Students, Leadership Collaborate to Expand Free Digital News Resources

The GW community now has access to The Washington Post, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.

Graphic of News
November 09, 2020

George Washington University students, faculty and staff now have full online access to The Washington Post, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal—the result of the latest partnership between students and leadership to improve the student experience and provide important resources that benefit the entire community and support the university’s academic mission.

The digital subscriptions are available through the GW Libraries site for members of the university community, both on and off campus.

“Universities depend on fact-based information to fulfill our core mission. These subscriptions will be another important tool for our community to teach, learn, research and work,” GW President Thomas LeBlanc said. “We also depend on the collaboration of our community to help strengthen the university, and we are pleased to continue to partner with students to enhance our resources.”

During the past few months, university leadership worked with leadership in the Student Association to discuss the need for free news subscriptions and the value it would add to the community’s experience.

“University leadership was instrumental in bringing this important project to fruition. From an academic perspective, these resources will allow faculty and students to learn in new and unprecedented ways,” said SA senate Chief of Staff Zachary Nosanchuk. “We couldn’t be more grateful to the administration for helping us be a leader among our peer institutions in providing these subscriptions to these award-winning news organizations for students.”

Mark Diaz, executive vice president and chief financial officer, worked with students to execute the agreements with the news organizations. Students presented a well-researched case when proposing the resources, he said.

 “This is a great example of the progress we can make for our community by working together,” Mr. Diaz said. “I was pleased to be involved in this effort on behalf of our students, faculty and staff to enhance our resources that help make us better informed and engaged citizens.”

In addition to full digital access to the three publications, students, faculty and staff may find other resources that are helpful.  For example, The Wall Street Journal offers curated newsletters for faculty and students, classroom resources such as discipline-specific content to incorporate into curricula, a seminar series, free e-books, podcasts and other resources. 

Other benefits from the subscriptions could include events, exclusive multimedia content, career trek trips, and free merchandise for students. More information about each organization’s subscription is available on the GW Libraries site.

“As provost, I am always thinking about ways GW can increase access to educational materials for the community, particularly as it supports equity for students,” said Provost M. Brian Blake. “I am pleased that we are partnering with the SA on initiatives and recommendations that have this goal in mind. Providing full digital access to these news organizations is a great benefit for all of us.”

Students and leadership have worked together on many important issues to improve the student experience, including adding an 18th credit covered by the undergraduate tuition rate, reducing or eliminating fees, such as for laundry and printing, streamlining housing rates, making recommendations to increase equity in the classroom, and adjusting policies and enhancing student resources and services in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.  The university also has benefited from active student participation in important task forces, such as on environmental and social governance and naming issues.

While some community members already had access to these news publications through a school or unit, the new institution-wide subscriptions are available to all students, faculty and staff, and they are centrally funded. This arrangement supports cost efficiency and provides unit-level budget relief, Mr. Diaz said. The GW community also already has access to the Chronicle of Higher Education and Financial Times.  The university previously made available to all students, faculty and staff free access to the Adobe Creative Cloud and Microsoft 365. 

Meanwhile, the latest enhancement of GW’s digital subscriptions provides another important benefit to students who are civically engaged in a rapidly evolving digital world, said Catherine Morris, SA chief policy advisor.

“In the midst of a world flooded with rampant misinformation and with the continuation of virtual classes, there is such a necessity for access to accurate reporting,” said Ms. Morris. “The SA hopes that access to these news outlets will continue to allow GW students to remain politically engaged and informed even when not on campus.”

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