ink-stained wretches

New York Times, Wall Street Journal Dropping Paywall for Election [Updated]

Pedestrians pass in front of the New York Times Co. building in New York, U.S., on Wednesday, April 27, 2011. New York Times Co., publisher of the namesake newspaper, said more than 100,000 people signed up for new digital subscriptions, a sign online revenue may help offset a decline in print advertising and circulation. Photographer: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Photo: Bloomberg/2011 Bloomberg

The websites of the normally paywalled New York Times and Wall Street Journal will both be free for everybody during the election. announced that its “open house” for all content and mobile apps will last for 24 hours from 5 p.m. tomorrow through Wednesday evening, and a Times spokesperson confirmed to Daily Intel that they have something similar planned as well, with details forthcoming. “We can — with one hit of a button — turn that meter to zero to allow everyone to read everything they want,” Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger, Jr. stressed last year when the subscriber arrangement went into effect. “We’re going to learn. We built a system that is flexible.”  The sites both offered complimentary access to articles last week during Hurricane Sandy and its aftermath, with the Times forgoing its standard free article limit for five full days.

Update: The Times’ coverage will be free from 6 p.m. on Tuesday through 6 p.m. on Wednesday. “Removing the gate last week had no impact on our decision to remove the gate for the election — it’s been in the works for a while now,” said spokesperson Linda Zebian. “This is the third time The Times has offered free digital access surrounding a major news event.”

Times, Journal Dropping Paywall for Election