Hurricane Irene Knocks Down Paywalls

As the East Coast prepares for a major hurricane, Zinio is offering digital magazines free to stranded travelers and some newspapers’ paywalls are coming down.

The New York Times today launched @NYTLive, a Twitter feed for breaking news surrounding major events. A tweet from this evening: “As a public service, @nytimes will allow free access to storm-related coverage on and its mobile apps. #irene”, which serves the Long Island area and has a paywall, is making all hurricane-related news free–“our stories open to all,” the paper tweeted. “1. Thank you @Newsday for not firewalling me on the latest #Irene story. 2. Read it, Long Islanders:,” a user tweeted back.

CBS president of local digital media Ezra Kucharz took the opportunity to tout free content: “Hey New York, is always free. New York Times (NYSE: NYT) and Newsday will put the pay wall back up after Irene.”

Digital magazine platform Zinio is offering some free magazines to travelers affected by the hurricane. Those who visit this weekend can read free issues of Dwell, Good Housekeeping, Popular Mechanics, Food Network Magazine, Reader’s Digest, O: The Oprah Magazine, Parent & Child, Elle Decor and Kiwi.

Is your local paper taking down its paywall for the hurricane? Have you seen other free content courtesy of Irene? Let us know in the comments and I’ll update this post.