Public service journalism going in front of paywall in wake of pandemic

The global outbreak of the novel coronavirus is subsuming news feeds world over, and for good reason. During the health crisis, public service journalism is playing a critical role in informing the public and delivering up-to-the-second updates on what it means for their communities. In response, several news organizations have made special efforts to keep key information accessible, either through creating dedicated news products or removing paywalls on pertinent coverage.

Broadcasters are also responding quickly. CBC has created an online resource hub for each of its local markets, APTN is providing country-wide coverage of COVID-19’s impact on Indigenous communities and CTV has created a dedicated site.

Here are some of the news organizations in Canada putting their online public service content in front of the paywall:

This post will be updated with additional listings of organizations providing open access to public service coverage of COVID-19. To get in touch with additional reporting access efforts, email us at

The Globe and Mail 

Removed paywall from COVID-19 related stories, including health explainers and news stories from around the world.

The Hamilton Spectator

Removed paywall for all COVID-19 related stories. 

The Logic

Removed paywall for Daily Briefing newsletter and website. 

National Observer

Removed paywall from all COVID-19 related stories. 

Northern News Services Ltd. 

Providing free publication of special hours, location and a special message for businesses in the Territories.   

The Pointer

Free access to all coronavirus coverage.


All Postmedia publications have dropped the paywall on their coronavirus coverage.

Toronto Star 

Removed paywall from public service stories.

Waterloo Region Record

Removed paywall from local coronavirus coverage.

Winnipeg Free Press

Removed paywall from all COVID-19 related stories.