Read The Wall Street Journal For Free

Why pay $79 per year to read the Wall Street Journal when you can read it for free? Murdoch’s crown jewel attracts readers by lowering the pay wall for visitors from Google News, Drudge, or Digg. Salon posted step-by-step instructions to help readers exploit this selective generosity.

Here’s how it works:

  • Search Google News: Pop the headline you want into the Google News and enjoy the link straight to the full and free content. You can alternatively build a Firefox keyword shortcut using this string:
  • Use The Firefox Extension Refspoof: Step 1: Download the extension here.
    Step 2: In the refspoof toolbar’s “spoof:” field, type “
    Step 3: Also in the refspoof toolbar, click the R icon, and select “static referrer.”
    That’s it. Click around the site; the WSJ thinks each click is coming from Digg. The WSJ is now yours for free!

Much as we enjoy reading the Journal online, few news outlets, online or off, can rival the magnificence of the full printed edition of the Wall Street Journal.

The Wall Street Journal’s Web site is already (secretly) free [Salon via BoingBoing]
(Photo: Katayun)


Edit Your Comment

  1. Great Tip, thanks.

  2. Dobernala says:

    Ironic, coming from a site that has premium content (Salon).

  3. dweebster says:

    It’s not often you can find something priced appropriately for what you are getting. Actually, Murdoch should pay YOU to read his fishwrap, but “free” is close enough.

    Give him a couple years more of owing this rag and he’ll get some “Page 2” girls on it, make it a little spicier. Mickey Mouse journalism at its finest.

  4. JustAGuy2 says:


    Agree with the editorial page or not, the news reporting is the best in the country, particularly for business issues.

  5. mike1731 says:

    I tend to agree with Dweebster. I was a subscriber for many years, finally got sick of the editorial page and figured Murdoch would screw the rest of the paper up. Lots of good reporters bailing didn’t give me confidence, so I cancelled. No need to support Murdoch’s view of the world any more than I have to already…

  6. Buran says:

    Weren’t they supposed to be making this free anyway considering just about everyone else (even the NYT) uses ads to support their website?

    I don’t pay to read news. Ever.

  7. ChuckECheese says:

    @Dobernala: You can subscribe to Salon, but they did away with the premium content a couple years ago at least. Now you just have to watch an ad once a day or so to have access to the entire site, which has been reduced to a bunch of blogs and some AP wires. Firefox + AdBlock Plus = easy reading.

  8. clickable says:

    Excellent tip! Thanks, bookmarked, although I’m sure I’ll do it by rote very quickly.

  9. timmus says:

    Well kudos to them for making it free….. unlike,, etc, who load up keywords in the common man’s Google search and then demand $35 to see the hidden content.

  10. danger says:

    Here’s a idiotic suggestion to get some free WSJ love:


  11. RumorsDaily says:

    jstor is frustrating.

  12. Jim C. says:

    My library (Chicago Public) has had free online home access to the full text of the WSJ for years through their institutional subscription to Proquest.

  13. Bob Stoops's Pleated Pants says:

    @ChuckECheese: You don’t even have to watch the ad to access all of Salon. Just type “” into your address bar and you’re good to go.

  14. balilanai says:

    You cannot browse. You have to know the title of the article. Its not the same.

  15. petrarch1608 says:

    this came in useful 6 hours after i read about it, thanks!

  16. Peeved Guy says:

    Am I the only one bother that The Consumerist is telling people how to essentially steal something?


    OK, carry on.

  17. tcp100 says:

    Peeved Guy, stop blaming the victim, even if it is basically defrauding a referral system!

    Remember, at The Consumerist, the customer is always right, even if the customer is a shoplifter.

  18. MightyCow says:

    If stores didn’t want people shoplifting, they shouldn’t have put all those products out there for people to steal – right?

  19. thewriteguy says:

    Personally, I’ve been finding the NYT business section to be a better source of business news — yes, compared to the WSJ. And you can read all of the NYT for free online.

  20. mike says:

    I love getting stuff for free as much as the next guy. But remember that it’s only free until the newspaper starts to lose money. I know a lot of papers here in the Wash DC/Balto area, some newspapers are losing money and such aren’t updating their websites as frequently.

    Just something to keep in mind.

  21. nhlibrarian says:

    The WSJ is free through your local public library both in print and online. There is this database many libraries subscribe to called Proquest, which provides the full text of the WSJ. Proquest is password protected so all you need to do is get the password from your library and you can search it from home for free. Not only can you read that days articles, but you can search the archives for many years back. It also browseable by date so if you know the date an article appeared you can go directly to that date and find it that way.

    The library is a great place for consumer information!

  22. rjhiggins says:

    @dweebster: What a ridiculous comment. Everyone who knows anything about journalism knows that the WSJ’s news reporting is among the finest in the world.

  23. quail says:

    WSJ’s something I haven’t picked up in awhile. But I used to love the column 3 articles. They were well written, bits of entertaining information. It’s something I hope they still have.

  24. inno says:

    @Peeved Guy:
    Well, they did add the “magnificence of the full printed edition” line at the end, so I really don’t see what could be wrong here. But seriously, I agree, the ethics of this post are questionable.

    I don’t pay for the news either, but I’m not especially particular about the outlets – when a story comes up on the Google News front page, I’ll click the WSJ link if it’s there. If you really have to have the Journal bad enough to hack their desperate efforts to stay competitive, just pay for the fucking subscription.

  25. bonzombiekitty says:

    I get the wall street journal for free. The person who was in my house before me had a subscription that I believe she got for free through college. WSJ keeps getting sent to my house. Previous tenant didn’t file a change of address with the post office, nor did she leave a forwarding address. Tried to tell WSJ to stop sending them since we don’t want it, but we still get it. So it just goes right in the trash.

  26. liveityourway says:

    when performing those steps, after i click on the R button and click the “static referrer” button, i get a drop down bar under the tab saying “the refbar is used as input – use tabbed browsing as the query is attached to the currently used window (refbar) !!”

    what does this mean? its not allowing me to select the “static refer” option. when i click on links around the website it prompts me to log in