Penn State and USA Today launch new online initiative

November 09, 2009

University Park, Pa. -- On Nov. 9, USA Today -- the nation’s top-selling newspaper -- in cooperation with Penn State launched a new e-Edition for Penn State students as part of the University's continuing mission to promote newspaper reading as a way of integrating real world with classroom study. Since 1997, Penn State has had a readership program in place -- the first of its kind in the nation and a model for more than 500 collegiate readership programs nationwide.

The e-Edition, which is currently available for free to on-campus students, faculty and staff at Penn State, is an exact replica version of USA Today featuring additional interactive and exclusive content. The e-Edition product also will include a Saturday-Sunday edition called USA Today Extra, the first-ever regular weekend product from USA Today. Information on the e-Edition can be found at online.

USA Today e-Edition is a page-by-page edition of the newspaper delivered by 5:30 a.m. Students will have an option to access the e-Edition from, or opt-in to receive the Campus Buzz e-mail notification each morning alerting them of their e-Edition delivery. The e-Edition may be read online or downloaded for later use. The digital copies will be provided as a companion to the print product already available across Penn State campuses. The e-Edition includes a number of features, such as:

  • Videos - Online videos embedded directly into the accompanying newspaper content.
  • Snapshots® - USA Today’s popular infographic, with an interactive bonus allowing readers to actively participate in quick polling results.
  • Search – The ability to text search content and advertisement in the day’s issue and through back issues.
  • Back Issues – Easy access to all digital back issues, available from product launch.
  • Text to Speech – One-button text to speech capability, allowing subscribers to have the news provided in an audio format.
  • Connect to Internet – All links throughout content and advertisements will be clickable, allowing readers to access Web sites outside the digital reader environment.

As part of the Student Newspaper Readership Program, students at all Penn State locations already use their Penn State ID cards at newspaper distribution machines to obtain free copies of The New York Times, USA Today and a variety of local and regional newspapers. The new e-Edition offered by USA Today allows students and faculty to gain free access to the online version.

"This is just one more way for our community to stay informed with the most current information available," said Bill Mahon, vice president for university relations. "Data from recent surveys overwhelmingly support the relationship between newspaper readership and developing cognitive skills."

The 2008 survey Mahon referenced also found that newspaper readership increases awareness and understanding of current issues and helps readers develop civic-mindedness." Evidence also suggests a strong relationship between newspaper readership and student engagement. For more results, download the PDF found at online.
USA Today boasts total average daily circulation of more than 2.1 million, and its Web site, launched in 1995, reaches a combined 5.8 million readers daily.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated July 22, 2015