Following months of student advocacy, Georgetown University students, faculty and staff now have free access to The New York Times (NYT) and The Washington Post.
Lauinger Library staff and the Georgetown University Student Association (GUSA) collaborated to secure the free subscriptions, which began Jan. 1. The subscriptions provide access to all current stories on the NYT and Washington Post websites, as well as to five articles a day from the NYT archives and all Washington Post stories published online in the last 15 years.
The announcement comes ahead of GUSA’s intended timeline, which aimed to start providing the subscriptions in Fall 2023. The initiative gained momentum last fall, as GUSA began working more closely with Lauinger staff to negotiate alleviating the costs of student subscriptions.
Amelia Frisbie (MSB ’26) said the new subscription will be helpful in her courses and outside of class.
“I’m excited by the news that Georgetown is granting students access to the NYT and Washington Post,” Frisbie wrote to The Hoya. “These resources are helpful tools for students to employ when researching for classes, staying informed on current events, and reading leisurely.”
GUSA President Camber Vincent (SFS ’24) said GUSA’s goal for the subscriptions was to give students the ability to read more articles, especially ones necessary for class assignments which would typically be inaccessible.
“Our rationale for the program was to increase student readership in general and provide access to articles relevant to classes or sometimes those assigned by professors that were locked behind paywalls,” Vincent wrote to The Hoya. “This is a great program for our students for the next 6 years and we’re excited to watch the roll-out.”
Jacob Sowers (CAS ’23) said the new initiative gives students access to news outlets that they otherwise would not purchase individually.
“Although outlets like the Washington Post and the New York Times do have student discounts, many students that I know of, including myself, do not want to spend the money for a yearly subscription if they are just going to be reading an article or two per month,” Sowers wrote to The Hoya. “With this new change, students will be able to use these media sources without worrying about the paywall.”
Harriette Hammasi, the dean of Lauinger Library, said the online subscriptions will be more accessible to students who wish to use them.
“In a globally focused institution like Georgetown, staying up-to-date on current events is essential for students, staff, and faculty, both to work in their specific fields and to be informed citizens more generally,” Hemmasi wrote to The Hoya. “While these papers were and are available at the Library through print subscriptions, databases, and news aggregators, direct web access will make it much easier and more convenient for Hoyas to read the stories they’re interested in.”
Emma Vonder Haar (CAS ’26) said she appreciates that the university chose to provide access to two papers that are already popular among many students.
“I think it makes a lot of sense as these are two of the most predominant newspapers that are especially relevant to what we do as students,” Vonder Haar wrote to The Hoya. “Being in DC, access to The Washington Post is certainly significant and helpful.”
Dylan Shapiro (COL ’26) said the two newspapers will provide news to students through a more balanced lens.
“Since they’re print outlets, both have a long history of being consistently reliable, and you also have the option of more right-leaning editorials (WashPo) or more left-leaning ones (NYT),” Shapiro wrote to The Hoya. “By giving students a wide variety of choices for where to get their news, it becomes way easier to stay informed.”
Vincent said he hopes GUSA can renew the program in future years and continue to offer free access to additional publications in the future.
“We hope to continue to work on expanding the program to more publications for the student
body as time goes on and guarantee an extension on contract when it lapses,” Vincent said.
Sowers, a senior in Georgetown’s journalism minor program, said he’s hopeful the initiative will promote student interest in credible news outlets.
“I think this new policy is a fantastic opportunity to connect Georgetown students with quality and dependable journalism,” Sowers wrote.