November 5, 2012

The New York Times will drop its paywall for the third time since it was introduced in March 2011, allowing free access this week for Election Day coverage.

The paper first dropped its paywall in August 2011 as New York prepared for Hurricane Irene. It dropped the wall again last week when Hurricane Sandy threatened and kept the site open for five days — the longest free period since the paper launched its digital subscription program.

Monday, the Times announced its site will be free for the 24 hours starting at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 6. In an email, Times spokesperson Eileen Murphy says “we take down the pay gate during times when in our judgment it is necessary to pass along critical information (for instance, Hurricane Sandy) or during major news events (like Presidential Elections).” The decision, she says, “is always a collaborative one between the newsroom and the business side.”

Executive Editor Jill Abramson or chief advertising officer and GM Denise Warren usually make the call, Murphy writes.

The Wall Street Journal is also opening its site to free access for 24 hours Tuesday evening, starting at 5 p.m.

Related: | New York Times suspends paywall for Hurricane Sandy | New York Times to restore paywall after 5 days of free access

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Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at and managing editor of Washington City…
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