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New York Times, WSJ take down paywalls for Hurricane Sandy

Posting in Cities

As people go online to read the latest on Hurricane Sandy, news outlets are responding.

Two major publications usually concealed by paywall have stripped themselves of the block to give consumers access to up-to-date information on the arrival of Hurricane Sandy.

The New York Times removed its usual paywall on Sunday evening on the media outlet's website and accompanying applications. Spokesperson Eileen Murphy told Poynter:

"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."

The paywall -- circumvention methods aside -- generally serves to prevent users from viewing more than ten articles for free. But it can be removed on an individual case basis. For example, the wall was restricted on the eve of Osama bin Laden's death, and also when Hurricane Irene hit last year.

The New York Times is not the only media outlet that considers the category 1 hurricane severe enough to lower its revenue stream temporarily. Raju Narisetti, an editor stationed at the Wall Street Journal, tweeted that the whole site will be available from today, not just news concerning the weather.

In addition to the release of Hurricane Sandy news, Google has launched an interactive map tracking Hurricane Sandy's progress across the U.S. mid-Atlantic coast. There is also a map focused on New York City, which is expected to be an area hard-hit by the impending storm.

Hurricane Sandy has already hit one outlet hard -- albeit online. Weather.com has reported 960 million pageviews in the last three days as the U.S. public try to stay informed.

Hurricane Sandy resources: Hurricane Sandy Google tracker | Hurricane Sandy NYC tracker | FEMA hurricane safety tips | U.S. National Weather service | CNET Android hurricane apps | CNET iOS hurricane apps | Red Cross news | Notify NYC | City of New York Twitter feed | NY transport news

Image credit: NASA

This post originally appeared on CNET.

— By on October 28, 2012, 8:59 PM PST

Charlie Osborne

Contributing Editor

Charlie Osborne is a freelance journalist and photographer based in London. In addition to SmartPlanet, she also writes for business technology website ZDNet and consumer technology site CNET. She holds a degree in medical anthropology from the University of Kent. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure