In an effort to increase newspaper readership among college students, The USA Today Collegiate Readership Program began in 1997. Penn State University President Graham Spanier, an advocate for the program, authorized Penn State to become the first of 500 institutions participating in the readership program.
This YouTube clip is part of the longer video “Student Newspaper Readership Program” by Curt Parker, Manager & Video for Penn State Live.
While the program looks different at each university, there are similar components. For example, each campus has the option of having up to three different newspapers. Participating in the program also gives access to online resources. Finally, the program includes programming ideas and encourages recycling.
The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire is a recent adopter of the program. Last spring, the Student Senate held a pilot program to measure student readership. According to an article in The Spectator, “The survey showed that before the pilot program, 27 percent of students were reading a newspaper on a daily basis, and after the pilot program, 70 percent of students were reading a newspaper daily.”
There are many benefits to this program. For starters, this program allows students access to quality journalism that is as readily available as the news sources frequently visited online. The USA Today College website offers these additional benefits of the program:
- Provides students with the ability to access newspapers, share them with their peers, and create a community of awareness.
- Prepares students to live and work in a global society.
- Promotes a sharing of ideas related to responsible citizenship.
- Encourages students to examine diverse viewpoints and multiple perspectives.
- Empowers students to seek knowledge outside of the classroom and sets them on a path towards lifelong learning.
Do you value newspapers? How often do you read a newspaper each week?