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Election 2012

Newspapers Lower Paywalls for Election

NYT and WSJ offer unlimited online access for 24 hours

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Last week, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal lowered their paywalls to give readers unfettered access to Hurricane Sandy coverage. Today, newspapers are again demolishing their paywalls for another major event: the 2012 election.

The New York Times, which offered unlimited access to its website from Sunday to Friday last week due to Sandy, announced yesterday that it would suspend its paywall again from 6 p.m. EST on Election Day until 6 p.m. the following evening. This will be the third time that the NYT has dropped its paywall since it was erected in March 2011. (The first was during Hurricane Irene.)

The Wall Street Journal unlocked its website from Monday until Wednesday of last week, and is now planning a “global open house” for the election from 5 p.m. today until 5 p.m. tomorrow, during which time all WSJ.com Web and mobile content will be free, according to a WSJ statement.

Although the Financial Times won’t be completely dropping its paywall for the election, it is posting a special “read-for-free” feature by editor Lionel Barber later this afternoon that will include “a close look at the campaign journey and the impact it will have on future elections,” per an FT spokesperson. An election live blog (which began at 2 a.m.) and related FT.com video are also accessible without a subscription.