The University of Minnesota subreddit, r/uofmn, is a thriving online student community that is the best place for UMN memes. This includes the recent, “Hi, I’m a reporter with a Minnesota Daily …” meme, which riffs off reporters from the Minnesota Daily (hello!) posting on r/ufomn looking for student sources for articles. It’s a beautiful drag, and one that we as staff are taking together in stride.
The first iteration of the meme was posted just over two weeks ago. Since then, users have made other posts using Kim Kardashian memes or simple text, including my personal favorite: “Hello, I’m a Minnesota Daily reporter looking for other Minnesota Daily reporters to report on.”
Since I’m a columnist, not a reporter — although I do spend a fair amount of time lurking on r/uofmn — I spoke with Daily Reporter Audrey Kennedy about her experience on r/uofmn. Kennedy, a long-time Reddit user, said Reddit affords reporters the opportunity to find students willing to speak on issues that aren’t as well-known or are more sensitive. “The anonymity of Reddit helps me get way more responses on more sensitive stuff,” Kennedy said over direct message. “I did a piece on addiction and had a lot of people message me because even if I didn’t end up interviewing them, I still wouldn’t know who they were.”
Additionally, r/uofmn is a hotbed for candid conversations about campus issues and University-specific memes. This makes them more useful from a journalistic perspective. “Facebook groups are just filled with sublease posts and tend not to be helpful,” Kennedy said. “I’d say I also write on things that … [are] really big in the meme FB group and on reddit, but not in regular Class of 202_ pages.”
Sure, sometimes the subreddit gets clogged up with posts asking for insight about classes or requests for roommates, but it’s frank, genuine and engaged. As a comparison, Facebook is frequently clogged up with posts advertising ACR Homes recruitment events. The subreddit, however, is more inclined to critically discuss student experiences with the company. Finally, even if posts from reporters seem like they go unnoticed, that’s not always the case — Kennedy said, “The posts may not get comments, but I get a really good amount of DMs. People laugh because no one responds, but sometimes they do, just not publicly!”
Ultimately, the, “Hey, I’m a reporter from the MN Daily meme … ” is testament to the thriving, frequently cynical and sarcastic community on r/uofmn and the draw it has for reporters looking for diverse viewpoints. The meme has been helpful to reporters as well: “The fact that it’s become a meme is actually more helpful than mocking,” Kennedy said. “Now people will click on the post just to roll their eyes and say ‘another one … ’ or comment, therefore bumping up the post. Basically I’m just gaming the system.” It’s one of the best memes to come out of r/uofmn in the past year — something I’m comfortable saying even though (and maybe because) it comes partially at my own expense.