The Badger Herald
From Badger Herald Wiki
|This article needs additional citations for verification.|
|This article may need to be updated.|
The Badger Herald debuted in fall 1969 as an independent student newspaper on the University of Wisconsin campus. Today, it is the largest fully independent daily campus newspaper in the nation and publishes 15,000 issues five days a week during the academic year. The Herald is supported entirely by advertising revenue and powered by a staff composed of more than 100 students.
The Badger Herald is located near the UW campus at 326 W. Gorham St. The newspaper is printed by Capital Newspapers, Inc.
In 1969, pictures of protests covered the front pages of almost every newspaper in the nation. In Madison, four students sat at the Brathaus on State Street arguing over how to better record and combat the protests run-amok on campus.
The idea was to create an alternative voice on a campus, a voice that would cast the protests in another light and challenge common ideology.
Gathered in the back of the Brathaus, the Herald’s founders, Patrick Korten, Nick Loniello, Mike Kelly and Wade Smith, debated late into the night about how to establish such a voice. After the sixth beer, their vision became clear: “How about starting a weekly newspaper? A newspaper that would focus on Madison and issues facing UW students?”
After several months of fundraising, scrounging for desks and typewriters and renting offices where the Sunroom Café now stands, the first issue of The Badger Herald was published Sept. 10, 1969. In the mid-1970s, the Herald moved to 550 State St. When the Herald moved to its present-day offices at 326 W. Gorham St. in 1998, the editors kept much of the furniture, including the original desks and homemade light board.
“This newspaper is an experiment. We are attempting to do what has never been done before, ” wrote Korten, the paper’s first editor-in-chief. Korten went on to work as a congressional journalist and staffer and is now a public relations consultant at Rowan & Blewitt in Washington, D.C.
In the early years, keeping a conservative newspaper afloat in liberal Madison was a moment-by-moment ordeal. Reporters sent out to cover the riots would sometimes come back bloodied. And, with tear gas shrouding the streets, editors were occasionally forced to wear gas masks while laying out the week’s paper. Staff members even put chicken wire on the Herald's windows to discourage Molotov cocktails and other missiles.
“It was fully expected to go out of business in a year, ” said Loniello, a Herald contributor for 10 years and currently an attorney at Loneillo, Johnson and Simonini in Madison.
Against odds, the Herald did survive. It picked up State Street merchants, regional businesses and eventually even national corporations as advertisers. The Herald attracted writers and readers from a variety of backgrounds and philosophies.
In 1971, the Herald was on the brink of bankruptcy. Needing cash badly, the Herald hosted a fundraising dinner and managed to lure conservative author William Buckley to speak on the paper’s behalf. The fundraiser was a success and the Herald survived, eventually becoming a daily newspaper in the 1980s.
Throughout the 1980s and early 1990s, the Herald flourished, at one point reaching a circulation of 20,000.
In the three decades since its birth, the Herald has grown from a weekly conservative rag to the nation's largest fully independent student daily and the most award-winning student newspaper in Wisconsin.
As the Herald grew in size and importance, its content became more closely watched and criticized.
In 1993, the Herald was criticized for printing a cartoon in which the Cleveland Indians mascot, Chief Wahoo, was equated with Sambo. While some found the satire racist, the Herald argued that the cartoon was an attempt to attack racism rather than promote it.
In 1999, the Herald was attacked after printing another controversial cartoon, this one involving a student of color being shocked that Ward Connerly, an anti-affirmative action activist, was African-American. This time, the Herald’s editor in chief capitulated, offering an apology and a retraction on the front page. The Opinion editor quit the Herald, convinced the leadership had forgotten the paper's ideological roots.
In 2001, the Herald published a national advertisement by conservative author David Horowitz that argued against giving African-Americans reparations for slavery. In the weeks that followed, the Herald weathered threats and protests. Its distribution was disrupted. While many newspapers capitulated, the Herald stood firm. The editors refused to concede that the Herald was a “racist propaganda machine ” and did not apologize for publishing the advertisement.
The Herald’s position was lauded in Wall Street Journal, USA Today and the Wisconsin State Journal. The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel editorialized that the Herald is “living proof that the Constitution is a living document. ”
The Herald prints an 8 to 22 page issue each weekday. The layout features six vertical columns per page with exception to page 2, which features five. The current design, developed by Design Director Joey Schroeder, was implemented Jan. 19, 2010. The redesign features a blue/black/yellow color scheme and a staff box on page 2 in the left-hand side column. The Herald publishes full-color photography on its 11”x24” sized pages. Three headline fonts are used for the News/Sports sections and two for the Arts/Opinion sections. Typefaces vary depending upon use (headline, subheading, etc.). However, the standard story font is Palatino set at 9 points. Every section but news is uniformly designed. The news section features a set of three teasers on its front page. The stories that these teasers promote vary based upon a story’s relevance, entertainment value or writing quality. Often each teaser promotes a story from a different section. Since January 14, 2010, the Herald's pages have been digitally assembled in Adobe InDesign CS4 on various Apple Mac Pros running Mac OS X 10.4.
Photographers and designers use Adobe Photoshop CS4 to tweak colors, size images and create special graphics. The Creative Department uses Adobe Illustrator throughout the day to design advertisements. At the end of the night, pages are saved as PDFs using Acrobat Distiller and sent via FTP to Madison’s Capital Newspapers (publisher of the Wisconsin State Journal, Capital Times and madison.com).
The content and ads are delivered via a custom back-end configuration built on MovableType and OpenX. John Gruber’s SmartyPants fixes some typographical issues that plague the Web, and Markdown simplifies writing and editing for the Web. Comics are served up with Noel Jackson’s PhotoStack. PHP and Perl, two server-side programming languages, are used for customization of the above-mentioned packages and for making the site highly modular.
Content is also offered in a series of RSS feeds.