Tonight I attended a presentation by Dennis Piccirillo about online newspaper sites. The lecture was held at the Morris County Library through the Morris Area Genealogical Society.
My current research is primarily based in New Jersey and New York. I have had good success with GenealogyBank, which is a pay site, though many major New Jersey and New York papers are not in its collection. Old Fulton Post Cards is another great site for New York newspapers and is free. I have had better success with Fulton ever since I thoroughly read and practiced the site's instructions for searching.
Newspapers can supply you not only with facts and life events of your ancestors, but also tell you stories behind the events. Official records were not routinely kept for all of our ancestors' milestones; those that were kept may have been destroyed, lost, or simply not available. Newspapers help bridge these gaps as you jump from birth to marriage and then death.
Mr. Piccirillo recommended initially subscribing to a pay site for only a month instead of a year because the site may send you incentives or coupons for extending your subscription.