While not exactly breaking news, many students remain unaware of the ongoing effort that is the Newspaper Readership Program. Many of you have seen the newspaper distribution machines located all over campus. If you go to class, you probably pass at least two per day. The home page has a handy graphic for those who are instructionally challenged. I will attempt to reprint the elaborate steps entirely from memory:
- Insert PSU ID card into machine
- Open machine
- Remove paper
- Recycle after you read it… or just leave it on the floor of your classroom
Jest aside, there is a legitimate reason for writing this post. With physical newspaper readership on a sharp decline, people are turning to online outlets to get their news. You may not know that there are digital versions of newspapers available to you subscription-free. Most notably, The New York Times and The Chronicle of Higher Education have programs which allow students access to an unlimited number of articles once you sign up for a free account using your psu.edu email address.
In recent years, the Times has made significant investments into their online site — one that now hosts excellent multimedia web content. The ability to access this service for free online with a Penn State email is a pretty useful opportunity. In addition, the Chronicle is available online at any computer within the Penn State network.
Studies suggest a strong correlation between newspaper readership and the development of cognitive skills. Rodney Erickson, our commander-in-chief, is of the opinion that, “In order to participate in our democratic society, students need to be conversant in the issues of the day. Newspapers deliver on that count and many more.”
Though some might be conspicuous of the choice to include only leftist rags into the digital subscription service, I’m less pessimistic. If it leads to you devils to being more cognizant commentators on our esteemed articles, I’m all for it. Regardless, students are pretty fortunate to have free access to these and other great news services while enrolled here at Penn State.