Everyone has an opinion. For each and every topic, there are diverse viewpoints, beliefs and attitudes to consider. These different perspectives greatly affect the way the world functions. Words have great power, and nowhere is this concept more evident than in today’s media.
It is virtually impossible to eliminate all bias from news reporting because each journalist brings unique experiences, knowledge and beliefs to the table. What readers do request is that facts be presented accurately and fairly. There is a place in a news publication, however, for all views to be heard, the editorial page. But what is the editorial page really all about?
As editorial editor of The Miami Student, I have learned a lot about the power of opinion.
The section filled with editorials, columns, essays, cartoons and letters to the editor may seem a bit insignificant to the average reader, but it is an important forum for political, social and economic discourse. It takes courage to present an opinion for others to read, and opening up to certain criticism is not an easy feat. The creation of a logical, thoughtful and credible opinion piece is commendable.
An opportunity to share opinion, the editorial page is also meant to serve as a check to the media outlet. The writers and readers of the section have a responsibility to keep one another accountable for the topics presented and to offer thought-provoking commentary on current issues. It is not meant as an outlet for harsh personal attacks or an opportunity to rant without valid foundation. Editorial writers should seek the truth and review all available information before forming any conclusion. This is what responsible journalism is all about.
I challenge all future writers, readers, editors and contributors of not only The Miami Student, but all publications, to respect the power of opinion and the gift of freedom of the press. There is a time and place for all voices to be heard.
As citizens of a free nation, we have the ability to share our beliefs openly and should treat that opportunity with respect.
Freedom of the press is not something to be squandered or taken for granted. It is something to be cherished and upheld with the highest esteem. “If I had to choose between government without newspapers and newspapers without government, I wouldn’t hesitate to choose the latter,” Thomas Jefferson once said.
As the nation becomes increasingly polarized, remember that everyone has an opportunity and obligation to respectfully offer opinions.
Regardless of biases that may get perpetuated on news channels and in newspapers, readers and audiences should feel secure in their ability to share their own attitudes and beliefs. Freedom of expression is invaluable and what makes America great.
Disagreements are impossible to avoid. It is not in our power to create a world in which everyone has the same outlook. It is in our power, however, to control how we present our thoughts and arguments.
We must formulate opinions logically and constructively and respect those who disagree. This is the key to creating a strong nation and world. That’s my view anyway, so take it or leave it. In the end, it’s all just a matter of opinion.