New York Times Building, NYC” by Torrenegra

March 9, 2017; The Hill

The New York Times issued a press release yesterday to declare that it has received an anonymous $1 million gift towards its “sponsor a subscription program.” That large gift is one among 15,500 donations that will support subscriptions for 1.3 million public school students.

In the wake of this largesse, the Times plans to extend the program by adding news literacy webinars.

The influx in contributions gives The Times the opportunity to enhance the program through a variety of initiatives that will offer a more robust educational experience for students and teachers. The first of these will be a live webinar series with Times journalists for the sponsored schools, on topics like news literacy, personal finance, persuasive writing, climate change, immigration and the Supreme Court. The series will be interactive and moderated by editors from The Learning Network, a site about teaching and learning with Times content. Teachers will also have access to webinars dedicated to helping them find ways to incorporate a range of Times materials into their daily curriculum.

Arthur Sulzberger, Jr., publisher of The New York Times, said, “The genesis of the ‘sponsor a subscription’ program came directly from readers who approached us with the desire to help support independent journalism and promote news literacy after the U.S. elections. Thanks to their tremendous generosity, schools that would not normally have had the means to pay for resources like The Times are now able to empower their students with the news and information they need to help them understand the world around them.”

The august newspaper has come under attack from the Oval Office and, before that, from the Trump presidential campaign. Despite that, or perhaps because of it, subscriptions to the New York Times doubled in 2016. This must be what “failing” looks like to the new administration.—Ruth McCambridge