It was a very stressful day for anyone with friends or family in Boston. And for newspapers with paywalls, the great interest in any news on the bombing prompted many to lift the paywalls for free access to stories. This practice was done by the Boston Globe, the New York Times and the Orange County Register.
If you were stuck watching the TV coverage with video of the explosion on a loop and talking heads offering little information other than speculation, it was great to be able to turn to print journalists with details information on the explosions and the officially sourced material that painted a better picture of the chaos surrounding the explosion, and lifting the paywall was a smart thing to do.
So the next major wildfire, earthquake or terrorist attack, individuals can turn to newspaper websites for up to date information without the paywall.