The Michigan Daily is founded on a principle — the
principle that students, given proper training and guidance, can be
trusted to manage a great newspaper with maturity, responsibility
and good sense.

Kate Green

—The Daily’s senior editorial staff in 1963, upon
announcing their resignations after the Board in Control of Student
Publications attempted to select its own slate of junior
editors.

These words, penned by an embattled class
of editors, ring true today in this paper’s 114th year of
publication. Whether under siege on the world stage or leading the
forces of ’60s liberalism that have come to characterize this
paper’s editorial bent, the editorial page has not and will
not shed the lofty burden of achieving progress on those issues
affecting the University, its students and all those whose causes
we have donated space to endorse.

There is a long history of challenges to the Daily’s
editorial freedom. In 1941, University President Alexander Ruthven
convinced the University Board for Regents to permit him to
“pack” the Board in Control of Student Publications,
the entity that oversaw, and now as the Board of Student
Publications oversees, the paper’s finances. He was able to
change the ratio of faculty and alumni to students in his
favor.

In 1952, a Soviet delegate at the United Nations blasted the
Daily for “warmongering.” Earlier in that year, the
Russian magazine “Literary Gazette” accused the Daily
of “a slanderous attack” on the USSR and said the
University “exists on gifts from Wall Street and U.S.
government subsidies.”

In the ’70s, the University attempted to weaken the Daily
by publishing The University Record on Mondays, the day the Daily
did not publish. In 1996, copies of the Daily were stolen to
prevent their circulation, and students who boycotted the Daily in
the last academic year attempted to do the same. The Michigan
Student Assembly fanned the flames of the boycott with a resolution
supporting the boycotters. And only last year, students called upon
the University to remove the Daily’s office space.

Despite these spats, there remains no more dedicated advocate of
those issues that concern students than the Daily’s editorial
page. The paper is financially and editorially independent of the
University. We receive no funds and we will accept no funds from
MSA or the administration, and they will not dictate what appears
on our pages. We rely on the University only to provide us with
discerning readers.

Borrowing from a line coined by the journalist Edward Murrow,
President John Kennedy said of Winston Churchill, “He
mobilized the English language and sent it into battle.”

As I now assume the helm of this page, I promise you, our
readers, that during my tenure we will use the power of the pen to
further our idealistic principles: namely, social equality,
economic opportunity and our celestial goals of academic and
editorial freedom.

Jason Z. Pesick, Editorial Page Editor

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