North Texas Daily

Join us in celebrating 100 years of journalism, 100 years of you

Join us in celebrating 100 years of journalism, 100 years of you

September 29
08:37 2016

The Editorial Board

The newspaper you’re holding may not be printing in 10 years. Until then, we need to celebrate this community’s history and understand that journalism will exist beyond the printed word.

The stories in this newspaper are written by students. The photos are captured by students. It’s all edited by students. The North Texas Daily is a grindstone upon which students come to learn how to do journalism. This program has turned out successful journalists for a century. We plan to keep it that way — no matter the medium.

Threats to defund do not deter us. Rather, those remarks serve only as affirmation that we’re doing a fine job. When students ask why there is a student newspaper when readership across the globe is declining, we only become more motivated to do better work, to help those students understand our value.

The Daily has seen various changes to its name, its masthead and above all else, the method of how it chooses to publish the news. When we first published in 1916, when we were called the Campus Chat, it was a simpler time in journalism and free speech on campus was not so fragile.

Americans like to boast about their freedom of speech. And yet at the same time, Americans run from the power of free speech. Too often, when news media produce stories that challenge people’s beliefs and perceptions, when news outlets offer truths that seem pointed, people get mad. And they fight us with flak, with threats to end subscriptions or pull funding.

But before you start firing, please know you’re firing upon 100 years of tradition. This newspaper is run by students who are also advocates for their fellow student. None of the editors currently leading this paper are here to sympathize with the administrative direction of this university or to boast UNT’s accomplishments.

We do this for Jacqueline Vandagriff, so people can know her face and never forget her. We do this for the residents of Scott Brown Properties, so students can know the company’s issues and understand local authorities will soon not tolerate it. We do this for Chelsea Abii, Amanda Chamberlain, Mikali Myers, Alexis Wright and Jordyn Williams, so the nation can understand why they kneel during the national anthem. We do this for Julio Santos, so students will never forget his smile or his beautiful hair.

This newspaper has stood here for 100 years, and the stories of the people printed on our pages can never be erased. That is why we celebrate today.

The Daily was born into an era sandwiched between old school press and the dawn of nightly news.  Today, we operate on shaky ground, as the internet has eroded the value of truth.

Don’t believe us? Take into account how the Pennsylvania Gazette, the most prominent paper of the colonial period, was made out of Benjamin Franklin yearning for a more patriotic colony. He even drew the legendary “Join, or Die” cartoon because of it.

Flash-forward 20 years after the American Revolution’s end in 1783, where the nature and accessibility of press expanded immensely. According to data from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the United States circulated roughly 148 million newspapers in 1840; double the amounts published in 1820. By 1860, one year before the Civil War, about three thousand papers were in print, so that number could only increase once racial and economic tensions lowered by the 19th century’s close.

By the time the Campus Chat rolled around, newspapers were staples across the country. The reporters and columnists of the time knew they had a tradition to follow, biases to leave out of their work and the power to foster mass conversations.

Even though we’re an ensemble of fledgling journalists, following in the footsteps of previous students, the Daily has been successfully media literate for 100 years and has delivered Denton news like no one else can.

Collegiate or not, every type of journalism is important and will continue to be. It stands as the most distinguished way to educate people about the culture they inhabit, making sure we know the 4-1-1 before historians transform it into legend. While the reporting landscape has changed multiple times every one is served by journalism.

Tenured newsmen from bygone eras, who run many current publications, often fear online journalism will fully supplant printing. And they’re right. Most prestigious newspapers, if not all, are visible on the internet.  This has made news more useful on search engines, garnering a capacious amount of readership able to click on hyperlinks to check the legitimacy of facts. It’s a far cry from the dated dependency on encyclopedic news, which usually gets discarded days after the timeliness wears off.

Although new journalists have more methods to tell stories, we remain modest and mindful of where we came from to get here. As we’ve proven for more than a lifetime, the North Texas Daily isn’t faltering anytime soon.

Here’s to another 100 years of journalism excellence.

About Author

Preston Mitchell

Preston Mitchell

Preston served as the Opinion Editor of the North Texas Daily from July 2016 to July 2017, and is a UNT graduate of integrative studies.

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@YumCaleb: Bringing back this article by @Reed_Smith25, in which he detailed the path North Texas would have to take to the bowl game, a path that is now completed. https://t.co/gaRLhO5eki
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