USA Today readership program a good start

Julie Knapp

It’s no shock to anyone that media are changing.

With the Internet growing, people are seeing media in the form of video, audio, blogs and more pictures on the Internet.

It’s also very easy – I mean, after all, a student can go back and forth from Facebook to in seconds.

Because of the Internet though, newspaper readership is rapidly declining. Some experts blame the national Do Not Call List because it doesn’t allow the newspaper industry to call future subscribers, some blame bad promotions and others blame the Internet.

I blame college students.

It’s not often that college students will pick up a newspaper, because they usually don’t cover the entertainment that draws us in. We were also not accustomed to getting up in the morning and reading the paper because of the Internet. Thus, we’ve let a tradition, that has gone on for centuries, slowly fade away.

The newspaper industry is vital. There are far fewer mistakes in print then there are online, as things are checked and double checked and go through a rigorous copy editing process before they are printed – this isn’t the same as it is online.

Bloggers aren’t always held to the same industry standards, and there is a race among online newspapers to see who can get the breaking stories online faster. Therefore, facts aren’t checked and stories aren’t copy edited very well.

Newspapers are far more credible and the industry is starting to spread the word by encouraging people our age to start reading them more. USAToday has begun a readership program for college campuses that many other universities have taken advantage of, and Washburn will next semester.

It will provide students with a Topeka Capital-Journal, a USAToday and another newspaper that has yet to be decided (although, I’d like to put a plug in for the New York Times).

The goal behind the program is to encourage newspaper readership among college students.

However, this readership program isn’t free. It’s going to cost upward of $40,000 to have these papers available to us. This money will be paid with a mix of our student activity fee and tuition dollars, so our money will only go to waste if we don’t read the papers.

The USAToday Readership program isn’t going to solve the ills of the declining newspaper industry, but it will encourage the readership of a great tradition and some more credible sources.