Charging that Wayne State University’s student newspaper is too leftist and “put out by left-wing radicals,” a group of undergraduate students began publishing a rival daily the week of Nov. 6th.
The South End, WSU’s s official student publication, formerly known as The Daily Collegian, has come under attack by staffers of the competition paper, The Phoenix. The South End has been criticized as leaning heavily toward the left end of the political spectrum, concentrating on protest and anti-war movements.
“If 900 students attend a dance, it is more important than 200 students protesting on campus,” said Vartan Kupelian, Phoenix staffer and former editor-in-chief of the Daily Collegian. Kupelian identified himself as Jim Thomas, managing editor of the Phoenix, when interviewed. He said that the South End is directed toward protestors, demonstrators and left-wingers.
Kupelian charged that Art Johnston, editor-in-chief of the South End, is overstepping his bounds by printing value judgments outside the editorial page.
“As a subjective organ, a paper’s responsibility is to express its own views only on the editorial page,” he said. “We intend to be completely objective, as the Collegian has been in the past. Granted we have been more conservative, but always strived for objectivity.”
Kupelian said that the Collegian increased from 12,500 copies to 18,000 in the past four years. Former co-editors claim that circulation did not exceed 15,000.
Kupelian claimed that their printer, who has printed the student publication for the past 50 years and is currently printing the South End, advised the Phoenix that South End circulation has increased by around 3,000 copies.
However, The South End’s circulation increase from 15,000 to 18,000 a day has only been since Johnston won a four-man race for editorship last fall.
“The students may not agree with the paper, but they’re reading it,” said Alan Fisk, South End news editor.
The Phoenix will be headed by Howard Gabe and Phil Mayesky, both seniors in the Business School.
Both editors, who head a staff of 20, have worked for the old Daily Collegian. They have received $400 from the school of business administration and $400 in ads. A fund has been established to collect donations from interested parties.
The Phoenix asked the Student-Faculty Council Budget Committee for funds, but was advised to return with a more detailed program.
Gabe said that if the paper succeeds, profits will be used to establish a scholarship.