Hi, all. So I live in the Hudson Valley, and we subscribe to the online edition of the Poughkeepsie Journal (poughkeepsiejournal.com) They are part of the USA Today network, which also runs some other nearby papers such as the Westchester Journal News (lohud.com).
I use an RSS reader to browse the Poughkeepsie Journal’s headlines. All of the links in the actual feed are to poughkeepsiejournal.com URLs - these then in turn redirect to actual article URLs on the newspaper site.
However, on the server side, a sizable fraction of those links redirect to one of the other local papers, even though the same article is available - at the same pathname - on the poughkeepsiejournal.com site. When this happens, and a subscribers-only story is involved, I hit a paywall that I wouldn’t hit on my local site.
(I have written to them to alert their tech folks to the issue, but it’s clearly not a priority for them to fix.)
An example from yesterday:
Redirected link which went to paywall:
Legit Poughkeepsie Journal Link:
So I have two solutions to this, one on iOS and one on Safari.
On iOS, I have a shortcut that I have creatively named “Poughkeepsie Journalize”:
It splits the paywall URL at
return=, URL decodes the last part, and replaces its hostname with poughkeepsiejournal.com and opens it in Safari. I invoke it from a Safari share sheet that’s viewing a bogus page.
On Mac, I just did something similar with Keyboard Maestro. This is something of a hack, using KM, Automator, and a BBedit Automator action. I have a macro set up that’s bound to ⌘J when Safari is frontmost. It does the following:
- Type ⌘L, then copy the URL to the clipboard.
- Run a “Poughkeepsie Journalize” Automator script, which:
- Gets the clipboard contents
/(only works because this site doesn’t use any other characters that require URL decoding in their pathnames)
- Runs a BBEdit Search and Replace action that (using grep) searches for
.*com\/story(.*)and replaces it with
https://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/story\1. This matches everything after
com/story(including the subsequent slash), and appends that matched text to the correct path beginning.
- Copies the result back to the clipboard.
- Keyboard Maestro sets a variable
- Finally, it sets the Safari URL to
If anyone wants the KM macro or Automator script, I can append them there, but bear in mind that you need BBedit for this to work (or some other Automator action that does grep-style search and replace).
This is a real niche need (and the KM solution is not elegant), but it’s cut down substantially on tooth-grinding frustration, at least as far as bypassing dumb technical goofs. It hasn’t improved the quality of the newspaper (or the news itself!), sadly.