The Chronicle’s View: The squeeky wheel really does get the grease

The Daily Utah Chronicle has been complaining about USA Today’s Collegiate Readership Program since it was first proposed on campus. But instead of gloating over its success in pushing the program through a very suspicious session of the ASUU assembly, USA Today actually offered to help The Chronicle improve its readership.

On Monday, the founder of USA Today, Richard Curtis, came to the humble office of The Chrony and critiqued the paper.

All of us on staff would like to formally thank Mr. Curtis for flying in and spending the holiday with us.

It was very interesting to hear what a millionaire publisher thought of our paper.

We learned a great deal from discussions with him and we began asking ourselves great questions about how to improve. In fact, he asked more questions than he answered-and that was the most helpful aspect of his visit.

Rather than spouting off pearls of wisdom for us to meditate with cups of hot tea on mountaintops, he questioned everything we did.

The experience of having someone so important come and give help without answering many questions caused one editor to muse, “It was like having Santa Claus come and talk about the best way to make a microwave burrito.”

But Mr. Curtis’ questions forced us to consider why it is that not many students feel a “need” to read The Chrony and what we can do to present information students “need.”

Mr. Curtis’ visit prompted a lot of discussion that will lead to great improvements in this paper.

But something we realized is that we need feedback from you, the reader, to know what kind of information you would like to see in the campus paper that you can’t get in any other paper.

We may have been trying too hard to be like the big papers instead of supplying the U with need-to-know campus information.

The Chronicle fills a niche that simply can’t be filled by the two downtown papers. Our ambition is not to become an alternative community paper like the Y’s Daily Universe. Our ambition is to fill a niche in giving the U community information that it needs to know, damn it! (It feels good being able to say that, unlike the school down south.)

So send us a letter at [email protected] telling us what you’d like to see more of, what would you like better understood. If a Chronicle staffer asks you what you think of the paper, then let him or her know.

We’re here to serve U.