Photo by GRACE GRELAK
On Oct. 19, The New York Times reported on the University of Michigan’s college newspaper that is the only daily paper left in the city of Ann Arbor.
The Michigan Daily become the only daily printed paper in Ann Arbor following the closing of The Ann Arbor News in 2009. They eventually closed their website. The Ann Arbor Chronicles, an online paper, closed as well in 2014 after only being in operation for six years.
The college’s paper is staffed by nearly 300 student journalists who cover local area news ranging from local government meetings to sports event. However, in other areas of the country, such as Arizona, student papers are responsible for covering large, national events.
The college’s paper reports on issues the have effects on students such as sexual misconduct and the way the university is handling matters. They also cover the information pertaining to the city as a whole including budget cuts in the county and the responses to local violence. While it may not be daily, there are some places that report on what is happening in Ann Arbor. MLive.com publishes a piece called “Ann Arbor News” twice a week; however, this is unable to keep up with what is happening in the city.
Since it is not a company that publishes with experienced reporters, there comes some issues. The University of Michigan does not currently have a program dedicated to journalism which has left the students with little training. There is also the issue that the students only hold temporary positions, so some do not take them as seriously. For some papers, the budget can be an issue as they print in large volumes.
Ann Arbor is not the only place this is happening in the United States. As more newspapers are shut down, there is more pressure placed on the student organizations to provide important information.
There is a shift to reading the paper online and The Michigan Daily recognizes that in their production of podcasts as well as blogs to keep citizens informed through social media. The University of Maryland at College Park’s newspaper is switching to only online in the upcoming months.
In Alma, Morning Sun is a local daily paper in addition to the college’s paper, The Almanian. These provide information to those that are on campus and can be found in various locations.
In the changing times, more people are starting to get their information from online, such as Cassie Freeman (’20).
“Since our way of life is changing from paper to internet, it is probably easier if the news was online, and it is also more environmentally friendly,” says Freeman.
Whether or not students should be responsible for informing communities is up for debate. Since they do not have the experience other reporters do and they are full time students, it limits what they can do.
“A newspaper serves two services. You have reporters who are going out and covering stories, but that to me, seems like you need specialized training for that, but that would only be a certain type of student to go out and do that,” said Dr. Dana Aspinall, professor of English. “Then you have the OP-ED page where students write in how they feel about whatever has happen or what their opinion is on a certain politician or decision.”
Aspinall emphasized that it is everyone’s responsibility to participate in some way. Some believe that it is the students’ responsibility to report on campus.
“I don’t know how students would do with world news because many of us don’t have the time to go out, research and see what is going on in the word, but if it was more like campus events, I feel they are spot on,” said Aspinall.
No matter the way it happens—whether it be electronic or in paper—there is a place for the news in our society.
“It’s important for people to stay up on the news especially with politics in general,” said Monika Tomica (’20). “I feel it’s a good way to get people educated on the topic specifically with the presidential campaigns right now.”