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The “Illini” was first published monthly in 1874, as a continuation of a paper called “The Student” (also in the IDNC 1871-1873). It was intended to reflect the everyday life of the student at what was then Illinois Industrial University (1867-1885, University of Illinois 1885-1977, University of Illinois Champaign Urbana 1977-present). “In September 1880, it became a semi-monthly; in September 1892, a weekly; in September 1899, a tri-weekly; in September 1902, a daily (Monday-Friday).” (Daily Illini description) In 1880 faculty took control of the Illini and managed it until 1902 when it returned to student control. “In September 1904, a Sunday Illini replaced the Monday issue. Beginning in September 1905, it was published 6 days (excepting Mondays).” (Daily Illini description) The “Illini” became the “Daily Illini” in June 1907. “After January 1942, it was issued daily except Monday or Tuesday. Since September 1947, the Daily Illini has been published 5 days a week (excepting Sunday and Monday). Since 1963, a Saturday supplement, ‘Spectrum,' has been included. In 1985, the paper began to be published 5 days a week, Monday through Friday.” (Daily Illini description) In 1998 The Daily Illini changed from paid circulation to a free distribution paper and increased circulation from 10,00 to 20,000 and it also launched BUZZ, its new weekly entertainment magazine. As of 2022, the Daily Illini is updated daily online, and its print edition is distributed to newsstands weekly on Wednesdays.
As a campus student newspaper, the Daily Illini includes national, local, and campus news, sports, reviews of concerts, performances, and debates. It also includes campus events and opinions, student editorials, national political columnists, and Associated Press news and features. (Language adapted from Daily Illini description) It currently maintains a housing guide and regularly publishes the salary guide for the University of Illinois Champaign Urbana.
It is a student-run newspaper, currently part of Illini Media (a student-run media organization originally called the Illini Publishing Company). The Illini Publishing Company was chartered by the State of Illinois in 1911 as a non-profit corporation, established to organize and operate student media at U of I, only a handful of student media operations are truly independent of their university. Illini Media owns and operates the Daily Illini, WPGU (student-run commercial station), and the Illio (yearbook).
Daily Illini description, record series 41/8/801, University of Illinois Archives. https://archon.library.illinois.edu/archives/index.php?p=collections/controlcard&id=802.