Recently, the Michigan Daily has quietly posted their bylaws on their website, although they’ve disabled the comment feature on that page. Yes, that means they’re partly done with suggestion number four from the “Agenda for Change” part of my Inside the Daily series. To their credit, I’ve heard there are some discussions ongoing about creating a comprehensive ethics policy, (perhaps like this one) but the fact we don’t know what’s going on means they have failed to understand another one of my suggestions: that the newspaper must commit itself to transparency, and involve the staff and the public in crafting important policies. Here’s a quick refresher of the top ten suggestitons:

1. Run corrections for every error discovered in a consistent, prominent space in the newspaper

2. Make it a policy to print as many letters to the editor as realistically possible

3. Respect every member of the newspaper, and involve them in decisions that effect the newspaper as a whole

4. Revise the Michigan Daily Bylaws, including a clear, comprehensive ethics policy, and post it on the Daily’s website

5. Make available email addresses to the entire news staff, by beat

6. Recruit underrepresented minorities on campus for all sections of the newspaper

7. Discuss news at weekly news staff meetings, make the daily news meetings required for reporters working on stories for the next day, and encourage collaboration

8. Hold public forums to discuss the newspaper’s policies about using race, and other policies that generate controversy

9. Have a senior editor, or an officially selected person function as a reader ombudsperson to write a regular column about criticisms of the newspaper and conduct internal investigations of alleged ethics violations

10. Make internal newspaper operations more transparent – make M-Desk meetings public, encourage staffers to attend meetings of the Board for Student Publications.

Author: Rob