The Daily Campus
|Type||Daily student newspaper|
|Founder(s)||John H. Evans and John N. Fitts|
|Publisher||Willimantic Chronicle (1970s - present)|
|Headquarters||1266 Storrs Road
Storrs, CT 06269
|Circulation||8,000 copies daily, Monday through Friday mornings|
The Daily Campus, founded in 1896, is a student-run newspaper at the University of Connecticut that has a circulation run of 8,000 copies weekdays during the school year and twice during the summer. The Daily Campus has the largest circulation of any college paper in Connecticut and the third-largest in New England, behind The Daily Collegian (UMass) and The Harvard Crimson (Harvard University). Since its creation, the newspaper has undergone several name changes, starting as The Lookout, a monthly, when it published its first issue in May 1896. The name was changed to The Connecticut Campus in 1915, followed by The Connecticut Daily Campus, and then finally just The Daily Campus in 1984. It began publishing five days a week during the academic year in 1952 and became a morning paper in 1955.
The newspaper's offices are located at The Daily Campus Building at 1266 Storrs Road in Storrs, Connecticut. The paper was previously located across campus at 121 North Eagleville Road, but moved to their current location in 1991/1992. Though originally addressed at 11 Dog Lane, the building was re-addressed as 1266 Storrs Road in Spring of 2012 to accommodate the new buildings being constructed alongside the building as part of the new Storrs Center.
The building is located at the South entrance to campus, across the street from the Fine Arts Building, and adjacent to Buckley Residence Hall. The two-story building houses the business staff and front-desk on the bottom floor, and the newsroom and conference room on the second. The Editor-in-Chief, Managing Editor and Associate Managing Editor have offices on the second floor, while the Business Manager's office is located on the first.
The newspaper features four main sections: News, Commentary, Focus and Sports. Each section has its own department run by an editor and associate editor. There is also a Photography department, which provides student-shot pictures for every section. The photographers are managed by both a photo editor and associate editor. A single editor oversees the Comics department which provides 5-10 student-drawn comics to the paper each weekday. A Circulation Manager plans the delivery routes ad manages these student-drivers in the Circulation department. In addition, the paper employs a Graphics Manager, Advertising Manager and an Online Marketing Manager.
Students of all majors are encouraged to join the staff.
In December 2005, when controversial conservative commentator Ann Coulter visited UConn at the invitation of the College Republicans, The Daily Campus received the only one-on-one interview with Coulter and was the only outlet with pictures from inside the theater. All other media outlets were not allowed inside. The speech itself was marked by protests on campus, alternative "hate free" events and was cut short after about 15 minutes when a prank recording of "Kyle's Mom Is A Big Fat Bitch" from the TV show South Park was played over the loudspeakers.
The Commentary section, which features columnists as well as the Letters to the Editor, is the home of the very popular Instant Daily, one of the more revolutionary pieces of interaction in all of print media where readers, usually students, interact with the department by AOL Instant Messenger. The Commentary section is always located on page 4 of the first section of the paper. While it is only one page long most days, it sometimes takes up two pages depending on the amount of content.
Commentary features a selection of weekly columnists, usually three, who have written for the paper for a few years. Each weekly columnist writes one featured column a week. The Commentary Editor and Associate Editor typically write a featured column weekly as well, meaning there is one featured column on each weekday. Also published in the section are columns by staff columnists, who write on a semi-regular basis. All manner of topics are discussed in Commentary, both local and national.
Commentary also publishes a short daily editorial that is considered the official opinion of The Daily Campus. It has been featured on the left side of page 4 in recent years. The Daily Campus editorial board, composed of the Commentary editors, weekly columnists and Editor-in-Chief, meet weekly in order to determine the editorials for the coming week. A disclaimer was added below the editorial in 2003 following an incident in which 9,000 copies of the paper were stolen after a controversial column was published in Commentary (see Controversies below). The disclaimer states that only the editorial is the official opinion of the paper, while the columns are the opinions of the columnist and columnist alone.
The Commentary Section also has additional features:
Instant Daily was started in 2003 by then Commentary Editor Dan Maxwell. Instant Daily receives hundreds of instant messages per day with a select few (about a half-dozen) being chosen for publication by the editors. Most submissions are comical observations of campus life, though tributes (such as ones following the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting), remembrances (often following student deaths) and topical issues are also discussed. Instant Daily has received criticism for being an anonymous forum where students can make hurtful comments without fear of repercussions.
Husky Talk is a sidebar which features a question that is answered by a handful of students on campus. The respondents' pictures are taken and published next to their answers. Questions run the gamut from serious to sarcastic to relatively inane, and the answers run the same spectrum.
Other features include a Quick Wit (a humorous quote-of-the-day) and an editorial cartoon. Various features including a This Day in History element were once included in Commentary but have either been moved to other parts of the paper or removed altogether.
All the comics in The Daily Campus' Comics section are drawn by student artists. Some of the more popular comics in recent years have included Murdock's Resolve, Spencer, Stickcat, #Hashtag, Phil, and Happy Dance.
The section also runs a daily crossword puzzle, horoscopes and a sudoku.
Comics run one page long, usually on page 5 across from the Commentary section. It is not a part of Commentary or the News department, however, and is run by an entirely separate editor.
The Focus Department covers performances, entertainment and style on campus. It regularly features reviews of on campus events, such as concerts, plays and guest lectures. The Focus Department is credentialed for all on-campus events, including performances at von der Mehden Recital Hall and Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts. It also covers the annual Spring Weekend concert, held at Gampel Pavilion, and has featured artists such as Kendrick Lamar and Steve Aoki in 2013, Wiz Khalifa in 2012 and others including Busta Rhymes, Guster, O.A.R., 50 Cent and Nas in recent years. Focus regularly includes features and weekly columns about matters of interest to students such as sexual health, relationships, academics, employment, entertainment and more.
Each day of the week, page 8 is a "Focus on" page with a set theme: television, movies, video games, music and lifestyle. Each day the column, reviews, features and sidebar elements on page 8 (often carrying over to page 9) fit that theme. These sidebar elements include a list of upcoming shows (music), highest ranked video games (video games), most watched shows (television) and upcoming releases (movies), as well as a staff-chosen show, album, movie, video game or app of the week.
Focus is on the front of the second section of The Daily Campus. It shares the same section as Sports, which starts on the back page. The first three pages of Focus are almost always in full color.
The Sports Department, which staffs approximately 20 writers, is credentialed to all on-campus and several off-campus UConn sporting events. With the emergence of UConn as a powerhouse in the world of collegiate sports, the Sports section has taken off in popularity in recent decades.
The Sports Department covers as many sports as its staffing level allows. It always covers men's basketball, woman's basketball and football. It also has regular beat writers for men's and women's soccer, field hockey, men's and women's ice hockey, lacrosse, baseball, softball, men's and women's tennis, men's and women's track/cross country, men's and women's swimming & diving, golf, rowing and club sports. When staff allows, many sports will have two beat writers. Basketball and football always have multiple beat writers.
The budget for the Sports Department is the highest of any of the sections. This allows beat writers to travel to important away games and tournaments, especially for the larger sports such as basketball and football. Writers have covered the men's and woman's basketball teams throughout the NCAA tournament, from Washington D.C. to San Antonio; Tampa, Fla.; Charlotte, N.C.; Phoenix and Fresno, Calif. Beat writers reported on location at all 10 of UConn's basketball titles - men's (1999, 2004 and 2011) and women's (1995, 2000, 2002-2004, 2009-2010). A writer also traveled to the Maui Invitational in 2005, which UConn won. Two beat writers were sent to Detroit for UConn's first bowl game in football, the 2004 Motor City Bowl, as well as UConn's bowl appearance in the 2007 Meineke Car Care Bowl. Following the UConn football team's Big East championship in 2010, three reporters were sent to Glendale, Ariz. to report on the school's first BCS bowl appearance in the 2011 Fiesta Bowl, in which UConn was defeated by heavily favored Oklahoma. The Daily Campus published a special extra for the Motor City Bowl victory over Toledo, as well as the Maui Invitational title. Recently, The Daily Campus has published numerous commemorative jackets, including one published on the anniversary of Jasper Howard's death, one previewing the UConn football team's critical game against South Florida that clinched the Big East championship, one previewing the outdoor hockey game played at Rentschler Field and several throughout the men's basketball team's run to the Big East and National Championship in 2011.
While mainstream sports success is a thing of recent vintage, The Daily Campus has covered sports since almost the very beginning, back when the paper was still referred to as The Lookout. In the December 1900 issue of The Lookout, an editorial ran stating "It is in the opinion of the students that basket ball could be introduced into our college sports." Basketball was indeed started at the school in 1901 and The Lookout covered the first game, writing "It may be justly said that the first attempt at C.A.C. [Connecticut Agricultural College, as UConn was then known] at basket-ball was a success." The Lookout reported again, a year later, when the first woman's basketball game was played - "The college girls started in with a vigor amazing to behold, and soon Miss Koons soon made a pretty throw into the basket from the field."
The Daily Campus Sports Department was involved in two national stories during the 2002-2003 school year. The first, in November 2002, occurred when sports columnist Matt Burke wrote a column titled "Memorial's goalposts must go." The UConn football team was closing out their season with a game against Kent State and with a new, off campus, stadium opening next year Burke wrote "...I am imploring you, the student population, to tear down those goalposts at the conclusion of Saturday's football game, win or lose." UConn won the game, and when hundreds of students spilled on the field to take down the posts, police with attack dogs had encircled the goalposts. Students rushing the posts were pepper sprayed and beset by dogs. The one student to make it to the posts was handcuffed and taken into police custody. The violent incident made national headlines, and Burke's column, whether the impetus or not, was featured prominently, on shows such as ESPN's Pardon the Interruption.
The following spring The Daily Campus again made national headlines. The UConn women's basketball team had set a collegiate record for 70 straight victories before losing to Villanova on March 11, 2003 in the Big East championship. In the postgame press conference, a reporter from a New Jersey paper began by asking UConn head coach Geno Auriemma what he would do to make sure the loss did not linger through the NCAA tournament. After Auriemma answered the somewhat-blasphemous question with an equal amount of sarcasm, The Daily Campus beat writer Amanda Alnutt asked a similar follow-up question.
Alnutt: What are you going to do to make sure that it doesn't happen [again]?
Auriemma: You ask a lot of questions that really piss me off. You're too young to ask those questions. Older guys can ask me questions that piss me off. You're too young. You see, this is just a f---ing game. It's not the end of the world. But every question you ask is like, 'We should cancel the season now because we lost.' Relax.
Alnutt: You don't think you need to do anything to prepare your team for that? They just lost and now they have to go into the NCAA tournament?
Auriemma: So what does every game have to do with the rest? We lost a game today. We just won 70 straight. Did that have anything to do with this one?
The clip was replayed on ESPN's SportsCenter repeatedly in the days following and was featured prominently, on shows such as ESPN's Pardon the Interruption. Auriemma received plenty of criticism for his handling of the situation. Auriemma would later meet with Alnutt personally and apologize and also wrote about the incident in his autobiography, remarking that he wished he had spoken to her privately instead of chastising her in front of the press.
Extras and More
The paper also regularly publishes special extras - usually tabloid-style inserts of approximately eight to 12 pages. Focus Extras (called 'Out of Focus') are often published in accordance with the seasons (Fall, Winter, Spring), but the most common extras are put out by the Sports Department. An annual Homecoming Football Extra is published prior to the team's homecoming game, while Basketball Extras are published for major rivalry games. Husky Hoopla, an annual basketball issue, is published around Midnight Madness every year and highlights the upcoming season for both men's and woman's basketball. The paper has also published special jackets (covering the entire paper) following basketball national championships - including full-color jackets on the consecutive days of April 6 & April 7, 2004 following UConn's unprecedented sweep of the men's and woman's titles. Recently, the paper has published numerous jackets previewing or commemorating major events. Notable among these was a commemorative jacket published on the first anniversary of Jasper Howard's death and a jacket previewing the UConn football team's critical season finale against South Florida, a game that UConn would win on a late field goal to clinch the school's second Big East championship and first ever BCS Bowl berth.
Students lay out the newspaper every Sunday through Thursday night using the program Adobe InDesign and can take anywhere from four to eight hours nightly to lay out the 14-18 pages of each issue.
The newspaper itself has been in the news often in recent years, with an editorial column calling for the resignation of UConn President Philip E. Austin in 2005 after construction problems arose in the building of various on-campus structures as part of the state of Connecticut's UCONN 2000 and 21st Century UConn projects. The building was also the site of the theft of computer equipment in August 2005, just days before the beginning of publication for the new school year.
The Daily Campus has been involved in a number of controversies over the years.
- 1960—Editor-in-Chief Dick McGuirk is expelled from the University of Connecticut shortly after refusing to apologize for material published in The Daily Scampus, a yearly satirical issue, which had been deemed salacious by Undergraduate Student Government and university officials.
- 2000—Controversial David Horowitz full-page advertisement calling slave reparations "racist" runs in The Daily Campus and a number of other college newspapers. Students hold a protest outside the newspaper's offices, and argue to the university administration that they oppose having the $14 mandatory fee to fund the newspaper.
- 2003—About 9,000 copies of The Daily Campus are stolen from locations around campus and the newspaper's loading dock one day after a column written by weekly columnist Josh Levinson was printed that criticized college cultural centers as being exclusionary. Two of the suspects were identified thanks to security camera footage in UConn's Co-op, but The Daily Campus did not press charges.
- 2005—The Daily Campus building is broken into and equipment, including flat-screen monitors, a server and digital cameras, worth approximately $30,000 is stolen. No arrests were ever made.