By Samip Delhiwala
Published: April 25th, 2018
The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) closed a deal with the City University of New York (CUNY) Office of Library Services to provide all CUNY students, faculty, and staff free memberships to the WSJ on Friday, March 9. This includes complimentary access to www.WSJ.com, the Journal’s app on Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store, “curated newsletters,” and WSJ+, “an exclusive experience with access to special events, discounts, and travel destinations.”
Those who wish to activate this membership using their CUNY email address can visit www.wsj.com/CUNY. Those who already pay for WSJ membership can call 1-800-JOURNAL and mention the complimentary CUNY deal to change their membership.
“It’s an academic resource for personal and professional development, all in our effort to engage the future readership of The Wall Street Journal,” Alex Andreadis said to the Excelsior. Andreadis, a CUNY and Baruch College alum, is a marketing manager for the Journal, and has also been managing the student membership activations.
A press release following the deal said, “Student members…access the same content C-suite executives, business leaders, and other influencers use to make global decisions on a daily basis. In addition to real news and ground-breaking journalism, The Wall Street Journal offers insight into career development, college rankings, politics, technology, real estate, and the arts, fueling the ambition of its readers with thought-provoking content.”
Andreadis stated that the Journal has been consistently ranked as the most trusted news organization in the U.S, which he believes is important today in a climate where readers have to be careful with their sources. He also praised the Journal’s wide range of topics covered, which includes economics, business, politics, and technology, to name a few. While the Journal has historically had a reputation for catering to readers interested in business and economics, it has branched out the past couple of decades, and “covers almost every topic in depth,” according to Andreadis.
“Anyone would benefit from reading it daily. We’re thrilled that student journalists can read our paper, and students studying different subjects and interested in different things will benefit greatly from this,” he said.
From feedback that the paper received, students highly valued content that focused on professional development and how to succeed in entry-level job positions.
Brooklyn College junior and economics major Josiah James commented on how the Journal has benefited him in his economics classes.
“For business and economics students this is an invaluable asset in our constant analysis of how what we learn directly effects our communities and societies,” he said. “The Wall Street Journal is one of my main sources for economic and business news, and has been quite accurate when concerning market predictions and giving reasonable explanations for merger acquisitions, FTC verdicts, and international trade policy.”
CUNY professors can also take advantage of the free membership by implementing the Journal into their syllabi.
“We work with professors across the country to integrate the Journal into their classrooms,” Andreadis said. “Professors can rely on journalism in a variety of topics, and integrate it into in-class readings, homework assignments, or extra credit.”
The Excelsior reached out through email to three professors in the BC economics department for comment, but a response was not received in time for print.
According to Andreadis, the Journal has not only closed a deal with CUNY, but has also targeted colleges nationwide in order to increase readership among the current generation of college students and recent college graduates.
Steve Severinghaus, senior director of communications for the Journal, offered more insight into the process behind appealing to college students.
“For the past couple of years, we’ve been doing a lot of audience development, and one thing that we have found is that the younger generation has a huge entrepreneurial desire,” Severinghaus said to the Excelsior. “They have a lot of drive and ambition, and that set of people is willing to pay for quality content.”
This new vision for WSJ resulted in an ad campaign last October that featured a young woman who reads the Journal while working on her career. The ad was directed to appeal to “most Gen Zers and millennials,” Suzi Watford, executive vice president and CMO of the Journal, said to AdWeek.
Severinghaus stated that the Journal’s sales team has been reaching out and speaking to colleges’ libraries across the country for quite some time. In the summer of 2017, the paper began signing contracts to equip schools with the complimentary memberships.
In addition to the content that the Journal provides, Andreadis and Severinghaus both stressed the importance of WSJ+, which provides access to local networking events. WSJ members can access their WSJ+ account at www.wsjplus.com.