U’s paper needs to get creative

Flat-out, straight-up, low-down – I’ll come right out and say it. The Minnesota Daily is not fun to read. In most respects, the broadsheet fares better as an intermediary between my cranium and falling rain than it does a captivating news source.

It leaves me wondering why. Why is a college paper – a stronghold for creativity, ambition, thinking outside the box/square/pentagon – so dull and monotonous?

To me – not that my opinion counts for anything other than the most important viewpoint; that is, I am the reader, and the Daily is supposed to serve its readers’ interests – the paper is a wading pool in which preprofessional journalists wallow, unable to break free of the systematic editorial castration that cleanly slices ‘n’ dices off all remaining vestiges of journalistic creativity (like Hunter Thompson’s “Gonzo Journalism”).

What this means is that we readers are left with a paper that strives more to conform with the already putrid purveyances of 21st century journalism than it does to provide unique reporting.

I don’t care if the Daily strives to be professional in its facade-broiled approach to news coverage. And I certainly don’t care whether any of its reporters actually succeed outside the secure, crib-comforting confines of its pages. All I care about is to pick up a student paper each morning that inspires something more than crossword-combing.

The Daily, though it might succeed in perpetuating a false sense of professional preparation, does little for its actual readership. I’d venture to say that most of the nation’s newspapers would rather hire a unique writer – one for whom the will to eviscerate the bland, white-washed wording found within today’s papers outweighs that of creating cookie-cutter journalism – than a prosthetic limb of the mechanical monster that now regulates news flow.

Regardless, I should hope the Daily-of-the-not-so-distant-future aims not just to play journalism-dress-up with its new format and professional-looking writing, but also to make an investment in engaging the intellects of readers throughout campus. I’d enjoywatching the paper’s editors take a backseat to their endless efforts to eliminate any writing that flies in the face of the establishment, and hope they will opt to provide a viable creative outlet not only for their reporters – but for the 31,000 students who fund and read the paper five days a week.

Frederic Hanson is a College of Liberal Arts sophomore. He welcomes comments at [email protected]