We closed down a hyperlocal site. People wanted it, but did not understand why we were begging for donations. Our next step was a paywall. Two seconds after that, I paid a digital sub for my local paper. I already had one for WAPO and NYT.
I get it. Somebody has to pay the bills. Many fans of alternate media, who want to leave the “lamestream media” behind, don’t want to pay a cent. So it is what it is.