write long comments are equally interested in paying for quality.
PS. I still pay for top quality magazines (digital ones for my tablet) and so I still value and pay to have insightful journalism and the deep thoughtful discourse that follows with those I choose to call ‘friends’ with on a day to day basis.