Forum

Vote to keep free newspapers available on campus

Carnegie Mellon’s student body voting process to elect a new student government, which ends this Tuesday, includes a referendum on the Collegiate Readership Program. This program is a USA Today nationwide initiative to “promote civic literacy and global awareness” on college campuses, as stated on its website.

We strongly urge students to support this referendum.

As an organization that is devoted to keeping students well informed about both campus and world news, we believe this program is an important asset to the university and helps students to be literate and globally aware.

The program at Carnegie Mellon provides students with free copies of The New York Times, USA Today, and The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette at multiple locations throughout campus. Every few years, student government conducts a survey, this time via a referendum, to assess how interested the student body is in keeping the Collegiate Readership Program active on campus.

The program is surprisingly cheap, only $5 per semester per student, and is paid for by the undergraduate media fee.
It is still important to have newspapers available in print even when they are generally available online. Although newspapers are increasingly depending on the Internet, they are also finding ways to make online users pay for access to content. The New York Times, for example, is putting up a paywall on its website where users will have to subscribe and pay a fee, and other newspapers are sure to follow.

The majority of a student’s time is spent studying in cubicles, putting together elaborate projects, doing research, or working. With the continuation of the Collegiate Readership Program, students can still get news virtually for free from a reliable source, and won’t have to stare at a computer screen to do it.