Daily Californian: Blank page might be harbinger of future

The front page of today's Daily Californian

The Daily Californian has been printing news about UC Berkeley and the Bay Area for 141 years.

But Tuesday’s edition is out of the ordinary: the top half of the front page, the area colloquially known as “above the fold,” has been left blank.

The deliberate lack of news is the staff’s way of calling attention to the paper’s budget deficit, and a not-so-subtle plea to ask students to vote today on a $2 a student subsidy. (Read Berkeleyside’s article on the situation.)

Tomar Ovadia, the Daily Cal’s editor in chief, penned an editorial explaining why the staff took this unusual step:

“For 141 years, this paper has been a regular fixture on campus, informing students of the most important issues affecting our community.

Starting today, students will head to the polls to vote on whether a $2 semester fee is worth sustaining The Daily Californian for five years in the most volatile chapter in the history of journalism.

Today’s front page above the fold is blank. There are no stories on the ASUC election, nothing about this year’s increase in crime, no photos of police officers using force against protesters and no notice of future tuition increases. The coverage you are used to is on page 2, and after today, it will continue as it has since 1871.

But if the V.O.I.C.E. Initiative does not pass, that may not be the case for long.”

Read the entire editorial.

The Daily Cal: Berkeley’s student paper at a tipping poing [04.06.12]

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  • Donald Trump

    yes, desperate pathetic pleas for mercy are a good indicator of a sustainable business model.

    Go on.

  • trump

    and i know this is a non-profit “student” paper – I just don’t see the point of hanging on to an unviable communication medium. PAPER
    lets kill MORE TREES

  • John Holland

    If I were a student, I would definitely vote for the $2.

    But this is an excellent case study in “the future of journalism”. I have friends at BANG, too, and I have to say that “print” producers are stymied. They’re even changing their titles so as not to include the word “print”.

    However, in this case, “print” seems to be so important in the campus context. I can’t tell you how many times I asked someone “did you see the cover of the daily cal” today. It focuses the student body on an issue at the same time.

    I would still turn to digital.

  • Lhasa7

    Can this (and yesterday’s exercise in statistical illiteracy) be applied to coursework toward a Grievance Studies major with a concentration in Histrionics?

  • Lhasa7

    And snarkiness aside, wouldn’t it be more constructive for the Daily Cal to collaborate with journalism and business students to come up with an overhaul of the current system that did not rely upon the equivalent of taxation to balance the books? When I see a newsrack full of unused and wasteful papers I do not see the future of journalism…