College Guide


June 12, 2012 11:00 AM The End of the Knowledge Network

By Daniel Luzer

Five years ago the New York Times, worried about the declining revenue of its print side, ventured into online education. Now it appears to be getting out.

According to the original announcement in 2007:

The New York Times introduced today a new online initiative that pairs Times content with faculty course material for both credit-bearing and continuing education courses. Educators will now have the opportunity to select Times articles, archival content, graphics and multimedia content, including videos and Webcasts, gathered around specific subjects, and make them available to students online, along with other course materials. Students will benefit from access to thematic content that is drawn from the vast array of Times reporting on a countless number of issues.

Then two years ago the company decided to offer actual academic credit in partnerships with several colleges.

Never mind about all that. The Times is closing the Knowledge Network. According to a piece at Inside Higher Ed:

“I can confirm that after July 31, Knowledge Network courses will no longer be available online,” said Linda Zebian, manager of corporate communications at the Times Company. “We’re examining our education businesses to see how we will structure them in the future to best serve readers and others who are interested in learning with The New York Times.”

Apparently online education didn’t generate the revenues the company expected.

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer


  • Timothy D McCollum on June 12, 2012 10:40 PM:

    Well, contrary to the New York Times experience, the rest of online, distance or nontraditional education, is booming!

    I just earned my second bachelors degree from Eastern Oregon University, a division of the University of Oregon, completely online. It was an exciting adventure. All, but one,my of professors was a PhD.

    The format allowed for, or cried out for, greater investigation, interaction with other students and faculty, including the posing of some nasty questions. there were no TA's, just classes of a 20 to 30. I put a lot of effort into my classes, and graduated summa cum laude. It is an ideal learning medium for anyone with hearing difficulties. I almost completely unreservedly recommend the same.

    Oh, yes, I am 74 years old, and this follows a 20 year successful business career, which was followed by 35 years of his law practice.

    My only comment is do not allow the ageism prevalent in our current society to keep you from fulfilling your dreams.