Storm Surge Threatens, Paywalls Recede

As Hurricane Sandy threatens  to flood the city  and the last subway (to say nothing of normal life itself) grinds to a temporary halt, some news outlets have decided to remove their articles from behind paywalls. Both The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal are letting readers use their websites to keep up the minute on weather-related news- free of charge.

“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,” Times spokesperson Eileen Murphy emailed Poynter’sThe Times last suspended the paywall during Hurricaine Irene.

The Wall Street Journal Digital Network Managing Editor Raju Narisetti announced via Twitter this afternoon that weather-related Journal articles were free starting today and the rest of the website will be free starting tomorrow.

But, as Washington Monthly asks what of the ethics of reading non-storm related news behind a paywall if you are not paying?  “Which raises a question: Is it unethical for non-subscribers who’ve eclipsed their monthly NYT reading limits to ingest news items not related to Sandy? I say yes,” writes Washington Monthly.

We agree.  Yes. It is going to be a long couple of days. Better get entertainment (and news) where you can find it. The booze is bound to run out soon.

Storm Surge Threatens, Paywalls Recede