Four decades ago, The Daily Californian published an editorial that sparked a heated controversy and prompted its Publishers Board to attempt to bring its publication to a halt.
The possibility of the students’ voice being silenced was real, and the editor in chief asserted at the time that it “seriously threaten(ed) the future of any student newspaper on this campus.”
In an editorial published 40 years ago tomorrow titled “It’s Your Newspaper Now,” the staff announced its independence and noted that while it would “no longer be under the protective apron of the University,” independence would afford “us an exciting opportunity to create a newspaper worthy of the campus.”
Forty years later, we once again face one of the most significant challenges in our 140-year history. While independence has allowed us to truly pave our own path, it has exposed us over the past several years to shifts in the journalism industry, as newspapers everywhere suffer from plummeting revenue and race to embracing new mediums of communication.
But it also provides UC Berkeley students an exciting opportunity to set a new course and reinvent journalism. Who better to tackle these challenges than a passionate and intelligent student body with a diverse set of abilities, set in a vibrant community bustling with activity?
For students interested in making a difference, we invite you to join us. Our paper rises and falls with our successes and shortcomings. For our readers who seek more engaging content, just as in 1971, “we need your ideas to tell us what we can do to serve the campus community better.”
The Daily Cal is still your newspaper. We wake up each and every morning asking ourselves how we can better serve you. Countless students have worked tirelessly to deliver quality, independent information to you over the last four decades. With your help, we can continue to do so for many decades to come.
Tomer Ovadia is the editor in chief and president.