Librarian here. Why pay for access when your public library is already paying for the good stuff? Knowledge will always be free at your local public library. Most US libraries have access to paywalled news and scientific articles through Academic Search Premier, Gale and other databases. Our county library system offers free access to Zinio's magazine service, which is pretty sweet. Local (community) colleges usually have reference services available for county residents, and are often willing to mail you a journal article. Using these services take some effort (writing an e-mail or using your library card) so they aren't ideal for instantaneous gratification. Check out http://www.publiclibraries.com... to find your local library.
As far as where to get your news, start with an RSS reader (Feedly, Netvibes, gReader) and get the rss feeds for:
The twitter feed of your local newspapers
Your favorite TV news station (CNN, Al Jazeera, MSNBC, etc)
memeorandum for politics
A few international broadcasters of countries that you are interested in (VOA, BBC, RFI, RFERL, etc)