Commentary | Why I like The Daily

It’s all over – both my time at McGill and at The Daily. While the usual feelings of uncertainty and fear that most soon-to-be graduates enjoy have gripped me, I have a more profound worry – that I will never again be a part of an organization as honest and purposeful as The Daily.

More enriching than any lecture I have attended at McGill, The Daily has been my classroom. Contributing to the newspaper has defined my experience. The Daily’s Statement of Principles has shaped my outlook. When speaking with some of the many students who have made The Daily possible, each says the same: that The Daily has had a tremendous impact in the way they think.

Where does this power come from? Proud as we are of our hard-fought independence, The Daily’s catering to its McGill readers exclusively cannot account for it alone. I suspect it has more to do with The Daily’s relationship than with the development and dissemination of an idea. We are, above all else, a group of diverse individuals who are inspired by the opportunity to bring any idea into the public forum without worrying that it is unconventional, unprofitable, or unacceptable to some authority. The power stems from the ability to turn an idea into a tangible issue. It comes from the frenzy of ideas, the circulation of questions, from the vigour with which editors, readers, and writers alike consider The Daily and contribute to its vivacity.

The strongest aspects of The Daily are not the articles that contributors produce, but the letters, comments, and opinion pieces that readers share with the paper. This year when students wanted to talk about Gaza and Israel, they turned to The Daily. When SSMU welcomed Choose Life, students debated the morality of the decision in The Daily’s pages. These exchanges are what make the paper unique and alive; these are what have sustained it for 98 years.

The Daily is no stranger to criticism. While each remark stings, we value condemnation as much as the praise that we receive. Welcoming both speaks to The Daily’s original purpose as a forum of ideas as much as it does the power of journalism and the involvement of students. Continued engagement and respect from The Daily’s readers are vital to sustain the quality of the publication.

As coordinating editor, I often feel that I am merely managing other’s ideas. The Daily is not my paper. Nor does it belong to the 17 editors, or even solely to the writers. It’s yours; it’s ours. The ideas are everyone’s.

Thank you for reading, writing, and debating, for sharing ideas and responding to ours.

Jennifer Markowitz was a news editor in 2007/2008, and our coordinating editor this year. Just don’t ask her to coordinate not saying “poop.”


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