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This collection, digitized in collaboration with the Michigan Daily and the Board for Student Publications, contains materials that are protected by copyright law. Access to these materials is provided for non-profit educational and research purposes. If you use an item from this collection, it is your responsibility to consider the work's copyright status and obtain any required permission.

September 12, 1961 - Image 14

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1961-09-12

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Seventy-First Year
EDITED AND MANAGED BY STUDENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
'Where Opinions Are Free UNDER AUTHORITY OF BOARD IN CONTROL OF STUDENT PUBLICATIONS
Truth Will Prevail" -STUDENT PUBLICATIONS BLDG. * ANN ARBOR, MICH. * Phone NO 2-3241
Editorials printed in The Michigan Daily express the individual opinions of staff writers
or the editors. This must be noted in all reprints.
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 1961 NIGHT EDITOR: MICHAEL OLINICK

In dependence

Poses

Problem

4

:

Where Opinions Are Free
Truth Will Prevail ...

LEFTISTS have called The Daily a victim of
American capitalist thought; conservatives
only half-jokingly label it "The Michigan Daily
Worker." That a single newspaper can gener-
ate such a diverse reputation is unusual, but
to be different is nothing unusual for The
Daily. Its editorial columns may one day ex-
plode wiith a sharp tirade-against "Yankee im-
perialism" in Latin America, while in the next
issue a defense of Barry Goldwater may appear.
What makes this possible is the "open for-
um" editorial page through which all staff
members are free to express their views no
matter how mutually inconsistent, no matter
how controversial they may be. It was this fac-
tor which led a past Daily editor to say that
his was the greatest newspaper in the world.
He could have substantiated his claim with the
fact that The Daily has won every journalistic
contest it has ever entered or with the accurate
observation that The Daily's editorial columns
are accepted nationally as the most authorita-
tive voice of the American student.
This is saying little; for in every field of en-
deavor there is always a first place to be occu-
pied. But the achievement of The Daily does
not have to be discussed in terms of the rela-
tive, for The Daily has captured editorial free-
dom-a precious possession denied its counter-
parts on other campuses and unavailable to the
nation's commercial press. It functions in an
atmosphere where the pressures of business,
administrative and governmental interests are
not permitted to pervert free thought. It is this
quality which both explains and transcends
The Daily's journalistic success.
Memo
TO: The University of Michigan Regents
FROM: The 'University Committee on Seman-
tics
RE: Recommended name change for the Stu-
dent Activities Building .
WHEREAS-the new addition to the SAB is
devoted solely to administrative functions,
and
Whereas-the portion of the SAB now de-
voted to the activities of the students is ex-
tremely small,:and
Whereas-the role of the student in planning
theaddition was almost non-existent: the com-
mittee recommends that
The name of the Student Activities Building
be changed to the Student Administration
Building.
-K. M.

IN NO OTHER single form of personal expres-
sion are so many individuals given the op-
portunity to convey the contents of their
minds to others. Freedom finds new limitations
every day, but for those with intellectual integ-
rity, the editorial columns of The Michigan
Daily remain open for any well-considered
opinion. Sociologist David Riesman writes:
"When my colleagues at private institutions
such as Harvard aver that freedom to learn as
well as to teach is difficult if not impossible at
a state institution, I am apt to point to The
Michigan Daily as an illustration that their
view is mistaken."
Thus The Daily is a unique institution, exist-
ing under the grace but not the control of a
unique University. It is a nearly optimum rela-
tionship. The goal of the University and the
goal of The Daily are identical: to use educa-
tion as a means of providing man with a better
life. Both institutions are devoted to leading so-
ciety up new pathways, breaking the prejudices
of old, exchanging old norms for better ones,
always pushing the impossible into realization.
Just as an Angell Hall lecture on Marxism
would shock a Daughter of the American Revo-
lution, so Daily editorials often shock part of
its readership. The Daily takes its cue from the
University and the life of a student-it does not
applaud the status quo, for no state of man'
is perfect. Improvementis always possible and
The Daily serves as a catalyst.'
FOR THESE columns, there is no "guiding
light;" nothing is sacred except the intel-
lectual freedom which allows them to be filled
each day. Just as dogma is poison to education,
so an "editorial policy" destroys editorial free-
dom. New ideas are fragile things, easily broken
if not nursed under the best of conditions. For
71 years The Daily has been an incubator for
the thoughts of great men; it has provided a
setting which allowed their views to evolve un-
molested by the drive for compromise and
"moderation."
New solutions to men's problems are thus
born, and transferred to other men so that
they may someday be utilized for the benefit of
all. It is this process, so rare in our society,
even rarer in most others, which lies at the
foundation of democracy and liberal education.
Its flavor has been captured eloquently by the
words of John Stuart Mill found above these
columns every day of publication. Each time
the process is repeated-at every incident of a
new thought in provocation or an old one under
reconsideration - The Daily and the Univer-
sity come a little closer to their goal.
HARVEY MOLOTCH
Editorial Director

By JOHN ROBERTS
Editor
THIS SPRING a motion was
introduced in Student Govern-
ment Council expressing "grave
concern" over "the apparent trend
toward irresponsibility" of The
Michigan Daily. Several factors
accounted for the motion - an
accumulation of petty grievances,
a series of controversial actions by
the paper and the occasional in-
discretions inevitable in any large,
vigorous enterprise. One, however,
loomed above all the rest: many
members of. the Council, and
much of the public at large, did
not understand the role played by
The Daily in the campus com-
munity, nor the qualities that
distinguish a great newspaper
from the mediocre.
The Daily responded to this
situation by printing a front page
editorial by the senior editorial
staff, outlining its views on its
functions and purpose. The heart
of that editorial was the following
paragraph:
"The Daily is not a bulletin
board, nor is it a passive reflector
of campus events. It is not a part-
ner of the administration. It is
not the servant of any other or-
ganization, nor the captive of any
particular campus interest. It does
not essay to be an echo of the
student voice.
"The Daily is a newspaper, na-
tionally recognized as one of the
country's best college dailies. As
such, it strives to report the news
as honestly, as fairly and as com-
pletely as it knows how. It in-
terprets that news with as much
intelligence and sensitivity as it
possesses.
"But no newspaper aspiring to
greatness can merely report and
analyze the news that lies on the
surface. If it has a vision of things
as they ought to be, and a per-
ception of shortcomings that exist,
a newspaper is obligated to work
for improvement."
* * *
THIS STATEMENT of purpose
seemed, even a the time, to be
pretty uncontroversial, and prob-
ably had little effect on the out-
come of the SGC resolution
(which was subsequently dropped
without a vote). Yet it remains an
accurate summary of The Daily's
role in the community. That our
critics could find no quarrel with
it was only a reflection of their
(and our) failure to analyze its
ramifications and implications.
Had this been done, three large
problem areas would have been
recognized.
The first derives from the in-
dependent status of The Daily.
That independence has three com-
ponents. First, The Daily is eco-
nomically self-sufficient. It sup-
ports itself through sale of adver-
tising and subscriptions, and re-
ceives no money in grants from
the University or from student
fees. Editorial freedom is not logi-
cally dependent on economic in-
dependence. Even if The Daily
were financially supported by gov-
ernmental bodies, there would still
be no justification for interference
by these bodies or the "public"
they supposedly represent. Never-
theless, it is obvious from a prac-
tical standpoint that The Daily's
economic self-sufficiency has con-
tributed substantially to its free-
dom from outside editorial con-
trol.
THE SECOND component of the
Daily's independence is its virtual
freedom from control by govern-
mental agencies of the University
or student body. The Daily is
formally governed by The Board
in Control of Student Publica-
tions, a corporate body composed
of representatives of faculty, the
student body, alumni and the ad-
ministration. While it is, of course,
ultimately responsible to the Re-

gents, the Board in Control owes
no direct allegiance to the Uni-
versity administration and has
traditionally operated as a buffer
between the students on the staff
and those outside elements who
would apply pressure to the paper.
As a result, The Daily is free of
prior censorship or unjust subse-
quent punishment by government-
al bodies.

THE THIRD component of The
Daily's freedom is the absence of
a set editorial policy. This means
that neither the Board in Control
nor the senior editorial staff may
impose political or ideological
limitations on the views expressed
or topics treated in the editorial
columns.
While the opinions expressed by
staff members in the editorial
columns may at times seem to con-
form to a uniform pattern of
thought, there are other times,
when sharply differing staff opin-
ions are focused in print. Pro and
con editorials are unique with the
newspaper that enforces no ideo-
logical prejudices in its editorials.
ThehDaily is justly proud of
these three components of its free-
dom. They are prerequisites to the
forthright and vigorous news cov-
erage and editorial comment
which has come to characterize
the paper. They are at the same
time, however, the source of many
problems.
The Daily is published by stu-
dents at the University and bears
the University name. A distress-
ingly large proportion of the pub-
lic concludes from this that the
University administration controls
the paper, or at any rate ought to.
An even larger proportion con-
cludes that The Daily represents,
in some way, the University and
in particular the student body of
the University.
Thus an editorial which would
arouse only routine controversy if
published in a metropolitan paper
-say, one referring to Michigan
legislators as a gang of reaction-
aries-might well embarrass the
University if published in The
Daily.
A similar difficulty arises from
the internal freedom of the paper.
An editorial published in The
Daily is invariably assumed, at
least by the general public, to
represent "the" Daily position on
a topic-despite our frequent pro-
tests to the contrary. Thus we
find, time and again, references in
other student newspapers to state-
ments may "by" The Daily in its
editorial columns, statements
which may well represent a minor-
ity point of view among staff
members.
Neither of these problems would
exist, of course, if the general
public was well-informed and rea-
sonable. To the extent that these
qualities are not found in the
public, The Daily's independence
is to an equal extent a source of
embarrassment to the University
and to the Daily staff.
* * *
THE SECON4D large problem
area which emerges in describing
The Daily's role involves the rela-
tivity of fairness and responsi-
bility. The Daily claims and genu-
inely attempts to be accurate, fair
and responsible. But these are not
absolute concepts. All would agree,
for example, that an editorial
cannot be fair if it states the facts
of a case falsely. But what if a
writer omits some facts which he
doesn't feel are relevant, or ig-
nores the practical difficulties of
implementing his suggestion, or
presents only the arguments which
support his point of view? When
does vision become lack of realism
and interpretation become specu-
lation, and is there anything
wrong with speculation and lack
of realism? Granting that person-
al attacks are in poor taste, when
does a questioning of motives and
an exposure of behavior become a
personal attack?
Similar problems surround the
judgement of news. A newspaper
serving a college community can
certainly avoid the spectacular-
ism found in many metropolitan
papers. But restraint in news play
may mislead the public or deny
it information. A concern for good
taste may become, in some eyes,
simple prudishness, while to oth-
ers the steps taken to insure it are

not adequate. Is a campus social
event an important news story?
Is news coverage of a rape or a
plane wreck in poor taste? The
answer will be different for every
individual.
* * *
EVEN SO seemingly objective a
thing as accuracy is open to dis-

pute. In ordering facts into a
story, the journalist must indicate
their relative importance and im-
pose a relation upon them. If he
does his Job well, he must point
out antecedent events and suggest
which ones will follow in the fu-
ture. The boundary betwen re-
sponsible journalism on the one
hand and editorializing and spec-
ulation on the other is not easily
defined.
A fundamental question arises
at this point. Given the relative
nature of fairness and responsibil-
ity on what basis shall the Daily
make decisions which, inevitably,
have to be made? There are two
possibilities. The paper can adopt
as its criteria the norms of the
public it serves, or it can rely

well as.a public chronicle. As such,
it may have a great deal in com-
mon with government, particular-
ly in a democratic society where
social reform and justice rank be-
side national security on priority
terms.
* * *
DESPITE this frequent com-
monality of intention, an alliance
between press and government
would be impossible, and almost
all journalists know and accept
this. Two main arguments apply.
First, a newspaper which has
leagued itself with government
must admit the necessity of with-
holding information from the pub-
lic if the situation clearly de-
mands it. Secondly, a newspaper
which participates in the proceed-

is especially true because editor-
ial policy is not set by a control-
ling board, and any member may
make his comments-even if it
involves the extra-Daily activity
of another staff member.
But real problems are posed
when participation in the affairs
of the community compromises
the obligation of a reporter to
bring all information before the
public. And an even more serious
situation arises when a person at-
taches a higher priority to the at-
tainment of a social or communi-
ty goal than he does to complete
publication of information to
which the public is entitled. When-
ever a substantial proportion of
the staff of a newspaper is in-
volved in community action to this

"They're ALL Communists Except Thee And Me
.

01-61

TODAY AND TOMORROW
To Ourselves e.True
By WALTER LIPPMANN

WE HAVE been forced to ask ourselves re-
cently how a free and open society can
compete with a totalitarian state. This is a
crucial question. Can our Western society sur-
vive and flourish if it remains true to its own
faith and principles? Or must it abandon them
in order to fight fire with fire?
There are those who believe that in Cuba the
attempt to fight fire with fire would have
succeeded if only the President had been more
ruthless and had no scruples about using
American forces. I think they are wrong. I
think that success for the Cuban adventure
was impossible. In a free society like ours a
policy is bound to fail which deliberately vio-
lates our pledges and our principles, our trea-
ties and our laws. It is not possible for a free
and open society to organize successfully a
spectacular conspiracy.
THE UNITED STATES, like every other gov-
ernment, must employ secret agents. But
the United States cannot conduct successfully
large secret conspiracies. It is impossible to
keep them secret. It is impossible for everybody
concerned, beginning with the President him-
self, to be sufficiently ruthless and unscrupu-
lous. The American conscience is a reality. It
will make hesitant and ineffectual, even if it
does not prevent, an un-American policy. The
ultimate reason why the Cuban affairs was
incompetent is that it was out of character,
like a cow that tried to fly or a fish that tried
to walk.
It follows that in the great struggle with
Editorial Staff
JOHN ROBERTS, Editor
PHILIP SHERMAN HARVEY MOLOTCH
City Editor Editorial Director
SUSAN FARRELL ................ Personnel Director
FAITH WEINSTEIN................Magazine Editor
MICHAEL BURNS..................... Sports Editor
PAT GOLDEN...............Associate City Editor
RICHARD OSTLING ...... Associate Editorial Director
DAVID ANDREWS ........... Associate Sports Editor
CLIFF MARKS ............... Associate Sports Editor

Communism, we must find our strength by de-
veloping and applying our own principles, not
in abandoning them. Before anyone tells me
that this is sissy, I should like to say why I
believe it, especially after listening carefully
and to some length to Mr. Khrushchev. I am
very certain that we shall have the answer to
Mr. Khrushchev if, and only if, we stop being
fascinated by the cloak and dagger business
and, being true to ourselves, take our own prin-
ciples seriously.
MR. K IS A TRUE BELIEVER that Commun-
ism is destined to supplant capitalism as
capitalism supplanted feudalism. For him, this
is an absolute dogma, and he will tell you that
while he intends to do what he can to assist
the inevitable, what he does and what we do
will not be decisive. Destiny will be realized no
matter what men do.
The dogma of inevitability not only gives him
the self-assurance of a man who has no doubts,
but is a most powerful ingredient of the Com-
munist propaganda. What do we say to him,
we who believe in a certain freedom of the
human will and in the capacity of men to affect
the course of history by their discoveries, their
wisdom and their courage..
We can say that in Mr. K's dogma there is an
unexamined premise. It is that the capitalist
society is static, that it is and always will be
what it was when Marx described it a hundred
years ago, that-to use Mr. K's own lingo-
there is no difference between Gov. Rockefeller
and his grandfather. Because a capitalist soci-
ety cannot change, in its dealings with the
under-developed countries it can only dominate
and exploit. It cannot emancipate and help. If
it could emancipate and help, the inevitability
of Communism would evaporate.
VENTURE to argue from this analysis that
the reason we are on the defensive in so
many ways is that for some ten years we have
being doing what Mr. K. expects us to do. We
have used money and arms in a long losing at-
tempt to stabilize native governments which, in
the name of anti-Communism, are opposed to
all important social change. This has been
exactly what Mr. K's dogma calls for-that

solely on the judgment of the
members .of the staff. It is clear
that these two approaches blur
together and that the actual de-
cisions made by either method
may not differ substantially. Phil-
osophically, however, they are
poles apart. The Daily has, in re-
cent years at least, chosen to set
its own standards.
** ~
THE THIRD MAJOR problem
area is less obvious, but at the
same time more significant,, than
the foregoing ones, and involves
the Daily's active participation in
the life of the community.
Two long-standing American
traditions are limitation of gov-
ernment and freedom of the press.
The difference in the latitude of
activity permitted each reflects
the differing functions of govern-
ment and the press, which in their
purest forms appear to have little
in common. Thus government
might and often does justify se-
crecy in the name of national se-
curity, while to the press nothing
can take precedence over a pub-
lic completely and accurately in-
formed. The press according to
this model, is not a partner to the
government, but a reporter and
critic.
Actually, however, this picture
is horribly oversimplified,,A news-
paper is an agent of change as

ings of government loses its abil-
ity to criticize objectively those
proceedings. The latter argument
is somewhat paradoxical, for
when a newspaper editorializes it
is seeking a change, and if the de-
sired change is made as a result
the paper has effectively partici-
pated in government.
The first argument is not so
easily dismissed, however. It rests
on a major philosophical differ-
ence between newspapers and
government, and makes any alli-
ance between the two impossible.
** *
BUT what journalists often fail
to recognize is the breadth of
the two arguments just cited.
These apply most rigidly in the
case of a marriage between press
and government. But they must
be considered very carefully any
time a newspaper or its staff
members enter actively into the
life of the community. This is
particularly important at the Uni-
versity, where direct action by en-
ergetic individuals may be just
as influential as the formal de-
crees of the student government."
Again, the second argument is
a relatively weak one, and there
is no inherent reason why active
participation by the Daily staff
member in the affairs of the com-
munity will necessarily reduce the
objectivity of their criticism. This

extent, it has ceased to be only a
newspaper and has become some-
thing more-necessarily to the
detriment of its reportorial func-
tion.
*. * *
AS I HAVE IMPLIED, it makes
little sense to speak of "The Daily"
as such. Like all institutions it is
an association of human beings,
but unlike most other institutions
it has no framework of policies to
which the name "Daily" may be
justly applied. And a little thought
will show that the three problem
areas outlined above are only
potential problem areas; whether
conflict actually emerges depends
on the type of people who staff'
the paper. The Daily's editorial
freedom would produce no prob-
lems for either the University or
the Daily if no one used it to pre-
vent, bold and unconventional
opinions.
Few persons would protest the
Daily's sense of fairness and news
judgment if it conformed, by and
large, with that of most of its
readership. And there would be
no conflict of roles if Daily staff-
ers were content to stick by their
typewriters.
But as long as it conscientiously
fulfills the role it has set for its
self, the Daily will continue to at-
tract charges of unfairness and
"irresponsibility."

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