The Tribune’s endorsement today for The Daily gets it mostly right

Here are the Tribune’s endorsements, and here is the part relating to The Daily (I’ll link to Daily Watch discussion that relates to the points in the Trib piece) :

The Tribune encourages a “Yes” vote concerning the Daily Publication Society referendum. Undoubtedly, securing the continuing fiscal existence of our neighbours downstairs is essential to preserving a diverse campus press, as well as honouring the legacy of the 97-year old paper. That being said, the campaigning by the “Yes Committee” has been marked by half-truths, electioneering and misleading information regarding the publication society’s constitution.

Nobody is explicitly targeting the Daily or le Délit, contrary to what the [YES] committe[e] would have students believe — rather, they simply need a renewed mandate from students in order to sign a new Memorandum of Agreement with the University. Such mandates are routine matters for independent clubs and services. Indeed, even the Daily’s most vehement critics (see dailywatch.blogspot.com) [sic] support the fee renewal.

Out of sportsmanship as much as wanting not to traumatically interrupt our having competing campus media until The Daily can hold an emergency referendum.

Further, the Daily should not be the only major on-campus fee that is not opt-outable. QPIRG, the Midnight Kitchen, CKUT and the Tribune all accept the accountability that comes with accepting student funds. In 2004, when students tried to make the hefty DPS fee optional, the papers fought tooth and nail to avoid such a situation, even taking the question to J-Board and getting the results sealed on a technicality. As of now students cannot opt-out of the Daily’s $5 per semester fee, or even vote to lower the paper’s fee.

Assuming that its editorial policies or the Constitution don’t stay exactly the same — and I don’t believe they’ll stay exactly the same — I don’t think all $10 per year should be opt-outable for each student. The possibility of a total opt-out might put too much pressure on the editorial content.

Coordinating editor Drew Nelles has told both the Montreal Gazette and the Mirror that students can theoretically organize a referendum to address any potential problems with the paper, but this is not actually the case. The Daily’s constitution autocratically states that questions regarding lowering the Daily fee or even make it opt-outable are “inadmissible.”

Nelles needs to at least correct this in Thursday’s issue or in the Daily’s blog before the voting period ends.

Further, the Daily has not been our independent student paper since 1911. Rather, they secured independence from SSMU in 1981. Despite these factual oversights and distortions on

Is The Tribune making the point that The Daily was acting pretty independently for years even though it wasn’t officially separate from the student body? I guess that’s a fair point … but it eventually had to fight SSMU to stay independent, and then in 1986 had to directly fight the students to keep their editors. The Tribune also has editorial autonomy, but how easily could that be taken away?

the part of the Yes committee, a “No” vote would seriously jeopardize the continued existence of the Daily and le Délit and imperil our diverse campus media — a wholly undesirable situation.

Yep.

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