Faculty promotes use of free publications
Published: Friday, March 22, 2013
Updated: Friday, March 22, 2013 00:03
Miami University faculty encourage students to utilize the expanded efforts to bring the biggest news publications to campus, free of cost.
According to journalism program director, Richard Campbell, Miami’s Collegiate Readership Program has been able to bring some of the nation’s most predominant newspapers, such as USA Today and The New York Times, to Miami’s campus for over a decade. The program began in 1997 by Pennsylvania State University and was implemented at Miami in 1999. Available in student centers, libraries and residence halls across campus, the publications provided by the program are free of cost to students, staff and faculty.
Campbell said in the 2008 to 2009 school year, the budget for the Collegiate Readership Program was cut in half from $80,000 to $40,000 because of priority reasoning in the student fee through tuition, which limited the amount of publications the program could offer.
He added that demand for hard copies of newspapers is shrinking across the country as popularity of online readership increases. Because of this, publications like USA Today cut some publication days out of the week, limiting Miami’s access.
Campbell said he believes providing newspapers on campus are important for students, as they lead to a well-rounded education of the community and of the world.
“A higher education is evidence-based, allowing us to go out into the world better informed,” he said.
The readership program makes this possible, according to Campbell.
An addition to students’ accessibility to publications is an online database, Factiva. Factiva has offered the world’s largest publications for free on the university library website since 2006, according to Miami business librarian, Susan Hurst. The database offers access to over 36,000 news sources.
Hurst, who originally proposed the idea to offer it to students, said she strongly recommends Factiva. Factiva can be found on the Miami library website in the A-Z database.
According to Hurst, she does not see why students would not take advantage of Factiva because of its accessibility and important worldly information provided. Factiva offers many of the nation’s largest publications, including the Wall Street Journal, which is not accessible anywhere else online.
“It is already paid for through tuition so, like the rec center, you might as well take advantage of it,” she said.
Though students can access online news publications, they can still pick up printed newspapers, like the Dayton Daily News and the Cincinnati Enquirer, in most academic buildings. Campbell and Hurst agreed there are advantages to both hard copies and online publications.
Hurst said she believes reading a hard copy of a newspaper is a way to focus on the daily news without distractions, such as links.
Campbell explained when reading a hard copy, the reader is exposed to a broad variety of diverse topics to widen general knowledge of current events. He said he believes college students, if anyone, should read newspapers this way.
“There’s just something different about holding a newspaper,” he said.
However, Campbell added that online sources like Factiva are great tools to find specific articles or interests the reader is looking for.
Senior Michael Trivelli, a daily reader of news publications and a strong supporter of Factiva, said he prefers reading online.
“I prefer reading articles online because I can do a news search and find topics of interest quickly from many different sources,” he said. “Factiva is an extremely helpful resource provided by Miami libraries, and one that I think is underutilized.”
Trivelli said he believes online reading through Factiva is more practical than hard copy newspapers because students can access publications from anywhere and utilize them simultaneously.
First-year Chad Barth said he likes to stay knowledgeable with current events. After using Factiva, Barth said he believes it is a helpful tool.
“It is much easier to sort through information digitally, and Factiva is definitely something I would use to search for articles of my interest,” he said.