Daily editor responds to reader concerns

To the readers and advertisers of The Minnesota Daily:
At different points in its history, our paper has faced its share of crises.
The first occurred in 1899, when a student group began distributing a free daily newspaper called “Foot Ball” in the fall. This convinced editors of “Ariel,” then the University’s weekly campus newspaper, to convert to a daily. The Minnesota Daily was born on May 1, 1900.
Another crisis of sorts occurred in 1930, when managing editor Harrison Salisbury was suspended for protesting the no-smoking policy in the library — by smoking, of course. He was soon replaced and publication continued as normal.
Yet another crisis occurred in 1979 following the publication of the infamous “Christ Speaks” humor issue. Its questionable content provoked some to call for the withdrawal of student service fees for the Daily. The Board of Regents affirmed by a vote of 9-3 the paper’s status as a necessary presence on campus.
Today, the Daily faces yet another crisis. I only hope one of my successors isn’t writing about it 20 years from now, because that would mean I didn’t do my job.
This will probably come as no surprise to any of our 40,000 readers, but we have recently experienced a major problem with distribution of the Daily on and around campus. This has resulted in the late or misplaced delivery of the paper and, in some cases, no delivery at all. In working with our distribution company, some of these problems have been solved. But many more still remain.
Consequently, we have fielded many complaints from both readers and advertisers. They have ranged from, “We’re not getting the Daily!” to promises to bring this matter before the student service fees committee and ask that the Daily be required to give back some of the money it received.
Distribution problems have already cost us thousands of dollars in adjustments to advertisers. Even more important, however, is the value of credibility and public trust. Right now we’re losing in both areas.
As the editor in chief and a five-year veteran of the Daily, I apologize. Late delivery of the paper is absolutely inexcusable, and I assure you we are doing everything we can as an organization to resolve the problem.
Distribution problems with the Daily are every bit as frustrating to us as they are to you, our readers. We work hard every day to produce a paper worth reading; when it’s not out there for people to read, we feel as though we’ve let our readers down and our work was all for naught.
For many of our readers, the Daily becomes a routine — a first-thing-in-the-morning pickup. Whether it’s perusing the front page, catching up on Gophers sports or filling in the crossword, reading the Daily is an integral part of the student experience at the University. And if it’s not there when you want it, it might as well not be there at all.
We are aware of what the Daily means to this campus, and we aim to improve upon our recent performance. Both internally and externally, the Daily is actively working toward a quick and reasonable solution to this crisis. We are formulating a plan that will again have the Daily on the stands in time for the first class of the day, and we hope to implement it soon.
In the meantime, all I ask is for your continued patience. This is a problem that, unfortunately, cannot be solved overnight. If you continue to experience problems with finding a Daily on and around campus, please contact me at [email protected], and I will do everything in my power to correct the situation as soon as possible. As readers and advertisers, your feedback is a necessary component in resolving this crisis.
— Aaron Kirscht, editor in chief