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April 20, 2009 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Briggs-Bunting, director of Michi-
NEWSPAPER gan State University's School of
From Page 1A Journalism.
She said because The Ann
place in their area. Arbor News is morphing into
a twice-weekly print publica-
ANN ARBOR'S MEDIA tion with a heavy online empha-
FUTURE sis - in addition to Ann Arbor's
affluent, Web-savvy makeup
There was an outcry when Lau- - residents will be fine reading
rel Champion, the publisher of The their news online.
Ann Arbor News, announced the "The biggest concern when a
paper would shut down after its city loses its paper is Web access,"
174 years of existence. Briggs-Bunting said. "In a place
But despite the disappointment like Ann Arbor, that's not as much
many have expressed because of of a concern."
the impending closure, the general Aside from AnnArbor.com and
consensus among analysts seems its print counterpart, The Michi-
to be that the city of Ann Arbor gan Daily will continue to pub-
- more so than most - is ready lish on weekdays from September
to embrace the next generation of through April and maintain its
news. online presence. The Ann Arbor
"People have been very under- Chronicle, a year-old, Web-only,
snending," said Champion, adding blog-like source on city affairs,
that she had Peturned calls from also contributes original reporting
around 100 town residents and to the city.
members of the media regarding In short, experts say the media
the paper's future. "There's defi- landscape in Ann Arbor appears
nitely a sense of mourning for The to be changing, but not dying out
Ann Arbor News. But then as you completely.
get to the end of your conversation "Most newspapers are making
with the residents, they say, 'You money from their websites," said
know, this AnnArbor.com thing American University Journalism
sounds pretty cool."' Prof. Amy Eisman, who has done
AnnArbor.com is the website consulting for several major news-
that the paper's management papers trying to make the shift
announced will largely replace the from print to the Web. "It's just
print version starting this sum- that those papers aren't making
mer. enough to sustain an entire print
For now, Ann Arbor is on track organization and newsroom."
to become the largest city in the
country to lose its primary daily HOW SMALL TOWNS SUFFER
newspaper this year.
For most cities comparable in The very thing that Briggs-
size to Ann Arbor - which has Bunting said will keep Ann Arbor
about 100,000 residents - there residents informed - Web access
would normally be more concern - is what could prevent smaller
about the loss of the daily newspa- communities from gathering the
per. One would think, with a major information they're used to hav-
metropolis just a half hour away, ing.
other news organizations would be People in places like Ann Arbor,
rushingto Ann Arbor to fill the gap where about 70 percent ofresidents
that will be left behind by The Ann over the age of 25 hold a bachelor's
Arbor News. degreeorhigher, arewellequipped
But with both the Detroit Free to read online-only coverage. The
Press and The Detroit News facing community's affluence is among
their own financial turmoil, that the key reasons AnnArbor.com
isn't very likely, said Don Nauss, will soon replace The Ann Arbor
managing editor of The Detroit News, Champion said.
News. But in many cases, the nation's
"Traditionally in this situation, recession has forced newspapers
I think, we would have made a play to cut back print publications in
for Ann Arbor by adding reporters markets that aren't prepared to
and doing more advertising there," make the shift to online yet.
said Nauss, adding that he and A town like Newton, Miss.,
other executives at his paper were which in January lost its
caught off guard by The Ann Arbor 107-year-old daily, The Newton
News's closing. "About 10 years ago Record, is one such example. The
or so, we had more resources and town of 4,000, which is about an
were still looking to expand. But hour east of the state's capitol
I just don't know that we have the in Jackson, is Ann Arbor's polar
resources to do it right now." opposite. In Newton, just over 12
Editors at the Detroit Free Press percent of residents hold a bach-
did not return phone calls request- elor's degree and nearly a fifth of
ing comment for this story. its residents are living below the
Even without the major metro poverty line.
newspapers making a concerted "The closing of the newspaper
push into Washtenaw County, here was very abrupt and didn't
Ann Arborites who want to stay give the residents a chance to
informed on city issues should be brace for it," said Newton Mayor
able to for the most part, said Jane Michael Pickens, who said the
the michigan daily

paper was a casualty of slump- task of watchdogjournalism would
ing advertising sales and the be affected in any way because of
town's poor economy. "Once the the smaller staff, Champion said,
newspaper closed, we scrambled "Absolutely not. We're going to be
for about two weeks to see if we providing the information in a dif-
could fill that hole." ferent way, but we're not giving up
The paper won't be restored, but on the traditional local watchdog
Pickens said his town was fortu- journalism role."
nate because another paper in the Others were skeptical about
county was in good enough finan- Champion's assertion.
cial shape to hire a pair of report- "If they (AnnArbor.com) are
ers from The Newton Record. only rehiring a fraction of their
Those reporters have been tasked staff, there's no way the staff
with covering Newton in hopes of can accomplish all the same
filling that void. things they did before," said Uni-
Newton is just one of many versity of San Francisco Prof.
towns across America to see its Teresa Moore, who teaches in
lone paper vanish. According to the media studies department
Paper Cuts, a blog that tracks the and spent 10 years reporting for
print newspaper industry's woes, the now-endangered San Fran-
87 American newspapers have cisco Chronicle. "There's no way
closed or gone online-only since for the skeleton staff to do the
New Year's Day. Most of those things the community has come
papers served rural communities to expect from them."
with limited populations. Moore said AnnArbor.com
Boston University's Mitchell could play a strong watchdog role
Zuckoff, a journalism professor, in the community, but only if it
said it would be a mistake for most chooses to focus solely on thattype
newspapers to do what The Ann of reporting.
Arbor News and Seattle Post-Intel- ProPublica, a New York City-
ligencer have done. based, online-only outlet, hastaken
"There's a huge risk involved that very approach. The two-year-
in jumping to online-only. It can old site, which employs 28 investi-
definitely be done too soon," said gative reporters, offers its stories
Zuckoff, who was nominated to major media outlets in hopes of
for a Pulitzer Prize in investiga- garnering recognition and, in turn,
tive reporting during his time at advertising revenue.
The Boston Globe. "You risk los- ProPublica managing editor
ing your legacy readers, who have Stephen Engelberg; an Ann Arbor
traditionally gonse out to the end native and former investigative
of the driveway or the mailbox reporter at The New York Times,
to get a print copy. It's premature said he believes more groups will
to think that every community is adopt his outlet's model, which is
ready to automatically migrate to funded by The Sandler Foundation
the Web." and donations from online read-
Zuckoff's point is especially true ers.
in Pinckneyville, Ill., a town of "The way we're dojng it -
5,500 that lost its paper, The Dem- through pure philanthropy - is not
ocraf, in March. After the paper going to be possible everywhere,
folded, residents there couldn't go but I expect that we will see more
online - the 140-year-old paper independent, Web-based, investi-
didn't have a website. gative reporting," he said.
"This sort of thing leaves a huge Pinckneyville, Ill., illustrates
hole in a small community like Engelberg's point that in some
ours," said Pinckneyville Mayor places, democracy is already in
Joseph Holder, who has lived in danger. The town has no reason
the town all 60 years of his life. to expect that another paper will
"We have no idea how to fill that sprout up anytime soon. And as for
void right now. It's going to take thelocalnewswebsite,well,there's
awhile." a better chance that another news-
paper may come along before that
Holder, the town's mayor, said
Industry experts were unani- papers from other towns parachute
mous in one sense: each said news- in every now and again by send-
paper closings anywhere, paired ing a reporter to a city council or
with the loss of reporters, are a school board meeting, but that the
threat to democracy. coverage ends up being "sketchy at
For that reason, people will take best" and "not adequate at all."
great interest in what happens Asked whether he, as a politi-
with AnnArbor.com's . coverage cian, was happy that no media
later this summer. Can the site, outlet could closely scrutinize his
with only a fraction of the paper's work, Holder laughed.
current staff, be anywhere near "I guess when you're mayor of a
as hard-hitting as The Ann Arbor smallplace like this, you don't have
News? much to hide," he said. "I'd rather
Champion, who will act as have a reporter grill me with hard
executive vice president of AnnAr- questions to let my town know
bor.com, believes the website can what's going on than have my peo-
accomplish just as much as the ple in the dark wondering what's
print product. When asked if the going on."

From Page 1A
Last week at Coleman's monthly
fireside chat - an event to which
a group of students are invited to
meet with the president and to ask
questions and share concerns about
the University - Royster Harper,
vice president for student affairs,
told students about her experience
with the budget conference this
"We went into our budget meet-
ing, and we had squirreled away a
little money, and so the issue on the
table when we got there was 'What
are you going to do with all this
money?' she said. "We had squir-
reled it away for specific things that
we knew we were going to have to
replace or some equipment, so we
had our little list."
Harper said because the bud-
get she had presented looked too
large, she was forced to go back
and outline more specifically what
the money would be used for, so the
provost could review the budget
more carefully.
"When she saw the budget, it
was big at the bottom," she said.
"So we had to go back, make our
list and show her exactly why we
'didn't have what looked like a lot of
Sullivan said after budget con-
ferences are finished, she joins her
budget team in reviewing the list of
priorities from each school or office
to determine what may be feasible
for the following year. At the same
time, Sullivan said her budget team
will review ways to control expens-
es through cost containment.
"If we can contain costs, that
makes a big difference in the bud-
get," she said, adding that the Uni-
versity has eliminated $135 million
in expenses over the past six years
because of cost containment.
The approximately $135 mil-
lion in savings has been due to
measures like changing how the
University orders and distributes
supplies, increasing energy effi-
ciency at several campus build-
ings and alternative strategies for
managing employee health care
Sullivan stressed that in order to
protect the University financially
from year to year, cost containment
measures have to be permanent
solutions. For example, the Univer-
sity has renegotiated several con-
tracts with suppliers to gain more
favorable prices and switched to a
direct-delivery system -eliminat-
ing the need for a central office on
campus to deliver office supplies to
various schools and offices.
Sullivan said one-time cuts can
create a structural deficit - mean-
ing the expenses may return the
following year requiring the Uni-
versity to make deeper cuts or raise
revenue streams, like tuition, more
dramatically to cover the costs.
The University has had an equal-
ly long-term approach to other
aspects of its financial planning.
Approximately two years ago the
University switched from a five year
rolling average on payouts from its
endowment to a seen-year aver-
age to better insulate the Univer-
sity's endowment from changing
winds in the nation's economy. This
means the 5 percent annual payout
from the endowment is based on
the past seven years' performance,
which mitigates temporary spikes
or dips in stock markets and other
Coleman and Sullivan both said
the same conservative approach
would be taken with any money the
University might receive from the
federal stimulus package. Instead
of using the money to cover exist-
ing operating costs, both said the

money would be used for one-time
expenses, since the money would
not be available in the future.
Sullivan said throughoutthe pro-
cess she also receives advice from
multiple advisory groups that are
convened to offer advice about the
budget. Two such advisory boards
include the Student Budget Advi-
sory Committee, which consists of
students from campus that meet
with Sullivan on a monthly basis,
and the Prudence Panel, which has
members from the faculty, staff and

Monday, April 20, 2009 - 7A
students on campus:
In a meeting with Sullivan and
some members of the Student Bud-
get Advisory Committee last week,
committee members explained the
committee has met approximately
six times since it was founded last
fall. The committee, Sullivan said,
was created to bring a student voice
into the budget process and help
students learn about the Univer-
sity's budget process.
The Prudence Panel, which was
also formed earlier this year, is a
committee of faculty, staff and stu-
discuss ways to cut expenses from
the general fund.
Sullivan said although the com-
tions on cost-cutting strategies that
can be immediately implemented,
their recommendationsmay be able
to help cut costs in future years.
After all the recommendations
and budget proposals have been
received and discussed by the pro-
vost's budget committee, the pro-
vost and her staffwill work to create
a budget that will balance expenses
with expected rvenues.
Revenue streams to the Univer-
sity include appropriations from
the state, tuition paid by students,
endowment revenue, research
grants, and other fees charged for
Some sources of revenue can be
restricted for certain activities. gor
instance, most endowment funds
are given by donors for a specific
purpose and can only be used for
that purpose, whether it be student
scholarships, endowed professor-
ships or special programs at the
Other funding from the Health
System and the Athletic Depart-
ment is used by those entities and
does not enter the general fund -
excluding funds from the Athletic
Department that pay for student-
athlete scholarships and money
contributed for general financial
On the other hand, state appro-
priations can be used for any pur-
pose at the University. Coleman
said the fact that state appropria-
tion money isn't earmarked for any-
thing makes it especially valuable
to the University because it can be
used for any purpose.
Since 2002, the University has
lost $36 million of state appropria-
tions in nominal dollars and more
than $100 million in total of state
appropriations in real dollars -
which are adjusted for inflation
at the Consumer Price Index for
Sullivan said it can be very dif-
ficult to predict revenue levels
because the University finalizes its
budget in June, butthe state doesn't
finalize its budget until the end of
September - making it hard to pre-
dict state appropriation levels.
"We go to our board in June, but
up until Sept. 30 so we have to make
a guess everyyear about how much
we're goingto get," she said.
Last year was the first time the
budget was presented to the Uni-
versity Board of Regents in June.
Previously the budget was not pre-
sented until July. Sullivan said she
instituted the change so incoming
freshmen know their tuition rates
earlier in the summer.
Sullivan said in the past, esti-
mates have not always been accu-
rate, but that she tries to estimate
conservatively to ensure drastic
measures like a mid-year tuition
increase aren't necessary.
For example, Sullivan said last

year the University's estimates
were wrong last year, but that the
decision was made to absorb the
difference internally as opposed to
further raisingtuition.
"I have to be the most conser-
vative person about the budget on
campus," Sullivan said, "because if
I get it wrong, we all pay the price
for 12 months, maybe more."
The regents have unanimously
approved the University's budgets
- including those for each of the
University's three campuses and
the healthsystem- for the pasttwo
years. However, in 2006, Regent
Andrea Fisher Newman (R-Ann
Arbor) opposed each of the budget

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For Tuesday, April 21, 2009
(March 21 to April 19)
People will enjoy your company and
your enthusiasm because you're full of
energy and charm today. This is a great
day to schmooze and also to make a
wonderful impression on others.
(April 20 to May 20)
You feel confident and aggressive
about financia matters. For tbatmtter
yei feel unusually calm, content and
confident about many things today. (It's
a feeling you have within you.)
1May21 toJune 20)
Enjoy this popular day! In particular,
group activities will delight you. You're
in the mood to schmooze, but you also
feel physically energetic and super posi-
(June 21 toJuly 22)
You make a great impression on
bosses, parents, teachers and VIPs today.
Others think you're hot! A romance with
someone older, wiser or richer could
begin (perhaps your boss).
(July 23 to Aug. 22)
You have grand ideas about travel,
escape and adventure. You've decided
that you want more out of life because
you want your life to be as exciting and
fulfilling as it can be!
(Aug. 23 to Sept. 22)
Others might be very generous to you
today. This is a good day to discuss how
to divide something or deal with inheri-
tances and shared property.
(Sept. 23 to Oct. 22)
Exchsanges with purtnters and close
friends are lively and energetic, but they
are also warm and good-hearted. It's a
romantic, fun-loving day.

(Oct. 231 Nov. 21)
Co-workers are supportive today.
You'll enjoy making your workspace
more attractive. You might see new ways
of making money as well.
(Nov. 22 to Dec. 21)
This is a wonderful day for play,
romance, vacations and fun activities
with children. Spoes and sporting evetts
mitt hr equally enjoyable. Get oat there
and have some fun!
(Dec. 22 to Jan. 19)
Put some energy into making where
you live look more attractive today. Ttis
is also a great day to entertain at home.
All family events will be lively and
(Ian. 2010o Fob. 18)
You can be estremely persuasive
today when talking to others. It's a great
day to act, teach, write, sell or market
anything. Do anything that requires
excellent communication skills, because
you've got them!
(Feb. 19 to March 20)
This is an excellent day for business
and commerce. Trust your moneymak-
log ideas. You also might be pleased
with purchases that you make today.
YOU BORN TODAY Excellence mat-
ters to you because you value your dig-
nity and yourgood name. You love beau-
tiful things, but you also need to have
close relationships with others. You
understand power and how to use it.
You're excellent with money. This year
something you've been involved with
foe the past nine years will diminish or
end it order to make room for something
Bitodaterof: James McAvoy, actor;
Patti LuPone, actress/singer; Queen
Elizabeth II, British royal.

know the total cost of the dam-
CRIME age, but that the glass in the front
From Page 1A door alone costs about $1,000 to
shattered the door he ran away and Police apprehended the man out-
entered a nearby house, at which side the nearby house, and he now
point Carmody yelled for someone potentially faces charges for mali-
to call the police. cious destruction of property and
Carmody said he does not yet minor in possession of alcohol.
E-mail davazad@umidh.edu

0 2009K ing Features Syndicate, Inc.

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