Penn State

This is Penn State: Readership program going digital

Staying connected with local, national and world news is as easy as swiping a card or clicking a mouse.

The Penn State Newspaper Readership Program was launched in 1997 and quickly became the model for nearly 500 campuses nationwide. Now at locations across campus, students can swipe their ID+ cards and read the Centre Daily Times, New York Times or USA Today in addition to The Daily Collegian.

Beginning this fall, the Centre Daily Times and the Penn State Newspaper Readership Program are moving together into the digital domain. Students will be able to access content and connect with the latest breaking news and Penn State sports updates on their computers and laptops.

“We’re very excited about this next evolution in the readership program,” said Jim Wall, Centre Daily Times director of audience development and production. “We’re connecting with more students than ever before.”

Students can also interface with the Centre Daily Times through its growing social media network, which offers prizes and promotions in addition to news reports and important links.

“You can like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter,” Wall said.

In spring 2013, the Centre Daily Times was the most-read of the three non-student publications in the Penn State Newspaper Readership Program.

The readership program was developed to help connect students with the community and the world.

“In order to participate in our democratic society, students need to be conversant in the issues of the day,” Penn State President Rodney Erickson said on the university’s website.

“Newspapers deliver on that count and many more.

“I’m very pleased Penn State has a daily Newspaper Readership Program.”

Penn State Pulse survey data show that:

•  83 percent of Penn State students read a paper in the past seven days.

•  36 percent of Penn State students had at least one instructor require regular newspaper readership as part of a class.

•  84 percent of University Park students picked up a paper directly from the newspaper distribution racks or machines.

The university said: “Data overwhelmingly support the relationship between newspaper readership and developing cognitive skills; increasing one’s awareness, understanding, and the ability to articulate views on current issues; and developing civic-mindedness. Evidence suggests a strong relationship between newspaper readership and student engagement both on campus and in the community.”