On Oct. 19, in an article entitled “When the Student Newspaper is the Only Daily Paper in Town,” The New York Times reported on a serious responsibility that many college newspapers across the country — in other words, the counterparts of the Old Gold & Black — have increasingly assumed.
In recent years, more than 2,000 local newspapers have shuttered, leaving more than 1,300 communities without local news coverage. In response, many campus newspapers have stepped up the plate to provide their communities with consistent news coverage. One such newspaper is The Michigan Daily, which has been Ann Arbor’s primary source of daily print news coverage since the local newspaper closed its doors in 2009. The responsibilities that the newspaper has shouldered are enormous: the Times article described student journalists traveling across the city by bicycle in the rain to attend City Council sessions between classes. The Editor-in-Chief of The Michigan Daily was also not elected until she memorized the names and wards of Ann Arbor’s councilmen.
As the Editorial Board of a student newspaper, we know intimately the responsibility that comes with reporting the news on one college campus. We can only begin to imagine the added responsibility that becoming a city’s primary news source must entail.
As such, we commend our fellow editors and reporters at The Michigan Daily for the true service that they provide to the city of Ann Arbor. Their community is lucky to have them there to report the news in a fair, accurate and timely fashion in the absence of local newspapers.
However, we are also saddened by the decline of local print journalism, which we cherish. It is our hope that print journalism will continue to thrive in Winston-Salem, led by the top-quality Winston-Salem Journal. However, should the need arise, the Wake Forest and Winston-Salem communities can have faith that the Old Gold & Black would rise to the occasion, just as our fellow student journalists have done.