NYT totally free, others may follow
Some years ago publishers were sure that advertising wasn't bringing in enough money and that surfers would be willing to pay (micropayments) for each article they would write - even before reading them. They thought that their content was so good that people would actually pay more to read it online. The New York Times was one of the first to decide this.
Now many years later, the online advertising market has exploded and people aren't so willing to pay for the content, even quality content. Everything turns around content these days, but content that brings in reaers and so advertising.
In belgium many publications are still behind walled garden asking money for each article. Maybe they will now follow the american examples they have followed so many years ago. It is possible that they hesitate because online advertising hasn't made the difference here Yet.