Before the Internet, it was tough to convince some publicly traded companies to provide copies of their SEC filings to reporters. Many companies knew that if reporters were not in Washington, DC, or New York, it was often hard for them to get their hands on these documents. Services that would make copies of filings and mail them to newsrooms typically charged $25 a pop. For many penny-pinching newspapers, that was a lot of money for a boring regulatory filing that might not have contained news that would end up in the paper.