Free copies of The New York Times are slated to return to Yale’s dining halls.
When paper copies of The New York Times stopped being delivered to residential college dining halls in January, students immediately noticed the publication’s disappearance. According to administrators, Yale has been attempting to renegotiate its subscription with the newspaper for the past few months. Though Assistant to the President and Advisor on Student Affairs Nina Glickson said she expects the newspaper to be delivered today, administrators said Yale might switch to an online subscription soon.
Yale began negotiations with the Times last semester for students to obtain digital access to the newspaper, according to an email obtained by the News from President Salovey’s Chief of Staff Joy McGrath. The goal is to determine an arrangement so that The New York Times can reach as many members of the Yale community as possible “while still being cost effective,” Glickson said.
However, as these negotiations have crossed over into the spring term, the current plan is to restart the print subscription — at least temporarily.
“The negotiations with the Times, begun months ago, have now trespassed on term time, and so we will simply go back to providing the newspaper in paper form only, for now,” McGrath said in the email.
Glickson said she had expected copies of The New York Times to begin arriving last Wednesday, though the delay should be over any day now.
Copies of The New York Times have been provided daily in each dining hall since 2002, paid for by the Yale president’s discretionary fund. In 2010, the subscription was called into question when a Yale College Council poll found that a majority of students did not read the paper in hard copy on a regular basis. In response to the poll, the YCC proposed reducing the number of copies delivered, restricting delivery to Sundays or providing online subscriptions instead. But the paper continued to be delivered until this January.
YCC President Danny Avraham ’15 said he has been in touch with the administration this semester to try to reverse the cancellation of the print subscription. At the same time, Avraham said the YCC has been looking for ways to provide online access to all students.
McGrath said many students prefer reading the paper on computers, tablets or phones rather than in paper form.
Still, most students interviewed maintain their loyalty to the physical copy.
Catherine Wall ’16 said she prefers the print newspaper to the online version. When the paper was available for free, she said she picked it up every morning to read over breakfast.
“Paper copies offer something different,” Wall said. “For me, the paper copy is a really great way to start off my morning.
When The New York Times disappeared from the dining halls, Wall said “it was as if Yale was trying to foster a sense of apathy.”
For J.T. Flowers ’17, reading individual articles online cannot compare to the experience of reading a print newspaper. Flowers, who read the hard copies walking to class or whenever he had a free moment, said he has yet to make the full transition from print to online.
“While digital journalism provides far more information, the structure and organization of print journalism makes it easier for readers to determine which stories are actually important and worth reading,” Flowers said. “It streamlines the entire experience.”
Some students, however, said they would be more likely to read the newspaper online than in print format. An online subscription would enable students to read more than the ten free articles per month provided by the Times to nonsubscribers.
Nishwant Swami ’17 said he would prefer an online subscription so that students can access the Times outside of the dining halls. An online subscription would allow students to keep up with articles posted in real time and follow news as it breaks, he said.
The Times was founded in 1851.