There are at least two know workarounds for reading The Wall Street Journal Online for free – one involves changing referrer to Google News while the second is through Digg search.
Now here’s another but more simple trick that will give you full-text access to all subscriber-only articles available on The Wall Street Journal website including old archives.
If you see that ‘key icon’ next to a story, that means you only read a preview of that article and the full article will become available only after you login. Let’s see how you can bypass this:
The URL of all news stories published on WSJ.com follow a particular pattern:
This URL structure is maintained even when stories move from the front page on to the archives where they become available only to WSJ subscribers.
Now if you like to read the above WSJ story in your browser, just prepend the following text to your story URL:
Now your new URL would look something like this and this, as you expected, points to full article and not just the preview.
The above method should also work for the Asia and Europe editions of Wall Street Journal since they also follow the similar URL structure.
Here’s another working example:
Original (limited) version: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122177625215054207.html Full Text: http://mobile2.wsj.com/device/article.php?mid=&CALL_URL=http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122177625215054207.html
If the above step sounds confusing, just skip them and drag this link into your browser bookmarks bar – Read WSJ Article – it’s a bookmarklet that takes you straight to the mobile version of the current page your are reading and that’s free even for non-subscribers.
How this hack was discovered? The Wall Street Journal recently released a free WSJ.com mobile reader that lets you read even subscriber content for free if you have a BlackBerry. I tried the same hyper links on a desktop browser and surprisingly, they worked.
The above trick should work as long as WSJ mobile reader remains free for BlackBerry users. Also see this BlackBerry guide for power users.