For students at Trinity, the New York Times is available free of charge, in both print and online versions. Typically, a subscription to the New York Times costs anywhere from $5 to $10 a week, depending on the service, whether home delivery, digital, or an unlimited version of either.
By providing the paper for free to all students, the university hopes to encourage more students to get engaged in current events and stay up to date with world happenings. To Robert Huesca, professor of communication, the opportunity for a free subscription is something students shouldn’t pass up on.
“Well, the New York Times is still probably one of the best online sources of news and information,” Huesca said. “To be able to have access to it at no charge is a luxury that students should take advantage of.”
Many students agree with this sentiment, seeing the opportunity as a chance to further themselves as engaged and informed citizens.
“I think this is a great move on Trinity’s part to increase the scholarly resources we have available as students,” said junior Cole Evans. “It will allow us as students to further our knowledge and growth academically.”
Despite the access to the Times, other students are less excited, and many are unaware of the change.
“I wasn’t aware. I have other interests than what’s going on in the world right now,” said Michael J.P. Carroll, sophomore computer science major. “I want to know about current events, but I won’t go out of my way.”
With many students, and everyday citizens, preferring the online form of news, the print industry is suffering, looking at different business models to survive.
“The fact is that print journalism is in a crisis, over half the jobs in print have been lost in the past decade,” Huesca said. “They are trying out whether it’s successful; the industry is looking for all kinds of ways of making money so they can stay in business.”
A major issue facing print and online news is charging people subscriptions, especially when other sources of news are free.
“People just don’t buy newspapers anymore,” Huesca said. “They have not been very successful with the strategy of charging individual subscriptions through what are called ‘paywalls’”.
While students benefit from having free access to the paper on campus, the New York Times benefits
“This is just an attempt to look for a new business model and generate revenue,” Huesca said. “Also, I think college students are a good demographic to target as they are likely to continue the habit of reading that periodical once they graduate.”
With the decline in the print industry, digital news is transitioning in a new direction as well.
“The trend in journalism is going towards very small and superficial articles; sites like Buzzfeed have now surpassed The New York Times in terms of daily impressions,” Huesca said. “The New York Times is feeling pressured to become more like BuzzFeed, which does not give in-depth or very significant coverage to events of importance, so I hope students will use it.”