THE MICHIGAN DAILY
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The Michigan Daily is untra-
ditionally a vehicle for expressing
eccentric ideas, a training ground
for future journalists, a complete
education in the affairs of a uni-
versity and the world, an identity
for alienated souls and a great
place to make lasting friends.
Its staff is an odd assortment of
students extroverted and intro-
verted, neat and sloppy, tradition-
al and daring, brilliant and me-
Most of them come to The Daily
meek in their own way. They
leave the paper only somewhat less
meek, but still in their own way.
In three or four years of re-
porting news, putting out daily
papers and writing editorials,
their wits have been sharpened,
their skills developed, their knowl-
edge expanded and their critical
faculties honed to a fine edge.
But their exposure to current con-
cerns has only begun. For all of!
them it will be a life-long process,
and from the discrepancy between
present abilities and the hopes'
which their work has engendered,
there is still meekness.
Some of the sting of coming to
realize how much you really don't
know is taken away by the fact'
that the staff members are work-
ing on what many-including the1
staff-consider the top cpllege
paper in the country.
It's not just an idle boast. Once
tagged the "New York Times of
college newspapers" by the Col-
legiate Press Service, The Daily
has walked off with top honors in
every college-press competition it
has entered and has won many
THIS IS the modern Daily shop
printers combine with the stud
awards in competition with pro-
fessional papers of its size.
And it is one of only a few
college papers to fill six to twelve
pages the same size as professional
i'papers six mornings a week.
But even 'more important to the
years which The Daily staff spends
in the Student Publications Bldg.
is the rare autonomy which the
paper enjoys--and which places
the full burden of accurate re-
porting and responsible editorial-
izing on the student.
The Daily has grown up under
. Five linotype machines, a modern press and a small group of skilled
ent editors to put out a paper that has won many awards.'
"seventy-four years of editorial
freedom"-as proclaimed every
day at the top of its front page.
Though ultimately responsible to
the Board in Control of Student
Publications, its staff is entrusted
with complete control of writing
the paper from day to day.
Thus\there is scarcely an ad-
ministrator, faculty member or,
teacher at the University who has
not at some time regretted the
school's initial courage and wis-
dom in granting such a free rein
to students. The Daily's editorial
columns-open to each staff mem-
ber under a signed editorial policy
-often carry some of the most
biting criticisms of University, fac-
ulty and student activities that
those people will ever read.
Of course there is praise as well.
Regardless of the conclusions he
reaches, The Daily staff member
learns the ins and outs, the per-
sonalities and the details of the
University. In the process, his
capacity for penetrating analysis
cannot help but mature.
And in the long run those same
angry University people generally
agree that the benefit to the stu-
dents and the high quality of the
paper more than justify the free-
dom which The Daily possesses.
Because.of or despite the fact
that it is run by students, The
Daily stresses significant and far-
reaching events-University, local,
national and worldwide - and
wherever possible with an em-
phasis on the implications of the
events for student concerns.
Supplementing staff writing is
The Daily's Associated Press ser-
vice, which provides readers with
up-to-date coverage of events
from all over the world-and with
The Daily's 2 a.m. deadline, latest
in the state, usually before any
other big paper.
How it's done never ceases to
amaze everyone from the rawest
recruits to the most seasoned
senior editor. Indeed, utter amaze-
ment is generally the most per-
vading reaction of freshmen train-
ees, who are exposed to "night
desk" before almost anything else.
The night desk is the nerve
center-and the nerves center-of
each day's paper. From beneath
its litter of obsolete layout sheets,
text books, old papers, useless AP
copy, empty coke bottles, ringing
telephones and frazzled chaos a
coherent newspaper emerges each
morning by two o'clock.
Trials and Tribulations
Plus his weekly ordeal on desk,
the trainee goes through many
other trials by fire-getting and
submitting his first story, finding
out about the odd people with
whom he will associate for the
next four years, answering tele-
phones and trudging into the
building daily to see if his name
is on the assignment sheet.
It is only slowly that he begins
to get a feel for the University,
to understand the strange journal-
istic jargon floating around The
Daily and to be able to laugh at
in-group jokes. But soon after
joining the paper he is assigned
to a beat, and that's where the
real fun starts.
Beats are simply a division of
Daily labor among the many areas
which the paper covers-every-
thing from University to State
Education, from City to Research,
from Graduate-Professional to
Political, Dividing the work gives
the staff member the time and
energy to develop enough expertise
in his beat for in-depth reporting.
Working under a junior beat
head and an assistant, the trainee
will cover from one to four stories
a week, and within no time his
first visible compensations will
begin appearing: the byline on his
first story, his first page one
story, his first lead story, and, as
his ideas begin crystallizing, his
Page two copy usually goes
down the dumbwaiter to the shop
by seven, at which time the as-
sistant night editor turns to
reading galley proofs of copy or
helping the night editor.
The shop, manned by profes-
sionals, is one of the most com-
plete in collegiate pressdom. Built,
as was the entire Student Publi-
cations Bldg., from The Daily's
profits during the roaring twen-
ties, the shop includes five lino-
types, a Ludlow (headline-setting)
machine, an electric and a hand-
operated proof press, and assorted
other paraphernalia which still
baffles most staff members.
By eight or nine page three goes
down, the two editors and any
unlucky soul straying around the
building having pitched in to write
headlines and hunt for pictures.
On to Page One
Page one commences: dig out
the copy, call up intransigent re-
porters, dream up picture ideas,
edit copy carefully, write headlines
(so that they fit; no less), decide
how important each story is, care-
fully place everything on a page
layout so that it looks.impressive.
Headline comes back from the
shop: too long: rewrite. Pictures
come from the AP: unusable: re-
make page. Famous lecturer says
nothing worth printing: remake
page, dig up more copy. Nickel
Coke machine runs out: switch
show up: do
dent makes unplanned policy
speech: switch previous lead story
to bottom of page. Shop accident-
ally sets a story for one column
instead of two: raise hell and
remake page. Hungry: get a
trainee to run down the block for
a hamburger and two malts. Sen-
ior editor tells you that funny
little squib is inappropriate: be-
Somehow by 11 or 12 you're
still going. The shop buzzes and
the assistant night editor says
goodbye to his girlfriend to go
lownstairs and "lock" pages two
and three. He will stand next to
tor trims sentences and whole par- But there's still no
agraphs from the long story and mediately it's downstair
then dashes upstairs to pull an AP mhole crew to catch up
item cut of the wastebasket to reading and assemble all
fill the hole. Back downstairs, he
finally gets a page proof, checks into neat piles-so that
for upside-down headlines and compositor is locking pag
gross typographical errors and asks for five more inch
shows the proof to the frantic lead, something can be
night editor-as if the night edi-
tor had nothing else to do. print.
Nothing else to do! By 11 or 121 About three minutes
the page is laid out-it better be I proofs of page one a
by that time-but a mountain of and while the night edito
copy still awaits editing and head- es over one of them,a
lines, captions to pictures must be assortment of sidewalk
written, the AP still hasn't sent tendents sprawl above or
over the final roundup on the lead others, already tearingo
story and the staff member writ- night editor's efforts.
s to two
)ne or two
'urchaso camera So
THE MODERN publishing facilities of The Daily feature the Goss Unitube Press which will turn out
some 15,000 freshman editions-printed and folded-in less than an hour. The press can print up
to a 12 page paper, and was installed in 1951 at a cost of $100,000.
May Be-- We Can
the compositor who is placing the
galleys of type in a life-size form,
fitting in headlines and pictures,
calmly informing him that he
needs four more inches for this
story and must cut 22 from that
Risking eternal damnation from
its writer, the assistant night edi-
ing the second lead is still plunk-
ing away, single-finger style, on
The assistant night editor comes
back from locking and mounts the
horse midstream. He, the night
editor, those unfortunate souls
who were caught while wandering
the building five hours ago, and
quite a bit of luck finally send'
the last story down to the shop
by one o'clock.
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By BILL BULLARD
The Daily sports staff is similar
to the editorial staff in structure
and organization, but its staff
members have an overriding in-
terest in sports-especially Mich-
Although there are usually some
journalism majors who desire to
make that field their career, most
staff members are simply sports
addicts of one sort or another. No
writing experience is required to
join the staff-only an interest in
sports and a willingness to learn
more about Michigan sports
through personal contact with
players and coaches.
This personal contact, to find
out first-hand how the Wolver-
ine teams are doing, is a big rea-
son why many students join the
staff. Coaches sometimes are in-
vited to come to the weekly staff
meetings to speak "off the record"
about their teams and also about
larger questions of athletic policy.
The Daily sports staff attempts
a consistent and comprehensive
coverage of their school's teams,
a task which is not even attempt-
ed by any other college news-
paper. The culmination of the
staff's efforts comes during Big
Ten weekend when Daily report-
ers are scattered throughout the
Midwest covering the six Wolver-
ine winter sports teams.
Last March, for example, a
Daily reporter was in Minneapolis
to cover the Big Ten Swimming
Meet, two reporters were in Madi-
son (one each to cover the Big
Ten Wrestling and Gymnastics
Meets), and several reporters
were in Columbus for the Big Ten
Track Meet. In addition, a staff
member stayed in Columbus to'
cover the Michigan State basket-
ball victory over Ohio State which;
put Michigan back into undis-
puted first place in the confer-
The Daily also covered the
basketball game with Iowa and
a weekend hockey series with
Michigan State at the Michigan
Coliseum. With a 2 a.m. deadline,
The Daily has an advantage over
every paper in the state in re-
porting late-breaking Wolverine
sports events on big weekends like
Trainees who join The Daily
sports staff in the fall are ready
to cover Wolverine winter sports
with the older staff members. In
the late fall, trainees are pro-
moted to reporters and assigned
to cover a winter sport for the
The other part of a new staff
member's responsibilities is work-
ing desk one night a week.
Trainees learn to write head-
lines, read proof, and cut and ar-
range Associated Press copy un-
der the direction of the sports
night editor of that evening.
Usually by the junior year re-
porters are ready to assume the
responsibilities of a night editor.
The night editor is in charge of
that evening's sports page(s).
With the help of his trainees,he
lays out the page(s), edits the
copy, sends it down to the shop,
sees that the headlines are writ-
ten and supervises the locking of
the page (s) in the shop.
In the spring of the staff mem-
ber's junior year, he may petition
the Board in Control of Student
Publications for a senior position.
The Board appoints a sports edi-
tor, two associate sports editors,
and sometimes a contributing
sports editor or two.
Besides these special advantages
of being on the sports staff, a staff
member has some .advantages of
editorial staffers. For one thing
he can contribute to the editorial
page on any subject he wishes. He
also can hang out at the Student
Publications Bldg., "a home away
from home" for many staff rmem-
bers, and can buy nickel Cokes,
leisurely read the latest AP wire
material and occasionally engage
in all-night bull sessions.
'Make WAHR'S your
fErall your textbook
and college supplies.
SERVING U OF M STUDENTS SINCE 1883
Then its back upstairs to push,
all the litter on the floor and
put the Coke bottles away. Then
write out evaluations of the eve-
ning's whole crew. Then sit around
playing bridge or talking politics
until three, when the first papers
begin rolling off the presses. By
seven o'clock in the morning most
of The Daily's 7000 subscribers
have gotten their papers.
As if this weekly ordeal weren't
enough, the junior staff members
also heads one of The Daily's
beats, and it is in this year that
he does his largest amount of
writing-news, news analysis and
editorial-and hopefully his best,
as he preens for a coveted senior
In March of his junior year
the staff member submits a peti-
tion to the present seniors in-
dicating the position he would
like, why he should get it and
what he plans to.do with it if he
is appointed. By this time, of
course, he's thought not only
about news but also about news-
paper policies and organization.
But also by this time, the staff
member is under considerable
(Continued on Page 4)
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TO THE STUDENTS OF THE
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN