Even if a publisher commits to a paywall as the best business strategy for his news company, there may be some stories or subjects which carry such importance and urgency that it is irresponsible to withhold them from nonsubscribers.
Or is it?
As Hurricane Irene barreled up the East Coast Aug. 26 on a path toward New York City, Jim Roberts started talking to colleagues at The New York Times about making storm coverage exempt from the website’s 20-article-a-month limit. By that afternoon, it was done.
“We are aware of our obligations to our audience and to the public at large when there is a big story that directly impacts such a large portion of people,” said Roberts, the assistant managing editor in charge of digital content.