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Faculty Request for Resumption of Free National Newspaper Program at Vanderbilt

This petition had 23 supporters

Dear Chancellor Zeppos,

We, the faculty at Vanderbilt, sponsor this petition with the intent of expressing our interest in the prompt resumption of free access to the printed national newspaper on campus at easily accessible locations for the following reasons:

1. It encourages curiosity and knowledge of current events and a heightened awareness of the world outside Nashville amongst students, a pivotal mission of the University;

2. Printed papers promote greater retention and recall. According to a study by the neuroscience group TrueImpact, “they require 21% less cognitive effort to process than digital media, and recall is 70% higher among [people] exposed to a [printed] piece than a digital [one];”

3. Physical papers are better for people with sleep issues and eye strain problems. According to a study in the journal PNAS, reading phones or computers before bed decreases production of melatonin in the body, causing sleep to be more difficult. The same study found that reading electronics before bedtime disturbed alertness the following day;

4. According to Forbes, a multi-channel approach that utilizes the aspects that are unique to the printed paper as well as the convenience and accessibility of printed media is the most beneficial way to receive the news; and

5. In the age of social media, it is pivotal for students to have an easily accessible, reliable, fact-based news source.

As Jefferson wrote, "were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate to prefer the latter.”

Thank you for your kind consideration of this pertinent matter,

Vanderbilt Faculty


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