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New York Times and Wall Street Journal drop paywalls as monster storm hits New York

Jeff John Roberts

In what’s become a new type of public service ritual, New York’s newspapers are offering free access to all of their websites as the snow storm called Nemo starts to smack the city.

Late on Friday afternoon, a spokesperson for the Wall Street Journal announced on Twitter that free access will begin at midnight:

PSA: We'll be dropping our paywall beginning tonight at midnight through Sunday due to the winter storm. #blizzard #Nemo
Sara Blask (@sarablask) February 08, 2013

The New York Times will do the same. In response to an email, spokesperson Eileen Murphy wrote, “We’re dropping the pay gate tonight @ 6 and will re-evaluate tomorrow evening.”

This practice of lifting paywalls, which typically restrict the number of articles a vistior can read, is becoming commonplace during major public events or during critical needs for information. The New York papers did this during Hurricane Sandy and the election. As paywalls spread across country, it’s likely most papers will do the same.

(Image by Trudy Wilkerson via Shutterstock)

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