New York Times suspends paywall for Hurricane Sandy

New York Times spokesperson Eileen Murphy confirmed by email that the news organization is suspending its paywall starting this afternoon, so that readers can get information about Hurricane Sandy.

"The gateway has been removed from the entire site and all apps. The plan is to keep it that way until the weather emergency is over," Murphy said.

With the paywall in place, only digital and/or print subscribers can read beyond 10 articles. The Times suspended its paywall last year when Hurricane Irene threatened New York.

According to its third quarter earnings report released this past week, the Times has about 566,000 digital subscribers to and the International Herald Tribune. But thousands more will be closely following the storm as severe weather typically brings traffic surges to news websites.

Wall Street Journal Digital Network Managing Editor Raju Narisetti tweeted Sunday afternoon that all of would be freely available starting Monday. Other newspapers have made similar announcements: The Boston Globe tweets its storm coverage is available free on; The Baltimore Sun is dropping its wall; Newsday is also making its content available for free. More freebies during the storm:

Weather Channel Senior Meteorologist Stu Ostro describes Hurricane Sandy:

A meteorologically mind-boggling combination of ingredients is coming together: one of the largest expanses of tropical storm (gale) force winds on record with a tropical or subtropical cyclone in the Atlantic or for that matter anywhere else in the world; a track of the center making a sharp left turn in direction of movement toward New Jersey in a way that is unprecedented in the historical database, as it gets blocked from moving out to sea by a pattern that includes an exceptionally strong ridge of high pressure aloft near Greenland; a "warm-core" tropical cyclone embedded within a larger, nor'easter-like circulation; and eventually tropical moisture and arctic air combining to produce heavy snow in interior high elevations. This is an extraordinary situation, and I am not prone to hyperbole.

Mayor Mike Bloomberg announced Sunday afternoon that there would be a mandatory evacuation for low-lying parts of New York City. Sandy is expected to make landfall in New Jersey on Monday night.

The storm is responsible for 41 deaths, so far, in Cuba, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica and across the Carribean.

Related: At the New York Times, no paywall exemption for bin Laden death (Nieman Journalism Lab)


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