By Scott Tibbs, December 7, 2017
By eliminating the free newspaper program, Indiana University is simply recognizing the realities of how news is consumed and delivering it in a different way.
Indiana University is eliminating the free newspaper program, which allows students to use their student ID to get copies of major newspapers gor free. This has generated some criticism, especially with the concern about scam websites promoting wild conspiracy theories. But is this a bad thing? Will it make students less informed? No and no.
Most students get their news online, and both the Herald-Times article on the program and a letter to the editor miss a critical point: Some newspapers offer online subscriptions for free to students. For example, anyone with an indiana.edu e-mail address can subscribe to the online edition of the Washington Post and The New York Times free of charge.
That benefits students, obviously, but also benefits faculty and staff, who can also get free subscriptions to the online editions of the New York Times and the Washington Post with their indiana.edu e-mail address.
The reality is that students do not read newspapers. (Obviously, there are exceptions.) They get their news online. With a smartphone in your hand, you can easily access the news anywhere from multiple sources without the bulky newspaper and the need to recycle it when you are done.
Indiana University is not taking anything away from students. They are simply providing it in a different, more convenient and more environmentally friendly format.