The irony of the modern newspaper is in its similarity to the forests it comes from. There is real diversity in what a reader can find on each page of a publication.
This phenomena is known as “sections” in the industry. And the larger the publication, the more sections there usually are, just like our forests.
In this publication there are four main sections. In order of appearance, they are news, opinion, sports and features. Although the styles of each section are different they all follow the same general rules of journalism, except for one.
The opinion section, often referred to as the editorial page in larger papers, does not follow the journalistic guidelines of the other sections. This section is not written by journalists. It is written by the public. It is their voice being expressed on these pages. That voice may not always be what we want to read and is absolutely never completely objective, which is why we call it an opinion.
According to Paul Walker, assistant professor of English, opinion is not necessarily lacking in fact, but differ in how they are presented.
“An opinion article or editorial differs from reporting by clearly expressing the singular view of the writer or speaker, but published opinion is always grounded in some sort of timely evidence or reasoning based on the person’s knowledge or experience,” Walker said in an email.
Whenever there is anything in any section the reader agrees or disagrees with there is more than enough room on these two pages to express that. They are for you. Your words are always welcome on these pages. And so are those of some of the absolutely worst people on this entire campus. This is the drawback of having a public forum. We will often have to read the most repulsive ideas.
In Webster’s Dictionary opinion is defined as “a belief not based on absolute certainty or positive knowledge but on what seems true, valid or probable to one’s own mind: judgement.”
In our media today there is an option for everyone. There are pundits for those on the left an the right and the audience can choose to listen to whomever they want and never have to hear an opposing viewpoint. We have talored our media options to hear and see only what we want, which is only doing a disservice to ourselves. Not only by a lack of diversity in how we see the world, but in how we interact with it as well.
On these pages the reader does not have that option. This is not a catering service or a public relations firm for some politician. The real world is full of ideas and even more full of people who disagree with those ideas. That does not mean this section will discount them so easily.
Here we value the voice of our community and applaud any effort it takes to take part in this forum. There is nothing more important to any newspaper than its audience. As long as you give us your consideration we will most certainly give you ours.
The staff editorial is the majority opinion of the editorial board of The Murray State News.