At a time when daily print newspapers across the country are failing, the Michigan Daily continues to thrive. Completely operated by students of the University of Michigan, the paper was founded in 1890 and covers national and international news topics ranging from politics to sports to entertainment. The Daily has been a vital part of the college experience for countless UM students, none more so than those who staffed the paper as editors, writers, and photographers over the years. Many of these Daily alumni are now award-winning journalists who work for the premier news outlets in the world.
In the Name of Editorial Freedom, titled after the paper’s longstanding masthead, compiles original essays by some of the best-known Daily alumni about their time on staff. For example Dan Okrent, first public editor of the New York Times, discusses traveling with a cohort of Daily reporters to cover the explosive 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. Rebecca Blumenstein, deputy editor-in-chief of the Wall Street Journal, and author Alan Paul talk about the intensity of the Daily newsroom and the lasting relationships it forged. Adam Schefter of ESPN recalls his awkward first story that nevertheless set him on the path to become the ultimate NFL insider. The essays of this book offer a glimpse, as activist Tom Hayden writes, at the Daily’s impressive role covering historic events and how those stories molded the lives of the students who reported them.
"They say a newspaper is a daily miracle. If that’s so, The Michigan Daily is something beyond that, with the whole operation run by a bunch of sleep-deprived 20-year olds. What could go wrong? Here, Daily alums share their mistakes freely, weaving their stories through a half-century of American history with wit and wisdom--much of it hard-earned--but also justifiable pride in their idealism, their dedication, and the seriousness of the work they did while mere undergraduates. For all they've accomplished since their Daily days, you get the feeling they’d trade it all for another year at 420 Maynard--and you understand why."
--John U. Bacon, bestselling author of Three and Out: Rich Rodriguez and the Michigan Wolverines in the Crucible of College Football and Endzone: The Rise, Fall, and Return of Michigan Football
“I cannot imagine a better way to celebrate 125 years of student journalism than the essays contained in this wonderful volume. Going back some 55 years, the authors, all of whom are successful in their craft, have fashioned for us a unique window into the lives of students at the University of Michigan. Their stories are powerful and remind us of the magic of this place where students both are challenged and challenge others daily to change the world for the better.”
—Mary Sue Coleman, President Emerita at the University of Michigan
“This book provides a truly wonderful collection of essays by alumni of the Michigan Daily, one of the nation’s leading college newspapers, concerning their experiences as students covering some of the most important moments in the history of our university, the nation, and the world. Since many of these Michigan Daily alumni have gone on to important careers in American journalism, their fascinating perspectives provide strong evidence of the educational power of such student extracurricular experiences.”
—James J. Duderstadt, President Emeritus at the University of Michigan
Cover design by Isaac Tobin.