I was wondering why I haven’t been getting the usual weekly newsletters from RD…or why the paid content model it said it would introduce this month hasn’t appeared. Now I know.
This message from RD editor-in-chief Pavel Koshkin appeared in my inbox yesterday:
I hope this e-mail finds you well. First and foremost, I would like to extend my sincere gratitude for being part of our loyal and dedicated group of readers. Last year, in mid-December, Russia Direct sent you important information about our new subscription model and the suspension of our monthly reports. At the end of December, we also reminded you to take advantage of the opportunity to get a full refund for your canceled annual subscription. I am now following up with additional details.
In January 2017, after the suspension of our monthly reports, we planned to move to a new paid content model that would include a paywall for our daily articles and content. As a paid subscriber, you were supposed to automatically be given free access to all content on the Russia Direct website for the remaining period of your subscription.
But for technical and economic reasons, we will be unable to launch the paywall system as planned. Likewise, there are no guarantees that we will be able to keep the website afloat until the end of the year, but we will try to do our best to update Russia Direct on a daily basis and provide you with our content (at least at the website). You will also still be able to access all archive reports on the RD website free of charge. If you have some problems in downloading the reports, please, send your request to me and I will forward them to you.
Taking into account the fact that there is a lot of uncertainty about our paywall system and Russia Direct itself, I find it important to remind you once again that you still have a chance to receive a full refund for your subscription — please, send your request by February 1, 2017.
I’m pretty apathetic at this point. Reading RD was enlightening back in the day, but now it’s a shadow of what it used to be. And at some point every shadow must eventually fade away.