Daily cares about its own profits, not the intellectual growth of ‘U’ students

To the Daily:

In yesterday’s Daily, the editors of the Daily argued that the Collegiate Readership Program is nothing more than “a corporate money-making scheme,” Gannet news suspicious … (11/06/02). The Daily seems to think that by offering free newspapers to students, local newspapers like the Ann Arbor News and the Metro Times will suffer. It seems obvious to me, and most likely to everyone else on campus, that it is the Daily stands to lose the most from the Readership Program. I would venture to guess that not many students paid for local newspapers on a regular basis before the Readership Program began; they obtained their news from the Daily or a free online news source.

I, for one, welcome the addition of other news sources that can provide students with a broader view of national and world events. The strength of local newspapers is that they provide detailed information on local events, Gannett’s Collegiate Readership Program does not infringe on this in the least. Accordingly, I hope that students continue to support the program.

The Daily’s doomsday prediction of the downfall of local media is nothing more than a feeble scare tactic to maintain its own “bottom line.” As far as I can see, the only “money-making scheme” here is one in which the Daily attempts to portray a laudable idea in a negative light.

Eric Wilfong

LSA senior

AMI supports productive and honest discussion on Middle East politics

To the Daily:

Last week, the Daily Editorial Board criticized the pro-Israel ads that have recently been published in the Daily as detrimental to the dialogue on the Middle East, (Diminished dialogue, 10/31/02). As representatives of the pro-Israel camp on this campus, we reaffirm that the pro-Israel students have not been involved in the publishing of these ads nor does it approve of the kind of dialogue that any of these ads promote.

The pro-Israel groups on campus believe that we can reach a peaceful debate with the pro-Palestine groups without resorting to unwarranted and demeaning accusations and propaganda. The aims of the American Movement for Israel and the Israel-Michigan Political ActIon Committee are to advance an intellectual discourse and advocate on behalf of Israel from an academic and cultural perspective. It is not our goal to insult and demean the discussion by issuing propaganda against Palestinians, Arabs, Muslims, Christians and etc. And we do not condone the message that campustruth.org and Michigan Committee for a Safe Israel have been putting forth in the past few weeks. We stand behind intellectual discussion, academic discourse. We respect the claims of the other side. We respect free speech and the right of everyone to express their beliefs, whether we agree with them or not.

What we do not respect is extremists on both side of the dialogue throwing rash offensive accusations, spreading meaningless and close-minded rhetoric and advancing ideas that only further enrage both sides and alienate community not closely identified with the debate. In spirit of peaceful coexistence, we urge both sides to use reason and compassion in this discourse. Irrational, demagogic language is not going to lead to any peaceful resolution. Conflict in the Middle East is a complex issue that often involves language not to be thrown around lightly and situations easily taken out of context. As representatives of pro-Israel community on this campus, we believe that offending the other side is not a means to a solution. So whether it is the ads from campustruth.org or a speaker at the divestment conference advocating the destruction of the state of Israel, we believe that neither one is a credible means to a political dialogue, and we condemn using such means to attain political goals.

We stand with Israel and it’s right to exist in the Middle East. What we don’t stand with is the mediocrity of propaganda and hate. We stand for peaceful coexistence and peaceful, respectful dialogue.

Avi Jacobson

LSA junior

Yulia Dernovsky

LSA senior

The letter writers are co-chairs of the American Movement for Israel

The Daily misrepresented the Newspaper Readership Program for its own ends

To the Daily:

I just got done reading the Daily’s editorial on the Newspaper Readership Program, Gannet news suspicious … (11/06/02). Not surprisingly, I found it to be biased, ignorant and poorly written. The Daily’s bias is well known and often celebrated by its writers. The fact that the Daily is written by pretentious, pseudo-intellectual no-talent hacks means that it will remain poorly written. However, the ignorance can be fixed.

I have three main issues with the editorial. First, you subscribe to some whacked out conspiracy theory that Gannett is out to crush the Ann Arbor News and Metro Times. The Ann Arbor news is not even a flea on the big dog Gannett’s ass. If Gannett wanted to tank the Ann Arbor News, it could do so effortlessly. To assert that Gannett would be forced to use a newspaper readership program to accomplish this task is laughable at best. Next time you pass the newspaper rack in front of the Union at 8 p.m., take a look at which papers are sold out and which are still on the racks. The USA Today sells out, the Ann Arbor News doesn’t even come close. And this is Ann Arbor.

Second, the Daily whines about how this program will have to be funded by either the University or the Michigan Student Assembly. According to one of the people who helped bring this program to the University, if the University decides to keep the program, it will cost $72,000 a semester. That’s less than $2 per student per semester. If you wanted to go to a newsstand and buy one copy of each paper that is available free in this program, you could not do it for $2. And that is simply one day. University students pay $6.69 per semester for MSA. Even if the University decided not to foot the bill and MSA did, worst case scenario the fee increases $2 per semester. That’s $8.69 total. University of Wisconsin students pay over $300 per semester.

Third, a much smaller detail. Metro Times would suffer very little if the program were to continue. Metro Times is a metro Detroit rag. Ann Arbor makes up an extremely small portion of its readership base. I realize that you were making a ludicrous argument and were grasping at straws for something to back that argument up, but some of us aren’t from out of state, some of us know what the Metro Times is. A bomb could be dropped that would wipe out Ann Arbor and Metro Times would be fine.

Thomas Wharry

Kinesiology senior

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.