Online edition celebrates 10 volumes

A tale of a paper that’s never been printed.

5 mins read

The story of this version of the Daily Planet starts in a place called Hibbing, on a farm no less. What we now dub “online editions” were once known as “e-editions” and their birthplace was the basement dwelling of yours truly. To tell the story of our publication is to tell the story of my fandom. It’s complicated, like most, but it was a wild ride to live and, unfortunately, it’ll be less wild to write about.

My introduction to the world of comics is a bit groggy. I know it was extremely early on because accessing those memories proves more difficult than I anticipated. But I do remember my first “ah-ha” moment when it comes to the Daily Planet

My first introduction to the publication came from my first introduction to intrepid reporter, Lois Lane. It was on “Superman: The Animated Series.” This brazen woman with wowing wit and clever quips slapped Clark Kent with sarcastic “Smallville’s” and compassionate camaraderie and I was instantly hooked. I was ecstatic to find out that she was a truth telling scriber for a publication housed in an iconic Metropolis high-rise. 

My love for the Daily Planet began at the moment Lois Lane first graced my screen with her iconic purple blazer and care for everything except Clark Kent’s nonsense attitude. Then I was introduced to “Smallville.” 

Imagine my excitement when that Lois Lane, played by Erica Durance, shared all the same lovable traits and then some. I first started watching the decade long series in 2006 when it was airing summer reruns on ABC Family (now Freeform) and I was instantly hooked. I watched it religiously since, spending all of my hard earned money from my grandpa’s sweet corn stand on the season boxsets, only after begging him to take me to the only Target in the Iron Range region—the only store within many miles to possess the DVD. My love for Lois grew from a simple sprout to a solid oak tree thanks to that show, and my dream for the Daily Planet took shape soon after. 

Finding your fandom is a journey of self discovery, and when I found mine I dove so hard into the world of Superman I nearly drowned. I bought books, movies, comics, gameboy games, merchandise, guides, character encyclopedias and so much more just to appease my growing want for Superman media. I craved astute knowledge on the Man of Steel and I digested that in all shapes and forms a growing farm boy from Minnesota could afford. But it wasn’t solely Superman’s heroics I was after, it was Lois and Clark’s. 

Their time as journalists were what I loved the most and, if a form of Superman media did not include the Daily Planet or Lois Lane in any way, I did not buy it. I wanted to spend my money on truly compelling stories and the inclusion of the reporter of steel was my Kryptonite. 

As I aged I strived to be like Lois Lane, not by character alone, but by practice. I wanted to make the Daily Planet a legitimate publication so I could have my name printed under the same banister as Lois Lane’s byline. I also wanted the community of truth and justice seekers to be a reality. Maybe it is, and was, somewhere, but I needed the Daily Planet to be the setting for such a group. This is when I started to print my newsletters, little printed out pamphlets that reiterated the top news stories featured on Google at the time. The showmanship was terrible, but the spirit was definitely there. 

Interestingly enough, I at first refrained from using the Daily Planet name and called the paper The Coolsville Chronicle to pay homage to my first love, Scooby-Doo. I feel compelled to state that Scooby’s team-up with Batman and Robin is why I found Superman in the first place. I’m ashamed to admit it, but I was a Batman girly before I devoted my everything to Lois… I mean to Superman. 

Anyway, these printouts grew more “mature,” as did I, and I switched the name to the Daily Planet because I felt it was prestigious enough. Let me tell you, I still have these booger stained rags and they are nowhere near qualified to hold the iconic globe. This is an anxious thought I continue to cling to with the current news org. 

Eventually my news rags found their way into the digital landscape. In 2014, following the release of 2013’s “Man of Steel,” starring Henry Cavill and Amy Adams, I started the Twitter account for this publication. Over the next few years the online newspaper adapted and evolved. 

In our early days the Twitter account that published these “papers” was dubbed “@Benz_Daily,” and it published fictional DC Universe and role play news, which was very prevalent at the time. Then something exciting happened. I interviewed an anti bullying group called “Advocate Monster Truck” and the paper slowly began making its transition from a fiction based format to real world recorder. It was an incredible origin story. I was hooked on the storytelling, especially since everything I wrote about actually happened to people—which always mattered. 

Our online editions slowly grew more advanced over the years, dabbling in both fantasy and reality. 

Originally, e-edition’s had no structured layout. Designs coincided with the amount of content produced, something our site has adopted since nobody at our multimedia organization gets paid. 

I made the original online editions with a photo application and screenshots of my notes on my iPhone 4s. It was a taxing system that I’m glad I’ve grown from. 2015 was a time of great expansion for the Daily Planet and our e-editions are responsible for a majority of that success. Guest content contributors began producing for us, interviews were landed and a more recognizable layout was established.

2016 saw the “Dawn of Justice” and the start of @DailyPlanetDC. Due to exceeding recognition our name change wasn’t too difficult to process. We wanted our username to be as indistinguishable as our source of inspiration, DC Comics’ Daily Planet. Our e-editions also adapted to this philosophy and morphed into something “straight from the source.”

2017 saw a massive influx of e-editions as more outside contributions flowed in. Most of this year’s articles were fiction based, centered around the DC Extended Universe, now known as the original cinematic universe built from Zack Snyder’s imagination. In fact, our coverage of the “Release The Snyder Cut” movement started at the tail end of this year. 

2018 was a more mellow year for @DailyPlanetDC, only three issues were created, mostly because I was in college at this time and focussed on my studies in journalism. This was the year “e-editions’” transitioned into “online editions.” Our website also launched in 2018 in my Journalism Toolbox class at the University of Minnesota Duluth. 2019 was the year @DailyPlanetDC was “shadow banned” on Twitter so production of online editions slowed until the ban was lifted later that year. Our focus transitioned to the website at this time. 

2020 was an historic year for everyone on the planet. A pandemic crippled communities, demand for human equality hit an ultimate boiling point and a turbulent election year saw devision in the United States like never before. This is also the year DailyPlanetDC’s online edition’s forever transitioned to factual news rather than role play coverage. Our community of writers grew into the dream-team I fantasized about during this time as well. Not all were writers either. We got podcast collaborators, fact checkers, topic researchers and so much more. This momentum only grew over the next two years before the Daily Planet finally established permanent roots in the Metropolis of the North, Minneapolis in 2021. 

The story of this Daily Planet is always continuing, and I can’t express my gratitude enough. Its foundations are established on the strength of the passionate, and their drive will keep the Planet in rotation for years to come. 

Zack Benz

Zack Benz has been a fan of the Daily Planet since he was eight years old. The Daily Planet has always been a beacon of hope for him and it’s his life’s mission to make it shine in a similar light to so many around the world. Zack graduated with a degree in journalism and art from the University of Minnesota Duluth in 2019.

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