Last year’s April 1 issue of The Daily nearly gave me a heart attack. As a former sports writer there, I was crushed to learn that budget cuts had swallowed the school paper as well. A cruel April Fools joke, indeed.
Seriously, I went to Bartell’s on the Ave to get some Pop Tarts in the morning and there, next to the Seattle Times and the Wall Street Journal, was that day’s copy of The Daily. The front page was a foreboding black and gray with a large picture of the iconic George Washington campus statue. It read “The Last Daily: It finally hit us, too.” It, of course, being the world’s crumbling economy.
My heart sank as my three years of Daily experience flashed through my head. We’d been through so much together. It’s where I honed my craft and what led to my first job. How could a 118-year-old UW staple like The Daily succumb to one year of terrible budget cuts?!
I grabbed the issue and devoured the story. It painted a bleak picture of teary-eyed reporters, a stunned and silent newsroom and a University president that was utterly empathetic in the face of tragedy. In a word, it was real. I couldn’t believe it. Only moments later did I realize the ploy. The rest of the issue was full of complete junk.
It was April Fools Day, after all, and The Daily is still going strong.