The front page of today's Daily Californian

The Daily Californian has been printing news about UC Berkeley and the Bay Area for 141 years.

But Tuesday’s edition is out of the ordinary: the top half of the front page, the area colloquially known as “above the fold,” has been left blank.

The deliberate lack of news is the staff’s way of calling attention to the paper’s budget deficit, and a not-so-subtle plea to ask students to vote today on a $2 a student subsidy. (Read Berkeleyside’s article on the situation.)

Tomar Ovadia, the Daily Cal’s editor in chief, penned an editorial explaining why the staff took this unusual step:

“For 141 years, this paper has been a regular fixture on campus, informing students of the most important issues affecting our community.

Starting today, students will head to the polls to vote on whether a $2 semester fee is worth sustaining The Daily Californian for five years in the most volatile chapter in the history of journalism.

Today’s front page above the fold is blank. There are no stories on the ASUC election, nothing about this year’s increase in crime, no photos of police officers using force against protesters and no notice of future tuition increases. The coverage you are used to is on page 2, and after today, it will continue as it has since 1871.

But if the V.O.I.C.E. Initiative does not pass, that may not be the case for long.”

Read the entire editorial.

The Daily Cal: Berkeley’s student paper at a tipping poing [04.06.12]

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Frances Dinkelspiel, Berkeleyside and CItyside co-founder, is a journalist and author. Her first book, Towers of Gold: How One Jewish Immigrant Named Isaias Hellman Created California, published in November...