This is the 120th year that The Michigan Daily is publishing an edition on the first day of classes at the University. Over the course of those years, we’ve learned a lot about this job, and it’s done every day in an effort to serve you, the campus community.

Part of our job is informing students about campus and city issues that will affect their lives — see our coverage of the proposed couch ban today for an example. Part of it is not as focused on students’ lives, like some of our University administration coverage that is meant to allow faculty and instructors to be better-informed employees. We spend a lot of time trying to get things right. Some days we do this well. Some days, admittedly, we do not.

But the Daily isn’t some distant, abstract entity that we keep locked away at the top of an ivory tower. It’s an active, adaptive publication that takes input and information from all corners of campus and distills it just enough to produce a new rendering each morning. If you feel like your corner of campus isn’t getting its share of that coverage, you have the power to change that. This editor’s note is meant to be a short primer on that — a guide to reading the Daily and engaging with it.

Can you really print whatever you want?

Yes. We are completely separate from the University. The administration does not have any oversight over the editorial content of the newspaper. This is possible because the Daily is entirely financially supported by advertisements. When we send the pages to the printer at the end of each night, just a handful of students are left in an otherwise dark building at 2:30 a.m. There are some professionals in the building during the day who help manage the Daily’s finances and advise the Daily’s business staff, but they have no say in what appears in the paper.

With that independence comes a great deal of responsibility. We do our best to handle that delicately. We work each day to publish stories that inform and entertain and that help you to live smarter, more exciting lives. Like I said, we do this better some days than others.

How does a reader get in touch with you?

There’s this new thing called the Internet and it is really something special. Have a story that needs our attention? Think we’re not covering your slice of campus well enough?
Let us know about it.

We sort through tons of information here at the Daily. Sometimes we miss things, sometimes we mess things up. When we do either of those things, please, please, please let us know. If you have a news tip, e-mail news@michigandaily.com and it will be delivered to the personal inboxes of six news editors and me. If you want to yell at me personally — or just kindly suggest something that we should cover — feel free to shoot me an e-mail at smilovitz@michigandaily.com.

Also, make sure to call us out when you see something wrong. If you spot a factual error in a story, e-mail corrections@michigandaily.com and let us know. We won’t be offended. We want the information that we’re publishing to be correct.

How can a student join the paper?

Think we’re running the paper into the ground? Feel free to come join us and turn it around, or further run it into the ground — whatever your preference is. The Daily always welcomes new writers, reporters, photographers and designers — no matter your level of journalism experience. To let us know about your interest, head to michigandaily.com/recruits and fill out the webform. We’ll get in touch with you soon thereafter.

Another option would be to attend one of our mass meetings, which will be occurring this semester at 7 p.m. on the following days:

Sunday, Sept. 12
Tuesday, Sept. 14
Thursday, Sept. 16
Monday, Sept. 20
Thursday, Sept. 30

How can a reader express their opinions in the paper?

On this opinion page, we print content from the campus community everyday. There are three ways to get published:

Send a letter to the editor by e-mailing tothedaily@umich.edu.

Submit a viewpoint by sending it to our editorial page editor Rachel Van Gilder at vangilder@michigandaily.com. Viewpoints are usually 500-700 words long and are edited only for grammar and Daily style.

Join the Daily’s editorial board to debate issues that students face and help determine the paper’s official position on these issues. Contact Rachel Van Gilder at vangilder@michigandaily.com for more information about the editorial board.

I sincerely hope that you take these opportunities to engage with the Daily this year. A lot happens on this campus, and the more of it that appears in these pages, the better off the entire community is.

Jacob Smilovitz
Editor in Chief

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