Editorial: The Fourth Estate keeps the UI community informed

The Daily Iowan reports the news, but it’s up to the community to make the news matter.

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Editorial: The Fourth Estate keeps the UI community informed

The Daily Iowan is seen on February 26, 2019.

The Daily Iowan is seen on February 26, 2019.

Michael Guhin

The Daily Iowan is seen on February 26, 2019.

Michael Guhin

Michael Guhin

The Daily Iowan is seen on February 26, 2019.

DI Editorial Board

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Since 1868, The Daily Iowan has provided the news to the University of Iowa and Iowa City communities. Over the course of our 151-year history, the DI has covered events from Nile Kinnick’s 1939 Heisman Trophy to the campus shooting of 1991. We’ve covered the news, big and small, for generations.

But none of this matters if our community doesn’t pay attention. For journalism to be effective, the public must pay attention. Whether you’re a first-year student just setting foot on campus or an Iowa City resident who has lived here your entire life, the DI relies on our readers to make our journalism matter.

The DI is free and accessible to everyone, both online and in print. We publish content that is vital to the UI and Iowa City communities, and one of the best ways to start being an active citizen in your community is to learn as much as you can about it. But from there, the public has to take the information that we give and use it to effect change.

Many DI staffers are journalism majors. In our classes, we are taught that the mission of journalism is to report meaningful information for people in a democracy. But again, this information is useless if the public does not act upon it. Newspapers can’t vote. Newspapers can’t assemble. Newspapers can’t do the cultural, societal, and political work necessary to make our community and world a better place. Only people can do that, and our job is to give them the tools to do so.

Newspapers can’t vote. Newspapers can’t assemble. Newspapers can’t do the cultural, societal, and political work necessary to make our community and world a better place. Only people can do that, and our job is to give them the tools to do so.”

This is especially true in the context of a local news organization such as the DI. We strive to be as invested and connected to the UI and Iowa City communities as possible. This is why our reporters attend UI Student Government, Iowa City City Council, and state Board of Regents meetings. We talk to students, staff, faculty, and administrators, as well as business and political leaders. Our local roots give us the ability to effectively cover the news; we cover our community well because we are part of the community.

For college students, it can be easy to let civic engagement slide when there are so many things going on in their personal lives — classes, jobs, having a social life. It can be easy to only focus on these things instead of looking at the bigger picture of the community, especially for the vast majority of us who are only going to be here for four years and leave after graduation.

Students may come and go, but the challenges Hawkeyes face are the same. In a college town such as Iowa City, with young people composing a large portion of the population, we have a special place to make a difference as a group. Whether it’s tuition or housing or another student issue, the DI is here to keep you informed. It’s up to you to engage with your community.

The world of 2019 is much different from the world of 1868, but the mission of the DI and the responsibility of our public is the same. We can produce the news, but we cannot make it matter without you.


Editorials reflect the majority opinion of the DI Editorial Board and not the opinion of the Publisher, Student Publications Inc., or the University of Iowa. 

Editorial board members are Marissa Payne, Brooklyn Draisey, Elijah Helton, Marina Jaimes, and Taylor Newby


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