The Daily Helmsman, which began as a protest newspaper in 1931 called The Tiger Rag, has been published
by University of Memphis students continuously since then. Even during World War II
when paper and other resources were scarce, the newspaper published as a newsletter
posted on bulletin boards around campus.
The name of the newspaper was changed to The Helmsman in 1972, and became The Daily
Helmsman in 1981, when the newspaper began publishing four days a week.
Today The Daily Helmsman employs a paid staff of about 30 students and three full-time
professionals (General Manager Candy Justice, Advertising Manager Bob Willis and Bookkeeper
Sharon Whitaker). All editorial decisions are made by student editors, and the newspaper
is financially independent except for a contribution from the Student Activity Fee,
which makes The Daily Helmsman available free to students, faculty and staff at 70
locations each day.
The Helmsman has won many honors over the years for reporting, photography and design,
including awards given by the William Randolph Hearst Foundation, Columbia University
and the Southeastern Journalism Conference. Helmsman alumni have gone on to jobs at
many prestigious news organizations, such as The New York Times, Rolling Stone magazine,
Southern Living magazine, among others.