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25 Things about the Oregon Daily Emerald

  1. In honor of our 109th birthday today, we made a list of 25 things you might not know about the Oregon Daily Emerald.
  2. We’re old: We’ve been bringing you the news since Feb. 12, 1900.
  3. We weren’t always a daily: The Emerald was first published as the Oregon Weekly, by the Eutaxian, Laurean and Philogian Societies of the University of Oregon.
  4. We weren’t always independent: The paper began as a publication of the ASUO and didn’t become independent until 1971, when the University administration dissolved the Publications Board and the paper began independent publication, incorporated under the provisions of the Oregon Nonprofit Corporation Act. Editors at the time said they were spurred to examine the issue of independence after an incident at the University of Washington, in which an editor was removed from office by the school’s administration. Court precedents gave student newspapers free speech, but the social atmosphere of the 1960s had led to a stricter line between student newspapers and the administration. The administration was supportive because they wanted to avoid situations such as that at Washington.
  5. We have literary roots: On Sept. 29, 1909, the paper became a bi-weekly publication, and changed its name. The “Emerald” was chosen based on a description of the locality made by poet Joaquin Miller, who lived in Oregon as a boy, to describe the green landscape. The staff accepted the name because of its relationship to the school’s colors.
  6. Some things never change: On Nov. 12, 1937, then-Editor in Chief LeRoy S. Mattingly wrote an editorial staged as a letter to his mother, in which he lamented the ad staff for selling the paper “tight” and not leaving room for editorial content, student discontent over compulsory fees, and athletic versus academic funding. Mattingly won the Emerald its first Pacemaker award and still donates to the Emerald to this day.
  7. We’ve always been ahead of our time: During World War II, in a time when journalism was largely a male-dominated field, Marjorie Major Goodwin served as the second female editor in chief, and the Emerald staff was made up almost entirely of women.
  8. We’ve got a sense of humor: In the spring of 1940, a gag issue of the Emerald was published under the name “The Green Goose,” the front page of which contained the headline “Profs Goosed on Exams!”
  9. We support our troops: Also during World War II, when publication shrunk from an eight-page to a four-page tabloid format because of budget concerns, an “Army” page was added to the publication, and a special section was sent to servicemen overseas. The eight-page format was resumed in 1945.
  10. “Daily” didn’t always mean daily: In 1949, Monday issues of the Emerald were published for the first time. Staff members volunteered to accept salary cuts to maintain a five-times weekly publication schedule when faced with budget problems. (Though, between 1922 and 1924, the Emerald did publish a Sunday edition called the Oregon Sunday Emerald.)
  11. We’re well-connected: During much of the Emerald’s early history, the Eugene Register-Guard put out an annual student issue, which was published entirely by UO journalism students and Emerald staff members. There was no faculty participation or supervision.
  12. We’ve got famous alumni: Phil Knight was a sports reporter from 1958 to 1959.
  13. We’ve always fought for equality: On Nov. 30, 1963, while covering the Oregon-Oregon State football game, Janet O’Dell became the first woman in Hayward Field’s history to be admitted to its press box, as Hayward Field was home to Ducks football at the time.
  14. We’re committed: Because the paper is uploaded remotely via the Internet, to printers based in Albany, Ore., if either party’s Internet connection fails, staff members must drive to Albany to deliver a hard copy of the day’s issue (and they have).
  15. It takes a lot of time: If we upload the paper by 11 p.m., it’s an early night. If it’s an early night, you can sometimes find staffers celebrating at Rennie’s Landing. Production of each day’s issue starts at 3:30 p.m., after stories are due, and our deadline is 12:30 a.m. After uploading, the Emerald is printed, driven down from Albany, Ore., and distributed by students, often before the sun comes up.
  16. We’ve never shied away from controversy: From December 1962 to February 1963, a student senator waged a campaign to remove Editor Ron Buel from his position because of coverage of fraternity hazing. The campaign failed.
  17.  We’ve helped pave the way for journalist rights: On May 24, 1966, a story by Annette Buchanan ran with the headline “Students Condone Marijuana Use,” and contained seven unnamed sources discussing their drug use. On June 1 of that year, the Lane County D.A. subpoenaed Buchanan, requesting the names of the sources. Buchanan refused and was fined $300 for contempt of court. The Oregon Supreme Court dismissed Buchanan’s claim that the Oregon Constitution protected her and in 1968 the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal. As a result, Oregon legislators created the first journalistic shield law, which provided extensive protection for all members of the news and information media. The statute to this day provides absolute protection from compelled disclosure of sources and all information obtained by journalists in the course of their work.
  18. We and the Commentator go way back: The Oregon Commentator was founded in 1983 by Rich Burr & Dane Claussen, former Emerald staff members.
  19. We jumped on the technology bandwagon: On March 3, 1994, the first text-only edition of the Emerald went up on the Internet. During Fall term of 1995, its first Web site was created.
  20. We don’t always get our due: The Emerald was misidentified as the “Oregon Daily Herald” at the 2008 Holiday Bowl, which Oregon won.
  21. We always get things done: On Jan. 30, 2008, faulty fire alarms forced the Emerald newsroom out of its office in the Erb Memorial Union. Without access to our programs, stories, fonts or photos, staffers questioned if the next day might be the first time in the Emerald’s history of missing a day of publication. Luckily, the staff was able to set up shop in the Ballmer Lab in Allen Hall, and gained remote access to our servers. After a few hiccups, production went off without a hitch and we even met deadline.
  22. We really do work hard: During Eugene ’08: U.S. Track & Field Trials coverage, the Emerald published 11 papers consecutively covering the events, a first in Emerald history. Each issue averaged about three times the size a normal issue of the Emerald, and was put together by a summer staff of less than 15 people — our regular staff size is more than 40.
  23. We know what we’re doing: The Emerald and its staff has won the Pacemaker Award, the highest distinction possible for college newspapers, three times, in 1938, 1997 and 2009.
  24. We’re flexible: The paper was published from the basement of the journalism building until staff moved to a small quonset hut outside the journalism school in 1947. In 1953, it moved to another temporary hut outside Deady Hall, and then moved again to the third floor of Allen Hall, the then-new journalism building. We’ve been based in Suite 300 of the EMU since 1974.
  25. We’ve got great butts: Who needs a Stairmaster? Being based on the 3rd floor of the EMU and ever-eschewing use of the elevator, our staff has on numerous occasions been told we rival the track team for toned and muscular legs.
  26. We’re not exactly free: Students pay a small subscription fee through the incidental fee, but the Emerald is otherwise completely financially separated from the University.