The Stanford Daily

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The Stanford Daily
The Stanford Daily
Front page of The Stanford Daily for April 29, 2011.
The front page of The Stanford Daily on April 29, 2011, announcing the Faculty Senate's vote to invite ROTC back to campus.
TypeDaily student newspaper
Owner(s)The Stanford Daily Publishing Corporation
Editor-in-chiefSam Catania
HeadquartersLorry I. Lokey Stanford Daily Building
456 Panama Mall
Stanford, CA 94305
United States

The Stanford Daily is the student-run, independent daily newspaper serving Stanford University. The Daily is distributed throughout campus and the surrounding community of Palo Alto, California, United States. It has published since the University was founded in 1892.[1]

The paper publishes weekdays during the academic year. The Daily also published several special issues every year: "The Orientation Issue," "Big Game Issue," and "The Commencement Issue." In the fall of 2008, the paper's offices relocated from the Storke Publications Building to the newly constructed Lorry I. Lokey Stanford Daily Building, near the recently renovated Old Student Union.


The paper began as a small student publication called The Daily Palo Alto serving the Palo Alto area and the University. It "has been Stanford's only news outlet operating continuously since the birth of the University."[2]

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, as baby boomer college students increasingly questioned authority and asserted generational independence,[3] and Stanford administrators became worried about liability for the paper's editorials, the paper and the University severed ties.[4] In 1973, students founded The Stanford Daily Publishing Corporation, a non-profit corporation, to operate the newspaper.

A significant event leading to the paper's independence was the 1970 publication of an opinion piece entitled "Snitches and Oppression." The author of the piece named two witnesses to the protests that led to his arrest and concluded "take care of snitches." The university president, Richard Lyman, called the piece a "journalistic atrocity" and indicated concern that the university could be held liable for the content of the newspaper and its consequences.[5] During the fall of 1970, the newspaper also announced an editorial policy of destroying unpublished photographs of demonstrations so they could not be used as evidence in court.[4]

In April, 1971, little more than a year thereafter, the newspaper's policy led a local district attorney, James Zurcher, to initiate a search of the Daily offices. This occurred shortly after the occupation of a Stanford Hospital building had been broken up by police, some of whom were attacked and injured by the demonstrators. Believing that photographs of these assaults existed in Daily files, detectives spent hours searching the darkroom and staff members' desks.

The newspaper, aided by the noted constitutional expert Anthony Amsterdam, filed suit claiming a violation of the First and Fourth Amendments to the Constitution. Zurcher v. Stanford Daily went all the way to the Supreme Court, which ruled against the paper, holding that a state may issue a warrant to search and seize evidence from a third party who is not a criminal suspect (although "particular exactitude" must be exercised when First Amendment considerations are at play).[6] This ruling caused the legislative branch to respond with the Privacy Protection Act of 1980, which increased protections for nonsuspect third parties in legal cases.[7][8]

In 1991, a volunteer group of alumni incorporated The Friends of The Stanford Daily Foundation to provide support for the newspaper.[9]

In 1982, after the Stanford football team officially lost the Big Game against cross-bay rival University of California at Berkeley ("Cal") due to what has become known as "The Play," The Daily published a fake edition of The Daily Californian, Cal's student newspaper, announcing officials had reversed the game's outcome. Styled as an "extra," the bogus paper headlined "NCAA AWARDS BIG GAME TO STANFORD". The Daily distributed 7,000 copies around the Berkeley campus early in the morning, before that day's Cal student paper was released. The prank has been credited to four Stanford undergraduates: Tony Kelly, Mark Zeigler, Adam Berns and The Daily's editor-in-chief at the time, Richard Klinger.[10][11] To cover printing costs, The Daily made souvenir copies available on the Stanford campus for $1 apiece.[12]

The Stanford Daily's journalism has sometimes had far-reaching consequences; in the early 1990s a Daily staff member, John Wagner, '91, reported and published an investigative series uncovering significant corruption in the management of the Stanford Bookstore. According to Joanie Fischer's 2003 article about the newspaper in Stanford Magazine, "Managers of the independent nonprofit had formed a consulting firm that then leased a vacation home to the Bookstore and embezzled Bookstore funds to furnish it."[13]

In October 2015, The Daily was criticized for failing to investigate misconduct at both the student and University level by Vanity Fair's David Margolick who wrote "The Stanford Daily has proved supine" in a 7,000-word feature on the unfolding scandal at the Graduate School of Business.[14] When GSB Dean Garth Saloner resigned suddenly on September 14, 2015 amid a wrongful termination suit,[15] The Daily was scooped by Poets & Quants, a blog that covers MBA programs around the world.[16] The lawsuit was filed by a former professor married to fellow GSB professor Deborah H. Gruenfeld, with whom Saloner was having an affair. Though the scandal was covered extensively by The New York Times, The Washington Post, Bloomberg, and several international outlets, The Daily did not do additional reporting beyond its initial announcement of the Dean's resignation.[17]

On April 28, 2016, The Daily reported on former Speaker of the House John Boehner's likening of 2016 Presidential Candidate Ted Cruz to "Lucifer in the flesh" at a campus event. The report was picked up by numerous major outlets, including Politico and The New York Times.

Notable alumni[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "About". The Stanford Daily. Archived from the original on 2019-09-24. Retrieved 2019-09-23.
  2. ^ Fischer, Joannie, "Read All About It", Stanford Magazine, March/April 2003
  3. ^ Brokaw, Tom, Boom! Voices of the Sixties (Random House 2007)
  4. ^ a b Fischer 2003
  5. ^ UPI "Stanford prexy asks cut in paper support" Ellensburg (Wash.) Daily Record 10/8/1970"
  6. ^ Heindel, Andrew (January 21, 2003). "Commemorating a historic Supreme Court case: Zurcher v. Stanford Daily". The Stanford Daily. Vol. 222, no. 61. p. 6 – via The Stanford Daily Archive.
  7. ^ Hearing on S. 115, S. 1790, and S. 1816 Before the Committee on the Judiciary United States Senate, 96th Congress, 2nd Session, Serial No. 96-59 (March 28, 1980).
  8. ^ Privacy Protection Act of 1980: Report together with Additional Views of the Committee on the Judiciary United States Senate on S. 1790, 96th Congress, 2nd Session, S. Rep. No. 96-874 (July 28, 1989).
  9. ^ "Nonprofit Profile for Friends of the Stanford Daily Foundation". Retrieved 2015-10-30.
  10. ^ Fimrite, Ron (September 1, 1983). "The Anatomy Of A Miracle". Sports Illustrated. Vol. 59, no. 10. pp. 227–228.
  11. ^ Kuns, Bill (November 24, 1982). "NCAA awards Big Game to Stanford". The Daily Californian. Vol. 14, no. 51. Stanford, California: The Stanford Daily Publishing Corporation. p. 1 – via The Stanford Daily Archive.
  12. ^ "More copies". Advertisement. The Stanford Daily. Vol. 182, no. 61. January 18, 1983. p. 7 – via The Stanford Daily Archive.
  13. ^ Fischer
  14. ^ "Inside Stanford Business School's Spiraling Sex Scandal". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 2015-10-31.
  15. ^ "Garth Saloner to step down as dean of the Stanford Graduate School of Business". Stanford University. Retrieved 2015-10-31.
  16. ^ BaronPoets, Ethan; 14, QuantsAuthor on September. "Stanford Confidential: Sex, Lies And Loathing At The World's No. 1 B-School". Poets and Quants. Retrieved 2015-10-31.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  17. ^ Quach, Jeremy. "GSB dean Garth Saloner to step down at the end of academic year". Stanford Daily. Retrieved 2015-10-31.
  18. ^ Barringer, Felicity; Jehl, Douglas (2002-02-22). "A NATION CHALLENGED: JOURNALISTS; U.S. Says Video Shows Captors Killed Reporter". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-05-25.

External links[edit]