Column by Allison Borthwick, Opinion Editor
If you’re reading this column in the actual newspaper, I would like to take a moment to divert your attention to the top of this page. Right there, in 34 pt. font, is the word “Opinion.” On the page directly to the left of this one is the same word, but in 100 pt. font.
If you’re reading this on TheNews.org, directly under the title it reads, “Posted by Online Editor on March 3, 2016 in I Have a lot of Feelings, Opinion, Opinion Columns…”
It would appear as though this section is one for opinions, but there’s been some confusion in regard to this, so let me just clear things up for everyone: This is, in fact, the Opinion section of The Murray State News.
Have you ever tried explaining the difference between right and left? Or have you ever found yourself frustrated because someone is essentially comparing “apples to oranges?”
We have been facing similar vexations with getting people to understand that the columns and editorials you read in this section aren’t news articles – they’re not even features or sports articles.
They are opinion pieces that include, I’m proud to say, pensive and factually-supported thoughts and feelings about issues relevant to our readers.
They may be about the news or about the topic an event on campus covers, but if you’re looking for traditionally-styled news, features or sports coverage of Murray State events and happenings, flip to literally any other page than 4A or 5A.
Now, don’t get me wrong: my columnists and I do a lot of research to support our opinions. We include statistics and quotes to prove our point, but we have the freedom and creativity to prove said points any way we want.
We don’t follow the textbook inverted pyramid style of newswriting. Instead, we break down news stories and issues for readers in compelling narratives that frequently read like blog posts or short stories – this isn’t a humble brag, it’s just my opinion.
We can be as sassy and as sarcastic as we want while we make our valid points, which is often when some readers get confused.
“Isn’t there something more important The Murray State News should be writing about?”
“I can’t believe you would waste time and newspaper space publishing something like this.”
“You didn’t even interview any students about this. How do you know what you’re talking about?”
And my personal favorite statement, in any variation or wording it may come in: “This isn’t even news.”
Now, these aren’t word for word quotes from our readers, but they are the gist of concerns that have been raised.
Allow me to repeat myself: You’re absolutely right. This isn’t even news, nor does it claim to be.
If you read the rest of the paper, there are indeed more important things The News should be, and is, writing about. And no, you typically won’t find interviews in these columns or editorials.
But this is not a waste of space.
We have things to say and we’re going to say them. You may not like what you read here, and that’s just fine. However, if you read something you don’t like or you don’t agree with, there’s no reason to attack the integrity of the writer or The News in its entirety.
We’re all entitled to our opinions, after all.