Students can get USA Today, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and The New York Times free at campus newsstands sponsored by the College Readership Program.
“The purpose of the program is to get students to pick up hard print and enjoy it,” said Paul Walcheck, a representative from USA Today. “We like to think that it is making people more worldly,” said Walcheck of the nationwide readership program.
This is the first full year for the program at Temple. Last year papers were distributed for only a couple months on a trial basis. Nationwide, the program has been running for two years.
Walcheck liked that that students were exposed to more than one type of paper.
“We want students to have different news outlets,” he said.
Walcheck spoke of a balance of the types of news that are being given.
“Information is so important, and this program gives students the heavy news from The New York Times and The Philadelphia Inquirer, (and) the USA Today provides quick, lighter news,” Walcheck said.
Mike Alexander, a sophomore, said he enjoyed USA Today the most because of the lighter news.
“I don’t use the USA Today for hard news, I can get that on TV,” he Alexander.
Alexander most frequently reads USA Today for its sports, life, and entertainment sections, but occasionally he reads other sections.
Another reason for having those three specific papers is to have a wide base for comparison, Walcheck said.
Through offering three different newspapers, Walcheck believes the goal of the program can be achieved more effectively.
“The goal, of course, is to open up to make people aware that something is there,” Walcheck said. “There are things that are going on everyday that people are talking about. That’s what news is.”
The program has been as well-received at Temple as at college campuses nationwide.
“There has been an interest in the program,” said Walcheck. “Students are happy with the hard print and the news at hand.”
Alexander has taken advantage of the readership program.
“I like it because I don’t have to pay for it,” he said. “Normally I wouldn’t be inclined to buy the paper, but because it’s free, I take advantage of it,” he Alexander.
“I think this is a good way to get people interested in the newspaper,” said Alexander.
“The main component of the program is to rekindle the joy of reading,” said Walcheck. “It is great to open up somebody’s mind about something.”