Today's column comes in two parts. Enjoy.

This kind of advertising, money can't buy
Earlier this week, Dow Jones' (NYSE:DJ) TheWall Street Journal ran a story confirming rumors that Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) will replace its current chips, manufactured by IBM (NYSE:IBM) and Freescale (NYSE:FSL), with a new breed of chips from Intel (NASDAQ:INTC). At the very end of the piece, the Journal gave itself a small pat on the back, quoting Apple CEO Steve Jobs verbatim from his speech announcing the tie-up: "Most of you are hearing about this for the first time, unless you read The Wall Street Journal."

Now, leave aside for the moment any controversy over who actually broke the story. (Tech guru CNET (NASDAQ:CNET) argues that the Journal only reported on a rumor two weeks ago, and that that news of Apple's actual announcement was first published on a CNET-owned site, Whoever said it first, though, the fact remains that Jobs anointed the Journal scooper-in-chief, gave the Journal his imprimatur as the news organization that outwitted Apple's famous secrecy cops. That kind of advertising, money just can't buy.

Which isn't to say that the Journal couldn't afford it
In a totally unrelated story, think back with me to simpler, more innocent days -- say, around Sept. 16, 2004 or so. A time when America was more credulous. A time when we accepted, at face value, statements such as "[The] Wall Street Journal plans to launch a weekend edition starting Sept. 10, and there will be no extra charge." Uh, huh.

Well, those of us who aren't dyed-in-the-wool cynics may have accepted it at face value. The rest of us pointed out that with the Journal's new section not due to begin printing for a year, Dow Jones had "plenty of time to hike the subscription price for the 5-day version of the WSJ by, oh, say 20%."

And even that wasn't cynical enough. Yours Fool-y just received his annual subscription renewal notice in the mail, and with the price of a year's subscription jumping from $146 to $199 for the coming year, it looks like the Journal actually increased its subscription price by closer to 36%.

(Meanwhile, is still free. Really.)

Our Motley Fool Rule Your Retirement newsletter isn't planning on a weekend edition, but it also won't be raising the price of a subscription any time soon.

Fool contributor Rich Smith does not own shares in any company named above.