« Sarah Palin | Main | Jesus for Canal Park »

DNT Fans the Flames


The story itself actually has nothing to do with trouble, conflict, noise, garbage, or anything negative at all really. It's just a handful of profiles of nice, wholesome students, along with a graphic explaining student population trends.

The image that ran right above the masthead, however, would lead you to think otherwise. Or maybe they just thought the paper needed a little T&A.

[see also: reader comments]


You know ... I noticed the paper immediately, so I'm sure it was great for marketing. It looked like the story was actually going to be about some spring break party kids, but in the end it was just gratuitous flesh peddling for attention. So maybe it sold some papers and got people thinking. But I think that the use of that image (above the masthead no less) was a TERRIBLE move in terms of continuing the politics of division, it also objectifies student bodies (in more ways than one) and also over simplifies the impact that students have on our community. Yes, it's a fun image, I'm sure it's accurate and I am no party-pooper, but in terms of responsible journalism I say: Bad form DNT.

I noticed the photo, read the text, and cringed. It was especially tasteless to attribute the photo to all 23,540 students.

hey... looks like a few of the idiots i was forced to drive by on woodland ave. yesterday afternoon.

nothing says happy thursday like 30 college kids in a yard littered with a few hundred beer cans playing bachi ball in front of a gigantic sign that read "you honk, we drink."

i had my windows rolled up and my stereo cranked, but i can just imagine they had some shitty boombox cranking the latest nickelback cd.

anyway... nice move, DNT. guess they've gotta move papers somehow.

I thought it was tacky.

On the one hand, I can see how the DNT might've intended it as a haw-haw tongue-in-cheek gesture, but on the other, I think it was out of place, misleading, and perpetuated a stereotype that had nothing to do with the story inside of the paper.

Poor form, indeed.

I drove past the "you honk, we drink" house the other day. If I had nothing better to do, I would have driven around the block a hundred times and give them alcohol poisoning...

I think I went to school with the guy in that picture...

Anyway, I agree with jp

this is ridiculous. what percentage of those 23,540 students were actually shirtless and drinking on the porch yesterday? I would argue there were many more shirt-clad drinkers playing guitar hero indoors. that wouldn't ever get put above the masthead, though.

but, fuck yeah, DNT. The "story" was so half-assed, I'm pretty sure it was just whipped together so they had an excuse to put those half-naked teens on the cover.

DNT- "Hey Jessica from Woodbury, what did you bring to college?"

"I brought my coach bags hehehe!"


I was actually even more offended -- if that is possible -- by the screaming headline on page one above the fold about the local guy who's buddies with mcCain going to RNC. Great feature story yes, but does not deserve front page above the fold with a screaming "War is Declared!" headline when Obama, the first African American nominee from a major party, officially accepted the nomination last night. THAT was history and we were witness to it. Every other paper in the country put that story on p. 1 not p. 3.

I agree, Claire. I was dumbfounded to see that such a historic event didn't merit a front page headline.

I would guess the reason the McCain story ran as lead is that is a local story, about a local person, written by an actual local DNT reporter. I think you'll find that across the country, small local papers like the DNT are paring down and focusing almost exclusively on local content rather that running content off the AP wire.

One large reason is that if readers want to find out about national issues, they can easily find a national source online. And if the local paper is going to reduce its size because of budgetary problems, it should probably cut the redundant wire stuff before it cuts exclusive local stories.

Claire = Busy Body, know it all. hahahaha, hilarious.

I'm not seeing much A in that picture.

Or much T

Barrett, you are absolutely correct.

C'mon now....they are just kids having fun before school starts. I lived at home for most of my undergrad. I can ASURE you, had I had a house with 5 other people I would have done the same thing. It is just what you do when you leave the nest, you go a little crazy. I think the Tribune is creating controversy and setting themselves up for another semester of news about UMD housing. Not all college kids are that way. Those people have just seen way too many films about college that are based in a fantasy world. I am starting my last year of grad school this week and would love to spend a week or two in their shoes.

Dear Diary -- what is your problem? So I am a busy body for expressing my opinion? Unh hunh. You, Dear Diary, sound like a total ass. Ha ha ha, hilarious, you tool.

FYI, I heard a rumor/information, from a reputable source, that the News Tribune just got a new "consultant" last week to help them increase circulation. The consultant was behind the photo running above the masthead.
It seems that running controversial stuff sells papers. Know your history, "Yellow Journalism" came about to sell newspapers. Journalism is a business, people need to make a buck.

*chirp* *chirp* *chirp*

And BTW -- what this town doesn't need is anyone (read DNT consultant) stirring up hornet's nests to sell papers...we ALL need to get our eyes fixed on the big picture (including me!) .. really, I'm looking forward to getting to know my new neighbors, welcoming them to town and hopefully sharing a few years of friendly neighborhoodery togehter...really....DNT, help us FIX the problems...NOT make them worse!

I take the chirps BACK! Guess what I just got to see...dumb @$$ blonde girl (probably from the DNT photo) pissing on 19th ave east...had to have her friend call her cel phone because it slipped out of her hip huggers and she lost it as she squatted and let loose a stream of bad beer urine on our town. Pretty picture. Huge group of swearing kids stumbling down the Avenue fighting and rolling on lawns looking for the next house party. ENFORCEMENT and EDUCATION before some kid dies of alcohol poisoning...HEY DNT, theres a good story

There's a pretty easy solution to the binge drinking problem. The U.S. should eliminate the drinking age like in some countries. Alcohol, no longer a forbidden commodity, will then cease to be such a big deal to high school and college students. MADD should get behind this if they really to save lives.


Kids having fun? Oh my goodness sakes, it is the work of Satan. They should take pictures of slightly older people in bars. They piss outside, too, they're just here all the time and smart enough to hold on to their cell phones is all. *chirp* *chirp*

I think it's extraordinarily funny that we live in a society where we see young people (most likely on private property) in swim suits with smiles on their faces and immediately assume they are up to no good.

But the editor may have misstepped here because of last year's complaints. I never understood the whole neighborhood versus student renter war thing happening in Duluth. The local college kids are certainly no more belligerent than anywhere else.

huitz, *SQUAWK!*
I view the pissing on my neighborhood as symbolic of the concern/awareness the partying 13th graders have for the other residents of Duluth. If I lived by a bar...which I dont...unless an illegal bar (keg party in the house next door) gets forced on me...and I had the same problem, I'd respond in the same way....only, guess what...all the stakeholders involved would DO something about it! Frankly, it was the 10 other kids waiting on the corner of 5th and 19th while this girl pee'd who bugged me more...they were shouting "F^*%" and "Sh!t" loud enough to wake up the whole neighborhood, running into the avenue prompting cars full of party trollers to honk and destroying other peoples property. Satan has eminently more class, This is the work of a more insidious evil force, JackAss and Girls Gone Wild: Spring Break videos --- Do YOU have kids? Do YOU want your 4 year old regularly awoken up by roving bands of drunk and swearing belligerent dipsh!ts?


Good point. I'm not a big fan of the whole Girls Gone Wild thing, but some kids having fun doesn't bother me, unless they do it constantly in my area and leave a mess. Yeah, then I'd be a little miffed. If it's only every once in a while, I say no big deal.

huitz, I take your point about "why the big deal?" I'm hoping this year there been enough discussion and awareness on all parts that this stuff wont last beyond 1 or two weeks...I'm willing to reach out and create community with my neighbors...thats why I didn't call 911 last night. If it's still happening 4 weeks from now...or if the three college rental houses next door to me become party houses, I'll be more antsy and direct with my efforts. I give HUGE props to PDP and UMDPD for being present in the neighborhoods. Also, I agree with -berv, lower the legal drinking age and move this stuff to the bars where it belongs.

There was a consultant at the DNT for the last week who was told to come up with ways to sell more papers. As part of his consultation, he believes that the paper needs to generate more buzz in the community, and that means being edgier.

The paper has to try something. Otherwise, at the rate its going, there won't be a paper in a few years.

If a newspaper believes that it needs to reach out to young people to continue to grow, it shouldn't call them "they" in a scare headline with an inflammatory photo. Just a thought.

There's plenty of "edgy" stuff a newspaper can do to generate more "buzz" in a community. But it can certainly do better than relying on cheap tricks to grab eyes (partying students used to refer to a story about kids moving in? Seriously?).

I typed this comment before, but it seems to have disappeared, so if it shows up twice now, I apologize.

If I were you Baci, I would have called the cops at the FIRST sign of trouble. But I agree with the sentiment of trying to get to know them and build relationships first. I don't think that the two strategies are mutually exclusive. On the contrary they are mutually supportive.

Hooligans I say!! Who wants to see hot college students in such a state of undress? I wonder if they have an extra smoothie for me?

If the DNT wants to be edgy they should run more stories about the 'Sconi Deer Humper! In my book it doesn't get edgier than that.

I have a tough time believing that people are upset with a depiction that college students dress sparingly and drink, or that people are jarred by seeing a photo of two girls in bikinis.

the DNT can make itself relevant by supporting the community instead of piiting the community against itself

People aren't upset by seeing college kids in swimsuits (I'd hardly call us a bunch of prudes around here at PDD)--people are upset that the picture had nothing to do with the story and that it insinuated that an invasion of bikini-clad alcoholics are about to descend upon the Twin Ports. It's the context that's out of whack here.

Their parents must be oh so proud of their kids college accomplishments.


These are the people in your neighborhood... in your neighborhood...

(note the name for the second type)

It's good to know what these kids' favorite items that they can't plug in are.


Good thing you fought and defended the 300 foot rule so that you will live next to a party house for the rest of the time you live there. If that rule wasn't there you might have had a chance that someone else would buy the house and use it for a family some day. Since rental licenses are limited in your area now that house is probably more valuable than yours.

I don't drive around the east hillside much but I drove a friend home last night around 1:45 in the morning and probably saw around 40 students walking, many of them visibly drunk. The funniest sight was two young women looking at a bus schedule posted at a DTA stop. Public transportation in the wee hours in Duluth? Think again ladies!

I must admit that despite the fact I am still in college and I was responsible for more than my fair share of drunken shenanigans when I first started college, I was disappointed to see all the incoming twin cities suburbanites this weekend. But I thought about it more as I was driving around UMD last night and I've come to the conclusion that seeing roving bands of drunken college students, is in many ways, a good thing.

1) They are not driving. Okay, some of them are, and I saw a couple drunk drivers last night, most likely college students. But most of them seem to have enough brains to stick to walking while they're getting wasted.

2) There were cops patrolling and I imagine having most of the miscreants on foot makes their job a whole lot easier.

3) Most of the students, despite their at times unacceptable behavior, are getting an education, pumping a whole lot of money into our local economy and boosting our population enough to make certain arts, music and cultural events viable whereas they would fail otherwise.

Baci: I appreciate your concerns and tirades more when considering what it must be like living in the midst of house parties and drunk students. Three young male students just moved in this weekend a few houses down from me and could be seen yesterday playing football in the middle of the street and last night were screaming late into the night for no discernable reason.

My suggestion would be to start acting like this guy and get a video camera then distribute clips of student misbehavior to the police, local TV stations and perhaps you could send a compilation of the highlights to the UMD Chancellor's office. Maybe that would require a bit too much effort but it would be creative.

I'm not sure about point number 3. I never see college students at cultural events in Duluth. Never at the ballet, never at the symphony, never at gallery openings- never. I don't think they go to that much live music, either. They are looking for cheap tap beer and don't care for "entertainment."

Those cheap tap beer places also make an effort to get the college students in. I'm not saying that marketing can completely alter any community, but how much time and effort do those organizations you specify (pigeon-holing definitions of "culture" by identifying them as opposed to theatre, authors and more contemporary musicians- events you'll find on campus, often organized and put on by students) put into advertising on campus?

There's a lot of defensiveness here. A lot of it justifiable, but it's always seemed to me that people are going to react to and fulfill many first impressions (hell, partying at college is what it is because so many students think it's what's expected of them).

@ndy, thanks for acknowledging my concerns..been there, done that...I have many choice clips of parties and will continue to make them and use them as a tool for communication (and evidence) until Duluth matures into an ACTUAL college town...i.e. a college district DOWNTOWN...it's a no-brainier win/win except for the oil companies.

andrewO, your smarkyness is short sighted, flawed beyond reason and reactionary. You know very well that all the goatee'd dorks who barely graduated from UMD with an AA degree in how-to-be-a-ghetto-landlord have got the council sowed up. So, I'll indulge your taunt and in return ask you to contribute to the solution and not wallow in the muck raking like the DNT.

I wasn't trying to define ALL culture in Duluth- and my apologies for omitting theater and literary arts in my post. But, I stand by my assertion that area college students are not really enriching the arts in Duluth due to their support or attendance. I rate the support of the community at-large only slightly greater than college students. The arts community that we have in this town exists through the commitment and tenacity of a few (talented though they may be). Kathryn Martin and her brood of 23,000 can kiss my creative ass....

Tim K- perhaps I was a tad trigger-happy in jumping on you like that, but, as you note with the community at large, very little of the under 30 crowd is represented at those venues.

How much of this is the anti-cultural-experiences culture of college and the area, and how much of it is that the dedicated and tenacious do little to shake the perceptions of elitism and really reach out to students and those otherwise drinking domestic tap beer or watching reality tv at home.

PS. I don't mean to begrudge those who are really out there working hard to keep the arts in Duluth. They are extremely dedicated and quite tenacious. I am just often prone to wondering what efforts could be made in what ways to involve more people and hopefully then have more people involved.

How can you condemn "perceptions of elitism" in the same sentence that you use the "drinking domestic tap beer or watching reality tv" stereotype, thereby furthering those perceptions?

I am a supporter of the arts. I attend gallery shows and CD releases, and more importantly, I actually buy local art and music. Yet, I drink domestic tap beer and watch reality television.

Our community needs less of this kind of "either/or" "we/they" "red/blue" division, and less petty judgment overall.

hahah! yes!!! I'm so glad you called me out on that.

I don't totally condemn "elitism"... I think there is "high art" and "low art" and plenty that plays in between for every art form.

I also enjoy the majority of domestic taps (though I shy away from anything bud related... since I see no reason for full disclosure). I too try to buy local art when it really speaks to me and is within my price-range and I attend what shows I can when I can. While I mix up my beers quite a bit, I am snobby enough to miss most reality tv intentionally.

End of the day, I apologize for being a provocateur. I really do think and believe whole-heartedly that we need less either-or judgements, which was what I had hoped was at the core of my appeal that the arts reach out more sincerely to groups they may have overlooked in the past. I P.S.ed a tongue in cheek with another partial tongue in cheek, and that may have been detrimental.

I love this site for the usually thoughtful people, but on this issue the whole lot of you just make me shake my head. OK so college students are stupid, what group of people isn't? I attended UMD, I had season tickets to the Symphony, and yeah I drank cheap beer in my front yard until the sun came up. I support local artists and musicians then and now. Why not figure out ways to engage the current college students rather than complaining about them like old farts. Maybe then they'll stay around after they graduate and start a business that employs people like I did.
The 300 ft rule was about the dumbest thing Duluth has done to date. My UMD education tells me all that has done is lowered housing prices and raised rents.
College students and tourist are both annoying, but without them Duluth would quickly become a sad place. Oh yeah, in the eight different Duluth neighborhoods I've lived in, crazy locals have kept me up many more nights than college students.

Alumni, Glad you stuck around. You are the exception. The character of the hillside has changed over the last few years. Now that you've "made it" do you live in the areas surrounding UMD? Would you? Dont fault those of us who do and are trying to fight for our homes and neighborhoods. The 300 ft rule has been no silver bullet but at least it was some form of intentional response to the problem. Real zoning change would help. A STUDENT DISTRICT DOWNTOWN would help even more. Enforcement always helps. It will be interesting to find out how many police hours were spent dealing with the roving bands of 18y/o partiers who covered the hillside this last weekend. I'm no prude or "old fart", I just didn't buy my home next to the dorms, they moved in next to me...really, put yourself in the shoes of the homeowners who are trying to raise a family and have to live with this circus every night at 2am...what would you do?

Invite the two on the right for a sleep over?

I just want the asshole who stole my Obama yard sign during the Sat. night party on my street near UMD to return the sign, no questions asked. It's these few thugs who steal our property, who throw crap in our yards, that makes me want to throttle UMD students.

Article was boring, but harmless. Masthead picture was very unhelpful.

However, at the fair this last weekend I did overhear a conversation with some little old ladies talking about how polite young people have become in recent years (and subsequent cursing out of some poor older bus driver).

Post a comment

Seriously: If you click "post" more than once, you're going to end up looking really stupid.

If you don't see your comment after it's published, try refreshing your browser.