The Kids are Alright

If they’re all that’s left, they’ll do:

The Ann Arbor News, owned by Advance Publications, changed in July 2009 from a daily newspaper to a web-first model that produced a print edition only twice a week, making Ann Arbor among the first American cities to lose their only daily paper. Since then, The Michigan Daily has been the only Monday-through-Friday print publication in town.

As daunting financial pressures force newspapers around the country to shut down or severely trim staff and budgets, a new model has emerged in many communities in which college journalism students increasingly make up for the lack of in-depth coverage by local papers.

“I keep questioning whether this scandal would have come out sooner if we had a vigorous local paper here,” said James O’Shea, a former editor in chief of The Los Angeles Times and managing editor of The Chicago Tribune who is now a visiting professor of journalism at the University of Michigan. “But I also don’t know if it would have ever come out without The Michigan Daily.” The place-kicker, Brendan Gibbons, has not been criminally charged.

Get it, kids.


One thought on “The Kids are Alright

  1. Would the scandal have been discovered earlier with a vibrant newspaper? Only problem is that so many newspapers have dumbed down and dropped any sort of in-depth analysis or investigating reporting.
    And absolutely right about the influx of college students. Local daily newspaper for my town is mainly reprints from AP. Local college paper actually goes out and asks questions. (Slightly tangential, but local TV News has a well established pattern of an occasional story where they actually phone to ask a question. They consistently report it in a pattern of “Will the budget support the overhaul of the water system? news WENT THE EXTRA MILE and called the city manager. City manager said…”
    Not too far away, Mizz U students have an unusual alliance with the newspaper. Unusual, but it improves the newspaper. I only assume what is behind closed doors is that it also sweetens the bottom line of the paper as well as allowing articles where someone actually thinks about the article.

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