USG and NYT partner to offer free newspapers

Undergraduate Student Government and The New York Times are teaming up to increase print readership at USC.

As part of The New York Times’ efforts to reach out to universities, it agreed to have a one-month trial of free newspapers on the University Park Campus starting Monday.

There will be 40 newspapers distributed in five racks across campus. The locations of the racks are still being finalized.

“Where you can walk around and pick up a Daily Trojan, you’ll be able to walk around and pick up a more national newspaper like The New York Times,” USG President Monish Tyagi said. “The idea there is you get your campus news and you have your student newspaper, but students also have access to a broader, more worldwide covering newspaper as well.”

The trial is meant to increase readership and gauge student interest in world news, Tyagi said.

“It’s important for students to be aware of what’s going on in the world,” Tyagi said. “This is one small way in order to help do that. I read the Daily Trojan every single day and there’s a little coverage of what’s going on throughout the world on a larger scale, but this way students will be informed not only about what’s going on on campus but also kind of a bigger picture of what’s going on outside.”

Ali Blair, a sophomore majoring in broadcast and digital journalism, said providing free newspapers to students will be beneficial considering rising subscription fees.

“I recently unsubscribed to the Los Angeles Times because it just costs too much, but as a journalism major, I would love to have access to a national newspaper through school,” Blair said. “It’s [the university’s] job to give us the best education, and access to news is a part of a good education,” Blair said.

If students show enthusiasm about the availability of The New York Times around campus, the program could be instituted permanently next year, USG Assistant Director of Academic Affairs Jason Wei said.

Wei said it would also need to secure additional funding to extend the program.

“If The New York Times is willing to work with us next semester on the cost and we’re able to find funds, then we’ll be able to continue the program,” Wei said. “If it gets the majority of the student population to really enjoy the program and put their support behind it, then the administration might be persuaded to fund it.”

Michelle Crisosto, a sophomore majoring in communication and art history, said she will take advantage of the free newspapers.

“There’s nothing that compares to a real newspaper,” Crisosto said. “I get the news online every day but still have a respect for traditional print, and if it was provided by the school, then I don’t see why I wouldn’t pick up a copy on my way home from class.”