Last Friday, I came across one of the protests against The Daily fee increase on the sidewalks of lower campus reading: “No more Daily propaganda.” These demonstrations were explained to me as referring to The Daily’s coverage of too many “obscure” human rights issues. I have also heard direct complaints from students such as one classmate taking issue with the front page coverage of the new Ugandan homophobic legislation instead of the earthquake in Haiti or Chile.
I however find that article to be an example of the best quality of The Daily. I found out about both earthquakes and the tsunami in Hawaii by unsollicited word of mouth. I did not need The Daily to notify me of any of these events as they were able to propel themselves into our everyday conversations, nor do I need The Daily to tell me how we are going to respond to these situations (though it might tell me what is wrong about our neo-colonial response). I find that the coverage of “obscure” humanitarian issues is far more relevant because, in the case of the queer Ugandans, nations such as the U.S. and Canada could actually use their influence to prevent potential humanitarian crises whereas the earthquakes were entirely out of our control.
It was because of their unorthodox coverage that my discovery of The McGill Daily as well as Le Délit was so refreshing. They were providing both topics and perspectives that fell so far out of the normal batch of stories that the media hands us that I found myself clipping and saving articles my entire first semester. I think The McGill Daily is doing us a far better service with its current approach than if it were to give us one more, but slightly different, version of the stories we already know.