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August 27, 1968 - Image 59

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1968-08-27

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Page Five

Tuesday, August 27, 1968





Daily edit staff:




than politics

Personnel Director
The Princeton guide to good
dating, Where the Girls Are, de-
scribes the University as a great

Edit cutie

Kok Omo
Photo lIad~s
fie nd ame
Walking down the - street in
Kokomo, Ind., at midnight you
might wonder what you are doing
there. But then you feel the cold
metal of the Nikon or Leica which
adorns your neck and you remem-
ber that you are a "Daily Photog-
# rapher" covering the Indiana
It .Is at moments like these
when you are questioning the.
existence qf Nebraska that your,
mind wonders over your vast
career as a "Daily Photographer."
You started as a freshman when.
you saw an ad in The Daily that
had a funny picture of a long;
haired guy holding a camera.
The ad read: Daily Photograph-
ers Wanted . . Bring your port-
folio. This lured you' into gather-
ing all the snapshots of Christmas
and Yosemite that you thought
were only good for after dinner.
* conversations,
You are a little embarrassed
that all the pictures in your port-
folio have your little brother in
them and they say "Eastman
Kodacolor." But you know that
you are no rank amateur and you
boldly appear at the meeting.
The first person you see is some-
one else with a portfolio of 16x20
prints and four cameras hanging
around his neck. You are instantly
depressed but you suffer through
the ridiculous affair.
Three days later, when you
have forgotten about the whole
* thing, the mustasched 'editor
meets you on the street and tells
you that your day is Saturday.
Bright and early Saturday
morning you come to The Daily
on your bicycle and find the whole
place abandoned. Two hours later,
a day editor walks in and gives
you your first assignment.
You go at it like mad and shoot
four rolls of film in 10 minutes.
The next day you eagerly get the
paper and see that technician has
printed the worst one and your
name is under it. But in a few
weeks, you get better, and things
aren't so bad.
A year later you find yourself
in Kokomo, rubbing elbows in the
press car with photographers from
Life and Black Star. When one
asks you who you are shooting
for, you say "Michigan Daily,"
and all those afternoons of pho-
tographing people on the Diag and
the joint-judiciary do not seem in

place to meet "any type of girl
you can think of" and adds that
The Daily is the place to look
for "violent young politicos."
Undoubtedly, if there are vio-
lent young politicos anywhere on
the staff, they will be found
among our editorial staff cuties.
It ,is also undoubtedly true that
they can be found in greater pro-
portion on The Daily than on
the campus as a whole.
I resent, however, (as an edit
staff cutie myself) the ivy league
boys lumping the whole female
half of The Daily editorial staff
into this category. Disregarding
peripheral responsibilities such as
entertaining visitors from Prince-
ton, the editorial staff of The
Daily has one primary interest.
Male and female, 40 of the form-
er and 20 of the latter, the edi-
torial staff of The Daily sees to
it that 10,000 readable copies of
The Michigan Daily roll off the
presses at 420 Maynard six days
a week.
Bringing local, student, and
faculty readers news of. what is
happening today and what may
happen tomorrow requires a tre-
mendous variety of people willing
to perform a great variety of
jobs - to do a lot more than
"violent young politicos."
It requires, to turn out a Daily
that lives up to staff standards:
a solid, well written news sec-
tion; a stimulating editorial page;
and an array of features ranging
from the punny to the poignant.
All facets of the editorial side
of the paper are supervised by
eleven seniors whose selection by
the outgoing senior editors must
be approved through The Board
in Control of Student Publica-
tions; but who run the paper en-
tirely free of University censor-
The Board in Control of Stu-
dent. Publications is a student-
faculty-administrative body, that
is answerable to the Regents for
all student publications, the big-
gest of which is The Daily.
The Board owns the presses
and Publications Building which
The Daily uses. It is responsible
for overseeing Daily business af-
Several times in the past, The
Board has attempted, to exercise
some censorship by refusing to
approve appointment of senior
editors suggested by the graduat-
ing staff because the new editors
might be too controversial.
Threats of a Daily staff strike,
and pressure from powerful Daily
friends and 'alumni all over the
world combined to discourage
such a move.
it is very important to The
Daily, which has had 77 years of
editorial freedom, that they can
celebrate 100, 125 or 250 years of
editorial freedom. One of the
main reasons The Daily can re-
main "a gem of the collegiate
press" is its investigative report-
ing and controversial edit page.
This freedom to go out on limbs
many local dailies could not af-
ford to put their journalistic
weight on is made nossible by
The Daily's financial situation.
All operating costs and staff
salaries are paid from revenue
from local and national adver-
tisements and subscriptions. The
Daily has an annual budget of
about $150,000 and does not re-
ceive any money from the Uni-
There are certain problems all
parts of the edit staff face in
putting out a Daily that can live
up to its national image. (The
Daily has been continuously cited
by the American Newspaper Guild
and the Overseas Press Club for
its excellent news coverage )
Several problems center around
personnel. Few people join. the
staff with any relevant experi-
ence, and most stay on the staff

only a few months. Surprisingly
few of The Daily's staff members
are journalism majors, though a
great many former Daily staffers
get so enthused that they remain
'in the publishing field after grad-
In an attempt to imbue the new
staffers, whose interests range
from Chinese history to honors

and collegiate news services to
which The Daily subscribes. The
Daily is a member of the Associat-
ed Press and fills each day several
inside pages with national, in-
ternational, and state news often
supplemented with local com-
College news services, Col-
legiate Press Service, and Libera-
tion News Service, provide infor-
mation pools for The Daily and
other colleges as well as provid-
ing The Daily with feature and
editorial stories important to stu-
dents such as interviews with
General Hershey, director of the
Selective Service System.
Locally generated news has!
proved in recent years to be The
Daily's most interesting. The keyI
to The Daily's excellent investiga-
tive reporting is alertness. Some-
times The Daily learns of impor-
tant news through contacts but
often local irregularities such as
the building code violations of
some local realtors can be found
merely by listening carefully to
students complaints or getting to
know a VIP's secretary well.
In addition to gathering news,
M desk must supervise the work
of the understaff (assistant day
editors, day editors, assistant night
editors, and night editors) in
evaluating the news for each days
paper and putting it together co-
Night editors, under supervisiion
of M desk are responsible for the
next days paper with other under-
staffers having more limited re-
The night editor's work is such
that a lot of hair-pulling and arm
twisting is at times required, so
the post is generally reserved for
juniors. There are the nights that
night editors remember like the

taking care of a lot of undefined


On the job training

chemistry, with some profession-
al journalistic standards, The
Daily maintains an on-the-job
training program.
Editorial staff , trainees are
shown the techniques of news and
headline writing, proofreading,
layout, the qualities of good news,
editorial, and feature stories; and
the organization of the paper in,
brief weekly training sessions
conducted by the personnel direc-
tor throughout the semester.
After a few weeks of this "or-
ientation" trainees are assigned
stories and begin to work at the
city desk where the next day's
paper is put together. For pres-
ervation of mental stability by all
parties, trainees are not usually
given crucial stories until they
seem to have gained plenty of
ease with the mechanics of news
gathering and clear writing.
Between four in the afternoon
and The Daily's 2 a.m. deadline,
a ten to twelve page paper must
be assembled: news must be as-
signed a proper priority, pages
must be attractively designed, and
stories must be edited- to read ac-
curately and well. Organizing all
of these operations from a semi-
circle of desks called the city desk
involves potential disaster. Chaos
can only be avoided by appoint-
ipg someone lord and someone
As the newest staffers, trainees
become the serfs - writing head-
lines, reading proof, and running
errands. If trainees can survive
several months of being worked
hard and barked at, they emerge
into the sunlight as assistant day
editors who, between the errands
and the scolding, have picked up
quite a bit of information about
practical journalism.
The Daily is hard work, espe-
cially when you consider all of
its staffers are full-time students,
and we've never quite figured out
how we get enough people to stay
on the staff to put out a paper.
Like lemmings, more than 100,
staffers pour into the Publica-
tions Building to work for four
to 40 hours a week for very little
or no pay.
Apparently, some staffers are
there because they love to write.
Others want to create something
meaningful. Some discover they
can make friends easily at The
Daily, and are reluctant to have

merely the doubtful warmth of
the quad to go to each day. Many
develop the journalist's keen de-
sire to know everything, and to
uncover hidden truths.
For most, The Daily becomes
more than just a newspaper. It
often becomes an institution; a,
home, or at least a place where
you can find a fourth for bridge
anytime of day or night.
In addition to gathering and
training new personnel, the en-
tire staff faces problems of in-
ternal coordination of 100 very.
individualistic people ready to go
in all directions at once while
maintaining proper contact with
the University as a whole amidst
all these "Daily bugs."
These two problems are tackled
by the editor and executive editor.
Many story ideas come from
The Daily's editor, the head of
the organization. The editor's po-
sition opens many doors for, him
throughout the University com-
The editor seeks to lead The
Daily by helping to provide the
staff with an overview of the Uni-
versity and The Daily's ? ole in
the University. He is The Daily's
official liason with the commun-
ity. He is the one who speaks to
student groups to explain what
The Daily is trying to accomplish,
and why it is important to read
The Daily and know what goes on
on the campus.
Intra-staff inconsistency is
countered by the workof the ex-
ecutive editor who sits between
the editorial and managing desk
and performs a correspondingdco-
ordinating role, working with one
group one day and the other the
Now that we have some people
on the paper and we've given it
some order, we must fillit with
scintillating news copy. For this
we turn to the managing desk.
A managing editor and two
news editors draw up each week
an assignment sheet which tells
reporters where to look for
stories. The "M" desk gets a cer-
tain amount of news feedback
from beat heads - experienced
reporters assigned to watch for
upcoming events in specific areas
such as academic affairs or stu-
dent activities.
One of the M desk's chief
sources of news is the national

areas such as the special edition
you are currently reading.
Features are solicited and edited
by the feature editor who also is
in charge of arts coverage in Ann
Arbor and putting out the only
college book page.
Longer features find their way
into the Daily's monthly tabloid
magazine. An editor and associate
magazine editor supervise the
magazine as a fairly independent
part of the regular newspaper.
Articles range from special inter-
views with leading figures, such as
former Secretary of Defense Rob-
ert McNamara, to a discussion of
the chances of the Wolverine
sports team.
Opinion and predictions based
on local, national, and interna-
tional news in the paper are su-
pervised by the editorial directors
-editorial director and two as-
The left side of the editorial
page is set in extra large type to
set off the straight opinions given
there. All editorials must be in-
dividually signed and validated
except for extremely critical areas
the seniors choose to give an
opinion as a whole on.
Left side editorials are edited
only for clarity and soundness of
argument-all opinions are tgiose
of the individual writers. The
editorial page also includes the
many letters inspired by our
editorial opinions and long-range
predictions or analyses.
National columnists such as
Walter Lippmann and well-
known cartoonists such as Jules
Feiffer are also included on the
edit page.
All staffers become mysterious-
ly well-rounded after a few years
on The Daily - perhaps because
they are encouraged to cover sev-
eral different areas as reporters.
The resultant news - editorial -
feature writer The Daily turns out
is a powerful and interesting per-
son to know-in addition to being
a "violent young politico."

night no reporters brought in sto-
ries for editing until 12 (the paper
must be finished in every detail
by 2 AM) or the time a night
editor waited till four for the
election returns than got the
wrong figures, or the time a night
editor was tapped for an honor-
ary and had to come back and
finish putting out the paper cov-
ered with brickdust and little
Also within the bounds of the
desk are the feature editor and
personnel director.
The personel director is re-
sponsible for recruiting and train-
ing new staffers in addition to

77 years of editorial freedom


1113 South University
Ann Arbor, Michigan

Editor Mark Levin



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