New York Times, Wall Street Journal drop paywalls for storm coverage

The New York Times will drop its paywall tonight to provide unlimited, free access as readers seek information about the massive winter storm hitting New York and the northeast.

“We’re planning to drop the meter at 6 tonight & re-evaluate the situation tomorrow evening,” said Vice President of Corporate Communications Eileen Murphy by email.

The Wall Street Journal is dropping its paywall as well, it says in an email:

Due to anticipated delivery disruptions because of the winter storm, The Wall Street Journal will be dropping its paywall beginning tonight at midnight through the weekend.

The Times plans to reinstate its paywall at 6 p.m. Saturday, Murphy said by email.

The WSJ and Times dropped their paywalls during Hurricane Sandy too. The Times remained free for five days due to the storm.

The Times has also dropped its paywall for Election Day and Hurricane Irene, making this the fourth time it has provided unfettered access.

The Times company had 640,000 paid digital subscribers to The New York Times and the International Herald Tribune at the end of 2012; another 28,000 people have digital subscriptions to The Boston Globe, which is also in the storm’s path.

Riders wait in a bus stop where color-tinted windows collect snow during a storm, Friday, Feb. 8, 2013, in Portland, Maine. The forecast calls for up to 2 feet of snow and winds gusting to 50 mph.(AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

The Globe has two separate websites. Boston.com is always free, and BostonGlobe.com is subscription based. Recently, BostonGlobe.com adjusted its meter to limit free access through search and social media to two articles.

In an email, Boston Globe Executive Director of Communications Ellen Clegg explained access to storm news:

All breaking storm coverage is on Boston.com, our free web portal, which attracts about 6 million unique visitors a month. There may be some features — photos, graphics, feature stories — that are only on BostonGlobe.com, but all breaking coverage is on both sites.

Email sharing is free and unlimited. While we are continuing to experiment and test access to BostonGlobe.com through social media like Twitter, no changes are planned this weekend.

Click the cities on the map below for details on paywalls in other locations in the storm’s path.


View Nemo’s paywalls in a larger map

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