New York Times available on campus

By Gus Bode

Gus:Thank you, Judith Miller, for making class less boring.

In recent weeks, students and staff have been able to pick up free copies of the New York Times at certain locations across campus, but soon they won’t be available for free anymore.

The Times, often considered the paper of record, will provide copies until Nov. 18 as part of a four-week program designed to promote subscriptions among students, faculty and staff. Copies are available at the Recreation Center, Woody Hall and Faner Hall.

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The newspaper also benefits through the program, as the copies across campus add to the circulation number for the paper. Advertisers look at circulation numbers when determining which publications their ads will be seen the most.

Thomas Calhoun, associate provost for Academic Affairs, was contacted by the Times with the offer. Calhoun said he hopes the program will help the SIUC community develop the habit of reading a newspaper daily.

“The main point here is to get students to read at least some type of daily national paper,” Calhoun said.

Having these papers available will allow the faculty to refer to current national and international issues in the newspaper during their classes, Calhoun said. He also said reading independently would help students gain increased understanding of classroom topics through daily exposure to news.

Attempts to increase newspaper readership among students are not new, said the Rev. Joseph Brown, director of Black American Studies. Brown said he encourages his students to read daily newspapers to stay informed on critical issues.

“The habit of reading the newspaper is lost to this college generation,” Brown said.

This fall, Brown added daily reading of The New York Times to the class requirements for BAS 209, Critical Issues in Black America.

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Brown said he and his students use the issues presented in the paper to frame class discussions. He said he tells his students that people who have influence and make policy decisions read newspapers daily, and so should they.

Brown said he encourages his students not to accept the information presented at face value.

“We don’t just accept what’s in the paper,” Brown said. “I think that critical reading skills are the key to an educated mind.”

Brown said students’ response to the papers has been positive because it helps them connect textbook examples to current situations. Others who are not required to read for class have also been pleased with the availability of free copies.

Jennifer Johnson, a junior studying journalism from Long Island, N.Y., said she likes to read the Times because it has good science and health stories. She said she buys the Times occasionally but can’t afford a subscription.

“I’m taking journalism classes, and I’m from New York,” Johnson said. “So, I kind of like to read the Times every now and then.”

Johnson described the free copies around campus as a “nice little treat.”

Though program ends Nov. 18, Calhoun said the Times is continually available for free online and at Morris Library.

Reporter Katie Pennell can be reached at [email protected]

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