Commentary | The User’s Guide to The Daily

As McGill’s oldest and best-known student publication, The McGill Daily is the hub of campus news, culture, ideas, and debate. If shit’s going down, you’ll hear about it here first.

Since the first issue rolled off the presses in 1911, The McGill Daily has evolved from a daily sports results handout to a twice-weekly comprehensive newspaper that informs, subverts, and entertains.

The Daily and its sister publication Le Délit Français are funded by a direct student levy: $5.00 per undergraduate student each semester and $3.35 per graduate student per semester. This means, first of all, that this is your paper. We are here to represent you and your issues to your community. The fact that we are funded directly by students also makes us completely autonomous – we are the only independent English language newspaper at McGill. We are not tied to the University, nor any students’ association, no one but students at large. So you can count on us to provide all the information you need and to keep the powers that be accountable for their actions.

Look for us on stands across campus every Monday and Thursday, or better yet, come join us. You’ll get a tonne of newspaper-related experience and you may even get free stuff. Come on by our Shatner basement bunker (B-24), give us a call (398-6784), or visit our table during Activities Night.

How The Daily works

As soon as you pay your student fees, you become a member of the Daily Publications Society (DPS), the autonomous, not-for-profit organization that operates The McGill Daily and Le Délit. Every year, McGill students elect six members to the DPS’s nine-member Board of Directors, which takes care of financial and legal matters at the papers. The students-at-large are joined on the board by three editorial representatives. All DPS members (most students) are entitled to attend board meetings, address the board, and collect signatures to initiate a DPS referendum. To find out the date and location of the next meeting, call 398-6790.

Daily editors and staff

As a member of the DPS, each student can contribute articles to The Daily and become a staff member. You become a Daily staffer by contributing six published articles, photos, or graphics, or by helping out for three production nights. Each spring, Daily staff elect an editorial board from among the ranks. Because The Daily is a democratic, non-hierarchical organization, editors have no more voting power than do staff. Think of the editors as the gentle wind in the sails of The Daily ship rather than the all-powerful hand of God. If you would like to take part in our weekly meetings, the staff and editors of The Daily meet every Monday at 6 p.m. in the QPIRG building, 3647 University.


This is the section that puts the “news” in “newspaper” – it’s what separates us from the animals. We aim to provide accurate and hard-hitting coverage of what we can cover as well as (or better than) any one else can about McGill, Montreal, Quebec, and some federal issues. The tone is usually distant and kind of terse, but the news comes in a variety of formats: full-out stories and investigative pieces, briefs, directly transcribed interviews, and news analyses – where we try to break it down for you when we feel that the truth just is not getting out.


If your passion for knowledge and self-discovery expands beyond the institutionalized confines of our feeble-minded bourgeois society, a good idea might be to go exploring in the marginal areas of our present culture and dig up some revolutionary discoveries. If you are sick of the insipid dogmas of past and present anti-alternative, convention-stricken, museum-fabricated, un-progressive, reactionary art, then feel free to drop us some juicy diatribes on your current state of dissent against the prevailing authorities. In other words, if you like film, theatre, music, or anything artsy, write for the Culture section.


The Features section comprises the salacious centrefold of every issue. It’s got the longest, most probing articles in the whole darn paper. Within the section, you will find in-depth, critical analyses of the issues that matter. As well, you’ll happen upon humourous schemata, personal profiles, gonzo journalism, strong political stances, critical thinking about power and privilege, and the odd mewling save-the-whales tale.


Formed through the convergence of the Life and Sports sections, Mind&Body is about more than just synergy. It’s about fitness, health, food, feng shui, and sex. And you know, sports.


The most recent addition to The Daily universe, this section tackles the rapidly shifting worlds of both science and technology. Science+Technology will give you the down-low (or “d-l”) on everything from mind-controlled video games to where to book rooms in Space hotels.


It has often been said that a picture is worth a thousand words. At The Daily, we believe that a photo is worth 1,200 words, or 1,400 if we’re short of copy. We have photos that go with stories, photos that go on their own, photo essays, any old kind of photos. We really, really like photos. And by proxy, we like those who take them. This could mean you!

Layout and Design

Layout and Design is the invisible hand that guides you through the newspaper. Does one story jump out at you more than another? That’s L&D magic, baby. Although we lay out our paper on computers, these computers need to be turned on, and thus we need real people to assist in the graphic and design area. Especially illustrations. Our robots don’t draw well and become surly when told they will never fully “understand” the range of human emotions.


This is our multi-purpose page of facts, games, ephemera, Dick Pound news, and other pop-culture artifacts that we’d like to bring to your attention. With crosswords, snippets from our copious archives, and revealing extracts of real life, Compendium will slay your thirst for roadkill from the blogosphere served up fresh on a platter for your conspicuous consumption. Also, there will be comics. And blood.

Letters to the Editor

The Letters to the Editor section provides a forum for readers to express their ideas about Daily content without any fear of persecution, be it military or judicial (although you may be rebutted). The Daily promises to print every letter it receives from DPS members, provided they are not deemed to be sexist, homophobic, racist, libelous, or otherwise oppressive. Letters must be sent from your McGill email account, signed, and include your contact information, year, and program at McGill. (We will not print your contact info). All letters must be under 300 words. We may edit submissions for brevity and clarity, or – if letters are too long – simply not publish them. You can email letters to or drop them off in our office.

Hyde Parks

Named after the famous soapbox in London, where townsfolk would voice their opinions on the issues of the day, The Daily’s Hyde Park lets students and members of the McGill community express ideas on any topic that excites them, enlightens them, or turns them on. Hyde Parks can be up to 500 words and can cover a wider variety of subjects than the Letters to the Editor section. Unlike Letters to the Editor, we make no guarantee to print Hyde Park submissions. Email potential submissions to

Comments and Editorials

Editorials are unsigned statements of opinion that are approved by the voting staff of The Daily. They reflect the position of the newspaper on pertinent issues of local, national, or international importance. Comment pieces are the opinions of individual staff members.

There are also columns, which are regular reflections and criticisms penned in a more personal voice by The Daily’s witty columnists. Columnists are encouraged to present a wide variety of opinions and viewpoints in order to stimulate discussion and debate both in The Daily and on campus. Their views do not represent the opinions of the editorial board. So all of you budding Andrew Coyne types, now is the time to apply.

Canadian University Press

The McGill Daily is a founding member of the Canadian University Press (CUP). Modeled after the Canadian Press, CUP was the first nationwide student newswire in the world. CUP now has over 100 member papers from coast to coast, and all member papers participate in a daily exchange of news, sports, arts, and more. This means we have the latest scoops on national issues from student journalists across the country. Which we in the newspaper biz like to call “convenient.”