by Elijah Lutz, Opinion Editor
In a panel at the Paley Center 19 years ago, the late ABC anchor Peter Jennings responded to a question about impartiality. He said very plainly, “I’m not impartial.” After a small laugh from the audience, he went on with his answer. “We all have baggage, whether we are white or black, middle-aged or young, male or female, economically deprived or otherwise, we all bring to the table a set of social, economic and political baggage.”
When I stepped into the role of opinion editor this year, I could hear the collective groan from the conservative majority on campus. I apparently made somewhat of a name for myself during the election season last year. In fact, it was quite often that I would have people come up to me and say something like “Oh Lutz, you had another doozy in The Collegian this week,” or “Elijah can you write about something that is not liberal politics for once?”
I will be the first to admit that I have a liberal bias. Like Jennings said, we all bring “baggage” to our articles, especially here in the opinion section. Yet that is the purpose of the opinion section: to give your opinion, to show your bias and to show how you really feel. I never have any intention of hiding or altering my opinion on anything, and neither should you. It is important to give your opinion, especially when there are opinions you do not agree with. Steve Jobs once said “Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice.”
That, however, does not mean that this year’s Collegian will be a hotbed of liberal opinions and ideology. On the contrary, one of the goals for this year’s section is to present a more balanced opinion section, giving both sides of an argument made. It can be on anything from the latest political issue to issues with media or the (very low) temperature of Hughes during chapel. We need more opinion writers so that we can more properly present the opinions and trends of the campus population. We do not want to have the same problem that the national media is criticized for everyday, we do not want to be giving opinions that are just found in the minority. This campus needs to be represented for how it really is.
New York University professor Jay Rosen wrote that “journalism is saturated with judgment. Good journalism is.” Some of the best articles from big name publications like The New York Times and The Washington Post come from their opinions and editorials. Opinions are unique: they give a look into the mind of their writers, offering a firsthand look at the way they think or feel about something. Good opinion pieces can alter the way that readers think about something, and sometimes great pieces can go so far as to change minds.
This year, take a new step and write an opinion for us. Take this year’s chapel theme to heart and be bold. Be a bold writer and make some waves. Write something that people are going to talk about. Write something that nobody knows about. Write something, and mean what you say. There is no such thing as an invalid opinion; if it is yours, you have the right and the validity to hold and share it. No exceptions.
If you have an opinion to submit, send it to Elijah Lutz at at email@example.com or Renner Clements at firstname.lastname@example.org.