San Diego State University's Independent Student News Source

The Daily Aztec

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General Information

The Daily ­Aztec is San Diego State University’s independent student newspaper, serving a student population of almost 32,000 and a faculty and staff population of more than 4,000. The Daily ­Aztec strives to be a resource for all members of the SDSU community with the news, entertainment, information and advice they need to make their experience as Aztecs the best it can be.

The Daily ­Aztec publishes daily online  and is a weekly print publication. It has four regular sections: news, opinion and editorial, arts and lifestyle, and sports. The Daily ­Aztec also publishes content with the subsections Mundo Azteca, Aztec Gaming, Back Page, Video and Blogs.


  • The Daily ­Aztec is financially independent. It relies solely on advertising sales to fund operations, printing costs and staff. The Daily ­Aztec receives no state, student or auxiliary funding.
  • Unlike many college newspapers, all editors, writers, designers and sales personnel are SDSU students enrolled in at least six units.
  • We print 5,000 copies every Wednesday.
  • The newspaper has spent 37 years as a weekly, five years as a semi-weekly, 32 years as a four times a week and 21 years as a five times a week daily publication.
  • The Daily ­Aztec was established in 1913 as The Normal News Weekly. It became The Paper Lantern in 1921, then The Aztec in 1925. It became The Daily Aztec in 1960. The year 2013 marked the 100th year in print for SDSU’s newspaper.


– Ranked in Journalism Degrees and Programs 100 Exemplary College Newspapers for Journalism Students

– 2013 San Diego Society of Professional Journalists College Media awards:

First Place: Best Newspaper — The Daily Aztec Staff
Second Place: Arts/Entertainment Story — Exhibit displays birth of skating, Christian Benavides
First Place: Feature Story — Undocumented Aztec journeys to citizenship, Christian Benavides
First Place: News Photo — Children’s Center begins composting, Paige Nelson
Second Place: Sports Photo — SDSU headbutts CSU at homecoming, Dustin Michelson
First Place: Sports Story — Kearney High losing its iconic stripes, Ryan Schuler

– 2012 Region 11 Society of Professional Journalists College Media awards:

Third Place: General Column Writing — Kenneth Leonard
Second Place: Best All-Around Daily Student Newspaper — The Daily Aztec


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Mission Statement

The Daily ­Aztec is committed to being a readily available resource of and for the SDSU community.

The Daily ­Aztec will provide students, faculty and staff the news, analysis and entertainment they need to be informed and engaged members of the SDSU campus.

Code of Ethics

The Daily ­Aztec follows the Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics. It can be accessed at and reads as follows:


Members of the Society of Professional Journalists believe that public enlightenment is the forerunner of justice and the foundation of democracy. The duty of the journalist is to further those ends by seeking truth and providing a fair and comprehensive account of events and issues. Conscientious journalists from all media and specialties strive to serve the public with thoroughness and honesty. Professional integrity is the cornerstone of a journalist’s credibility. Members of the Society share a dedication to ethical behavior and adopt this code to declare the Society’s principles and standards of practice.


Journalists should be honest, fair and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting information.

Journalists should:

— Test the accuracy of information from all sources and exercise care to avoid inadvertent error. Deliberate distortion is never permissible.

— Diligently seek out subjects of news stories to give them the opportunity to respond to allegations of wrongdoing.

— Identify sources whenever feasible. The public is entitled to as much information as possible on sources’ reliability.

— Always question sources’ motives before promising anonymity. Clarify conditions attached to any promise made in exchange for information. Keep promises.

— Make certain that headlines, news teases and promotional material, photos, video, audio, graphics, sound bites and quotations do not misrepresent. They should not oversimplify or highlight incidents out of context.

— Never distort the content of news photos or video. Image enhancement for technical clarity is always permissible. Label montages and photo illustrations.

— Avoid misleading re-enactments or staged news events. If re-enactment is necessary to tell a story, label it.

— Avoid undercover or other surreptitious methods of gathering information except when traditional open methods will not yield information vital to the public. Use of such methods should be explained as part of the story

— Never plagiarize.

— Tell the story of the diversity and magnitude of the human experience boldly, even when it is unpopular to do so.

— Examine their own cultural values and avoid imposing those values on others.

— Avoid stereotyping by race, gender, age, religion, ethnicity, geography, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance or social status.

— Support the open exchange of views, even views they find repugnant.

— Give voice to the voiceless; official and unofficial sources of information can be equally valid.

— Distinguish between advocacy and news reporting. Analysis and commentary should be labeled and not misrepresent fact or context.

— Distinguish news from advertising and shun hybrids that blur the lines between the two.

— Recognize a special obligation to ensure that the public’s business is conducted in the open and that government records are open to inspection.


Ethical journalists treat sources, subjects and colleagues as human beings deserving of respect.

Journalists should:

— Show compassion for those who may be affected adversely by news coverage. Use special sensitivity when dealing with children and inexperienced sources or subjects.

— Be sensitive when seeking or using interviews or photographs of those affected by tragedy or grief.

— Recognize that gathering and reporting information may cause harm or discomfort. Pursuit of the news is not a license for arrogance.

— Recognize that private people have a greater right to control information about themselves than do public officials and others who seek power, influence or attention. Only an overriding public need can justify intrusion into anyone’s privacy.

— Show good taste. Avoid pandering to lurid curiosity.

— Be cautious about identifying juvenile suspects or victims of sex crimes.

— Be judicious about naming criminal suspects before the formal filing of charges.

— Balance a criminal suspect’s fair trial rights with the public’s right to be informed.


Journalists should be free of obligation to any interest other than the public’s right to know.

Journalists should:

— Avoid conflicts of interest, real or perceived.

— Remain free of associations and activities that may compromise integrity or damage credibility.

— Refuse gifts, favors, fees, free travel and special treatment, and shun secondary employment, political involvement, public office and service in community organizations if they compromise journalistic integrity.

— Disclose unavoidable conflicts.

— Be vigilant and courageous about holding those with power accountable.

— Deny favored treatment to advertisers and special interests and resist their pressure to influence news coverage.

— Be wary of sources offering information for favors or money; avoid bidding for news.


Journalists are accountable to their readers, listeners, viewers and each other.

Journalists should:

— Clarify and explain news coverage and invite dialogue with the public over journalistic conduct.

— Encourage the public to voice grievances against the news media.

— Admit mistakes and correct them promptly.

— Expose unethical practices of journalists and the news media.

— Abide by the same high standards to which they hold others.

History of The Daily ­Aztec

The following document explains the history of The Daily ­Aztec, as it appeared on May 8, 1987 in a final report by a task force on the future of the newspaper.

In Fall 1913, the student body of the San Diego Normal School voted affirmatively to begin publishing a campus newspaper. On Nov. 26, 1913, as a four-page tabloid, the first edition of the Normal News Weekly was published. On the front page, the following announcement appeared:

You voted for the establishment and maintenance of a school paper. It is now up to every one of you, individually, to meet this responsibility. You know the paper cannot subsist on San Diego climate and fricasseed air. Our advertisers pay good, hard coin for the “privilege” of supporting this publication, but they, in turn, must get returns on this expenditure.

As soon as you have read over this article, read over the advertisements: the next step is to patronize these advertisers and tell them you are from the Normal School. We want the “Normal News,” but we can’t have it unless you see that our advertisers get returns for their money.

The Normal News survived until 1921 when it was replaced by the Paper Lantern. The first editor, J.C. Almy Harding, was responsible for both the campus newspaper and yearbook, Del Sudoeste. He noted that,

“President Hardy gave us the best gifts an editor can ask — a free rein both editorially and financially. He offered no advice, guaranteed no subsidy, and reminded us we would be accountable for any journalistic misdeeds.”

The Paper Lantern discontinued the tabloid tradition by moving to a standard size, seven-column news format. Then, in 1925, the students voted to change their official nickname to “The Aztec.” Reluctantly, the Paper Lantern bowed to this new banner.

During World War II, The Aztec, still a four-page weekly, also published a newsletter for students in the armed services.

The next milestone in the newspaper’s history came in 1959, when The Aztec’s staff proposed publishing on a daily basis. The idea initially was not well received. Most members of the Publication Authority Board did not think there was enough campus news, student interest or money to support a daily newspaper at San Diego State College. In 1960, the Aztec became daily, thus The Daily Aztec.

During its adolescence, from 1925 to 1973, The Daily Aztec was heavily subsidized by the University and Associated Students. It was regularly advised and, in some measure, directed by a Faculty Advisor who was connected with the journalism department. The Associated Students Council approved the budget and all the expenditures for the newspaper. It also appointed the student editor, but not without the approval of the university president. Students who worked on the paper were required to turn in carbon copies of their articles to the faculty advisor, who, in turn, taught the journalism class titled, “Newspaper Production.” The articles were graded and returned to the students who wrote them.

Tensions from these complicated and overlapping relationships prompted University President Brage Golding in 1973 to appoint a Blue Ribbon Commission on The Daily Aztec. The commission evaluated the newspaper’s governing structure and recommended a radical departure from previous arrangements. The commission felt strongly that The Daily Aztec should not serve the campus in two conflicting capacities — as a laboratory tool of the journalism department and as a student publication providing campus news and editorial comment. The commission also argued for greater autonomy for the newspaper — autonomy from the Associated Students Council and the University administration. They did not achieve this goal. But The Daily Aztec did sever its formal connection to the journalism department as a result of this study. And, the idea of a campus-wide policy board, a Publications Authority, serving as publisher of The Daily Aztec was proposed and implemented a year later.

The centennial publication of The Daily ­Aztec reflects a new century of journalism with the launch of the Spanish version, Mundo Azteca, and the launch of an official app.

In an effort to best serve the SDSU community, The Daily Aztec transitioned to a semi-weekly print publication in 2013. The Daily ­Aztec then focused on increasing its presence in the online and mobile platforms the students, faculty and staff of SDSU were relying on for their news, entertainment and information.

Online Policies

Each story on our site does not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of The Daily ­Aztec.


Commenting on our site is a privilege. We want our readers to add their point of view to every story but ask that they keep their comments relevant to the topic at hand.

We will remove comments and possibly ban users who do the following:

a. Use vulgar or racist language.

b. Threaten harm of any sort to staff, commenters or the subject of an article.

c. Leave spam in their comment.

If you have questions about these rules please contact our Digital Content Manager at:


Our blogs and videos are held to the same standard as our print content. The views and opinions expressed in each blog is that of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the overall views of our paper.