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April 29, 1962 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1962-04-29

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Seventy-Second Year
"Where Opinions Are Free STUDENT PUBLICATIONS BLDG. * ANN ARBOR, MICH. * Phone NO 2-3241
Truth Will Prevail"
Editorials printed in The Michigan Daily express the individual opinions of staff writers
or the editors. This must be noted in all reprints.



AY, APRIL 29, 1962


Daily-Board Clashes
Could Be Avoided

AN EARTHQUAKE is now in progress. It
is shaking the very foundations of The
Daily. These foundations-the basic facts of
The Daily's existence-have been the source
of continuous and profound debate during the
past eight days.
When the earthquake is over, if The Daily
is still standing, these basic facts which are
The Daily's foundation, must emerge clear
and well-defined, in the hope that future
tremors may be avoided.
This editorial is an attempt to pin down
these facts.
T HE UNIVERSITY is the publisher of The
Daily. It owns and is ultimately respon-
sible for it.'A publisher, since the publication
is his, makes all decisions regarding its nature.
The University then, may print a newspaper
of any description, a magazine, a public-
relations sheet, a comic book or anything else
it wishes and call it "The Michigan Daily." It
may also set up whatever arrangement strikes
its fancy in order to get the thing produced.
If the Regents want to run the whole opera-
tion, they have the right. If they choose to
delegate any or all of those roles, they may
do so in whatever direction and under what-
ever conditions they choose.
So much for the publisher's right. What of
his obligations?
AS LONG AS he is the whole organization,
the publisher of course has no internal
obligations. But when people other than the
publisher are brought into the organization, he
has responsibilities to them. His obligation is
this: it is his paper and he may set up the
conditions, restriction and benefits under
which these others will work and anyone who
comes to work must agree to these conditions.
But once he sets them up he must abide by
If the publisher breaks an agreement or
alters it without consent of the others, they
have the right , to use whatever legitimate
means are at their disposal to force the
publisher to live up to his agreement.
We have said that the University, meaning
the Regents, is The Daily's publisher. All pre-
ceeding remarks about the rights and obliga-
tions of a publisher therefore apply here.
don't do all the publishing, reporting,
editing, business managing, typesetting and
press operating with their own 16 hands. In
fact, they go to the opposite extreme, by setting
up the Board in Control of Student Publications
and giving it "authority and control" (Bylaw
31.04) over The Daily and other student
The Board, as publisher, chooses not to
publish The Daily itself.
It invites students to do the editing, writing
and business managing of the paper. The stu-
dents, too, join under an agreement, though its
substance is very different from that of an
employment contract, since students join for
other reasons than earning wages.
THIS AGREEMENT with the students is the
Code of Ethics. In joining The Daily, a
student in effect says, "I agree to abide by the
Code of Ethics." He of course retains the right
to .try to convince the Board to modify the
code, but he nevertheless has pledged to act
according to it while it is in effect.
In effect, the Code of Ethics says that stu-
dents have complete authority over the content
of The Daily, within certain restrictions, which
it procedes to describe.
Since the senior editors are responsible for
carrying out the code, the Board has a right to
see that only students able and willing to
handle this responsibility become senior editors.
This fact justifies the power of the Board to
make appointments.
At the same time, the Board has guaran-
teed to the senior editors that it will itself
abide by the code. If it attempts to place
restrictions upon The Daily which go beyond
those in the Code of Ethics, it is violating its
agreement and creating adequate grounds for
protest. The student staff then has a right
to fight this action by whatever methods it
feels are best.

A CLAUSE in the Code of Ethics reads: "The
editorial page of The Daily shall be open
to all points of view. Intelligent editorial ex-
pression by all members of the staff shall be
encouraged ... Freedom of expression grounded
in fact shall be the editorial policy of The
The fact is, however, that granting the Board
the power to make appointments gives the
Board an open door to violating this clause.
It gives the Board the power-though not the
right-to base its selections on any criteria it
desires, including political views and attitudes.
THIS POWER, if used to influence the
political views of Daily editorials, is a
violation of the freedom of opinion set by the
Code. If the Board habitually appoints people
to senior editorial positions whose editorials
ar o a. a inar a . tn t-,ra ..a ... . lacefat., . +ha 4

the student staff of The Daily, by violating the
freedom promised by the Code of Ethics.
These powers of the Board emphasize that
if the Code of Ethics is to be meaningfully
enforced, the students must be assured of
two things:
First, that the Board does indeed make its
selections by proper criteria (in other words,
that the basic agreement is really honored);
and second, that its decision has been reached
with a knowledge as complete as possible of
the petitioners involved in regard to their
qualifications for the positions. The Board's
good intentions are not enough.
THE FIRST of these essential safeguards is
completely absent from the appointments
process. The new senior staff list emerges intact
from a closed meeting. The staff can only
guess at the rationale behind the selections,
with its guesses predicated on whatever the
appointees can deduce from their Board in-
terviews, plus inaccurate rumors, plus in-
accurate "leaks" by Board members.
The second safeguard is provided to some
extent by the recommendations of the out-
going senior editors. They have been in the
ideal position-due to several years' close con-
tact-to evaluate the petitioners for the new
senior staff. The seniors are not all-wise and
should not be all-powerful, but their advice
is essential to a wise decision.
The present appointments process does not
take full advantage of this resource. The out-
going editor can simply present the recom-
mendations to the Board, along with as com-
plete evaluation of the petitioners as possible,
and then must leave. If new questions arise
later, he is not there to answer them, unless
the Board sends for him, in which case he
must present his views and then leave.
To correct these conditions, we suggest three
changes in the setup between The Daily and the
Board, each of which would contribute to im-
proving their relationship.
1 THE EDITOR of The Daily shoulld be made
an advisory, non-voting member of the
Board attending all its meetings.
He probably should be required not to di-
vulge the proceedings of these meetings, ex-
cept by permission of the Board.
During appointments, the benefit of his
presence is obvious. He could provide advice and
insight during the whole process, rather than
just at the beginning of it.
During the rest of the year, this same in-
sight could provide the Board with a fuller
understanding of The Daily, which could aid
in all its deliberations regarding the paper.
2IF, DURING the appointment process, the
Board is seriously considering appointing a
staff differing from the seniors' recommenda-
tions, it should call in the outgoing seniors to
comment on the proposed changes, before they
are finalized. If the Board considered the out-
going seniors wise enough to make recom-
mendations in the first place, should it not
consider them wise enough to shed light on
any proposed revisions?
3. The Board should draw up, before ap-
pointments, a list of criteria on which it will
select students for each senior position. Such
criteria should include willingness to uphold
the Code of Ethics, a degree of journalistic
ability, knowledge of .The Daily and the Uni-
versity, as well as the possession of the special-
ized skills needed for a certain position.
TO REQUIRE these skills is well within the
limits of the code, since it states that Daily
writing must include logical thinking, regard
for facts, good journalistic practice, news
judgement and other qualities which require
definite abilities. The list should also specify
certain criteria which may not be used, such
as the person's political views and his private
The Board should then commit itself to the
policy of giving the outgoing seniors and the
petitioners for the posts a statement explain-
ing its reasons for appointing a certain person
to a certain post-explaining the appointment
in terms of the previously-established criteria
-in every case where a decision differed from
the seniors' recommendation.
This is not proposed as a device to give the
senior recommendations absolute power nor
is it a suggestion that the Board should be
weakened. It is simply a necessary procedure

if students on the staff are to know-as they
have a right to know-whether or not the
basic agreement, the Code of Ethics, has been
maintained. If the Board members believe, as
we feel they must, that this agreement must
be maintained, and if they have no hidden
motives in deviating from the seniors' recom-
mendations, they should not object to this
IT MIGHT BE argued that a semi-public
declaration of the reasons for switching
appointments would be painful to those in-
volved. But if a person is dropped or moved
to a lower position, the bruised feelings come
mainly from this action itself and from hor-
rible speculations as to the reasons for it-
by the nerson involved and by the rest of the

To the Editor:
THE CURRENT working rela-
tionships between Daily editors
and members of the Board in Con-
trol of Student Publications are
regrettable to some of those sym-
pathetic to the continued freedom
and journalistic excellence of The
After talking with both editors
and board members about the
current controversy, it appears
that the underlying issues and
forces involved are so largely con-
cerned with individual personali-
ties, ambiguous terms ("editorial
freedom, authority") subtle psy-
chological frustrations and power
plays, that these issues do not suit
themselves to short, public dis-
cussion. But, a few general re-
irarks may be appropriate.
First, the Regents have given
the Board authority to make edi-
torial appointments, and have
power. If the editors don't like
given Daily editors none of this
this, they can talk to the Regents
about it.
Is the legal power of the Board
without bounds? It seems that if
a Board decision was motivated by
partisan political considerations,
e.g., an attempt to appoint a
Democrat, Republican, liberal or
conservative, then this might be
open to legal challenge as an ad-
ministrative action at a state uni-
versity. Otherwise, for the Board
to concern itself with preventing
libel and irresponsible reporting,
or with making The Daily a better
servant and leader of the commu-
nity, does not seem beyond its
power, but, indeed, within its
* * *
BUT HOW should the Board ex-
ercise this power and concern in
light of its role on the University
In my opinion, not very often,
not very much, only after every
effort at cooperation and com-
munication, only for reasons that
make sense, and not to punish or
prove authority.
In the present controversy, the
Board probably made a mistake
in changing the well-thought-out
recommendations of the senior
editors in three respects. One fa-
miliar with the internal operations
of the paper must conclude that
these changes will not alter the
format of the paper measurably,
they present personality conflicts
best avoided and place persons in
positions incompatible with their
interests and talents, plus the fac-
tor of setting off a major conflict
between the editors and the
Though the motivation for the
changes seems to be largely a sym-
bolic power display, felt to be nec-
essary after an accumulated per-
iod of poor communication with
Daily editors, it can at least be
said for the Board that the poor
communication was not mostly
their fault.
* * *
BUT STILL the concerns of the
Board should be different from
those of corporation directors, for
example, whose opportunities to
command are unlimited. The
Board has an educational role to
allow students to mature by par-
ticipation in the creative and re-
sponsible acts of putting out a
newspaper, not just any kind of
newspaper, but a paper which, in
terms of broad news coverage and
editorial freedom, is probably the
best you can find on an American
college camnus.
To provide students with mo-
tivation to produce a great paper,
and to provide the best environ-
ment for maturehaction requires
much of the Board in terms of
diplomacy, forgiving, patience and
respectyfor traditional freedoms
that have been earned by respon-
sible performance.
Second, as for the student edi-
tors. They should legitimately
battle to protect The Daily's 71
years of editorial freedom, while

also working to improve The
Daily's service to its readers and
potential readers in the campus
community. If they can read the
Regent's By-laws they will know
that they must do these things in
cooperation with the Board; if
they are wise, they might well re-
alize that this cooperation will
make their editorial freedom more
impregnable to those that would
mute a free student press.
NOW, someday there may be a
Board unsympathetic with a free
press, but the large majority of
the present one is not. Many are
hard working and have fair con-
cern for avoidance of libel, respect
for what is reasonable in the Code
of Ethics, and a desire to improve
the services of The Daily to a
complex community readership,
more than 40 per cent of which
are graduate students, and many,
The Board's concern for these
matters should not be confused
with restricting student freedom
to print news or write opinion edi-
The latter is not properly an is-
sue in the present controversy
(witness the bold and critical edits
by the junior and seniors editors
of late), and, if the Board ever
minesit arenr issue then will

'-c t to
Board members will be working in
the best interests of the paper, if,
instead of measuring their suc-
cess by how much power they can
secure for themselves, they mea-
sure it by seeing how much they
can togzther improve the essential
business of the newspaper - pre-
senting responsibly, broad news
coverage and depth analysis, edi-
torializing with maturity and in-
telligence, and seeking ways to im-
prove its service to readers.
-James Elsman Jr., '62L
Editorial Director, 1957-58
Board in Control of Student
Publications Member, 1960-61
Implications , ,
To the Editor:
WE WERE unhappily surprised
to learn of The Daily's crisis.
In particular, two implications
for the newspaper's future con-
cern us.
The Beard in Control of Stu-
dent Publications has served as a

Board sAction

valuable adjunct to The Daily -
its existence has encouraged staff
members to feel their responsibili-
ties more deeply and it has acted
as a buffer between the staff and.
coercive or irrational elements in
the community. We realize that
the relationship of the Board to
The Daily is formally ambiguous.
but it rests on traditions of many
years' standing which have ampli-
fied the scanty formal statements.
One of these "common laws"
is that The Daily initiates propos-
als to change structure and policy
and that the Board accepts or re-
jects these. Never has the Board
taken, the initiative on either of
these matters. Thus, the Board's
proposal to establish co-editorial
directors shakes the foundations
of its historic relationship to The
Daily, a relationship which has
helped The Daily become a fine
* * *
FURTHER, we fear that The
Daily staff's morale has been badly

broken by the crisis. It is very dif-
ficult for the staff to reorganize
after the normal appointments
procedure; all staff members must
learn new jobs and at the same
time establish new working rela-
tionships with each other. The
present break with normal pro-
cedure is discouraging this very
important adjustment, with dele-
terious effects on the immediate
future of the paper.
More importantly, the staff's
future commitment to their work
has probably lessened as a result
of the crisis. Staff members have
always felt- that their promotions
would be based largely on the
quality and extent of their work.
These are the most important cri-
teria which senior editors take
into account in formulating their
recommendations. With nearly
half of the seniors' recommenda-
tions disdained, in effect the role
of experience in the granting of
prestigious appointments is dis-

"Where Do We Go From H~ere?"


dained. One motivation to work
is lost.
- * *
ALSO, one reason why students
continue to devote such extra-
ordinary amounts of time and en-
ergy to their work on The Daily
is that they are trying to fulfill
the role of a free press in a demo-
cratic society. If they no longer
feel free to report and editorialize
on events they deem important -
subject to the Code of Ethics and
the laws of libel - then another
attachment to their work is sev-
ered. The recent editorials by the
outgoing 'seniors and the present
night editors indicate that the
Board has created this feeling.
We hope the Board will be able
to ease the ruptures.
-John Weicher,
City Editor 1958-59
-Dale Cantor,
Personnel Director 1958-59
-Joan Kaatz,
Magazine Editor 1959-60
-Nan Markel
City Editor 1960-61
--Thomas' Kabaker,
Magazine Editor 1960-61
To the Editor:
HAVE READ with a great deal
of dismay accounts of the pres-
ent difference of opinion between
The Daily senior editors and the
Board in Control of Student Pub-
heations. In the past, this Board
has often acted to protect The
Daily from outside pressures of
various types, but apparently now
the motives of the Board's actions
are being questioned.
When I served on the Board,
several years back, the chairman
was Professor John Reed. Prof.
Reed was an administrator of the
highest quality; he interpreted
the Board's purpose and functions
as primarily advisory, but had not
hesitated to intervene in 1953
when the University administra-
tion was considering the imposing
of censorship on The Daily.
In general, Board members
were informally told that they
were legally responsible for ap-
pointing staffs of the various pub-
lications, but that, in general, rec-
ommendations of out-going staffs
would be followed unless there was
some good reason for doing oth-
erwise. Several times in the past,
people unfriendly to The Daily
had been elected to this Board, but
their attempts to re-direct poli-
cies of The Daily were invariably
stifled by the chairman.
* * *
BUT RECENTLY, it is said,
Board members have begun to
imagine that their main task is
second-guessing staff aPpoint-
ments. Board meetings usually last
for several hours, business matters
sort are considered at length, and
of a more or less uninteresting
it is not difficult to see why Board
members. find it hard to resist a
final fling where they attempt to
substitute their judgemndnt for the
judgernent of students. Since the
rules are written so that the
Board has final, rather than ad-
vcmsry authority, ill-advised Board
action is final.
It would be unfortunate if the
Bard were abolished since it has
acted in the past to protect pub-
lications from outside influence.
But I hope that future Boards will
not contain such a high proportion
of people who forget their posi-
tions and try to play student edi-
Department of Pharmacology.
-David Kessel
Harvard University
To the Editor:
IN THE controversy over who is
going to edit The Daily next
year, I am oppressed by te fail-
ure of the Board in Control of
Student Publications and those
who defend it to argue to the

point. The chairman asserts the
legality of their action when no-
body had questioned it. A law pro-
fessor should recognize that the
law is sometimes ridiculous and
everything that ,is legal is not
necessarily wise.
Nor is it any more to the point
to argue that the students are
sometimes irresponsible, foolish,
unwise, and immature. As a teach-
er, I have long since'come to ac-
cept the fact that students some-
times have something to learn. If
they didn't, I would be out of a
job. I have complained as much
as the next man about The Daily
(as a card-carrying Democrat, I
would be happy if they demoted
Mr. Harrah to copy-boy) and it
is possible, even probable, that the
Board's choices for the editorial
staff are better than the staff's
own choices.
** *
EVEN SO, surely it is more im-
portant that The Daily editors op-
erate in an atmosphere of free-
dom than that they be saved from
making mistakes. We don't pro-
duce maturity of judgment in stu-
dents by telling them what to do,
but rather by giving them the
maximum possible rope to strangle
their own foolishnesses with.
Short of libel, I don't see any jus-
fmifir tn . orstnnina Ter D aily


New Military Rule Emerges

Daily Staff Writer
THE IMPENDING full military
take-over of the Argentine gov-
ernment is another incident in an
increasing trend toward military
dictatorship in underdeveloped
Once confined to Latin America,
this form of revolution and gov-
ernment has spread as far around
the world as South Korea.
Military dictatorship is not new.
It is probably as old as the civ-
ilized state. When Caesar crossed
the Rubicon and subsequently en-
tered Rome, he defied the Roman
barrier against military coups.
* * *.
ever, the military was merely the
vehicle for an ambitious, power-
seeking leader. This has changed.
The old, South American "cau-
dillo" military boss is gone. Tech-
nicians in uniform have replaced
Most military coups in under-
developed nations fill a political
vacuum. Many states now in army
hands were launched by their
former colonial masters as demo-
cracies. However, Democracy prov-
ed corrupt and inefficient. The
government was not solving the
staggering problems of industrial
development, illiteracy, poverty
and economic stability. These dif-
ficulties were compounded by ma-
jor and petty graft and favoritism
which eroded what little national
wealth existed.
* * *
THE CIVILIAN democracy was
often weakened further by the
cold war and American foreign
policy. The Western view of these
committed and semi-committed

The overthrow of the Farouk re-
gime by the Egyptian army 10
years dgo marks the first modern
emergence of the military-tech-
nician ruler. Only Turkey's Ata-
turk had been a dictator of this
Nasser, who eventually seized
power, has proved to be transi-
tion between the old and the new
type of military dictator. He is
as personally ambitious as he is
concerned with his country's wel-
fare. Personal and national ag-
grandizement are uppermost in
his mind. This sets him apart from
the other Asian, African and La-
tin American dictators who were
to follow him.
* * *
1955 MARKED the emergence
of the new type in South America.
Argentina, followed within two
years by Venezula and Columbia,
fell under the rule of the military
technician. These leaders saw
themselves as caretakers as the
country shifted from a deposed
dictatorship to a democracy. The
military in all three countries
kept their word; the government
returned to democratic freely-
elected hands.
Thus a new role for the military
was created. Today most military
regimes claim-for the public rec-
ord at least-to be caretaker re-
gimes, saving the country from
repressive dictatorship or inept
Between 1959 and the present,
military rule has cut a swath
across underdeveloped Asia. Tur-
key, Iraq, Pakistan, Burma (twice),
Laos and South Korea have fallen
into military hands. Vietnam has
thwarted attempts at military
Sudan as well as Egypt are un-

the standard of living at the ex-
pense of his civil liberties. The
government will be efficient and
scrupulously honest as military
regimes in Turkey, Pakistan, Bur-
ma- and South Korea prove.
The military will take an in-
creasing role in the economy and
will perform many other civilian
functions as well. The country in
all likelihood will prosper.
* * *
HOWEVER, there is a price.
Civil liberties will diminish greatly
both on a political and personal
level. Military rule is basically
authoritarian, the amount varying
with the temper of the regime.
This tolerance of criticism and
democratic procedure ranges from
virtually none in Egypt and South
Korea to local Democracy in Paki-
stan where the military "guided
democracy" allows the populace
to make village decisions under
the imposed national rule of Ayub
* * *
MILITARY RULE, reflecting the
ascetic officer tradition, is puri-
tanical. Crime and corruption are
contrary to the ethic of duty and,
service that many military tech-
nicians tenaciously hold. Thus
corruption, wastefulness and in-
efficiency usually trigger the coup
and the new regime follows up its
victory with a straitlaced house-
cleaning. In South Korea this
vengence has gone to the extreme
of hanging businessmen for prof-
Military rule under the new
breed of technicians has its mixed
blessings and depends on the lead-
er. This tenuous relationship is
decidedly a retrogression in the
political progress of the fledg-
ling, underdeveloped country, for

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