The opinion section of a paper exists for a reason: It goes beyond the facts of a story to interpret it. The section helps readers think about the headlines on a deeper level. Yes, an opinion is an inherently biased piece of writing. However, in taking a side, it forces the reader to think about an issue; it makes the reader feel some connection to the news.
An opinion is a piece of writing that attempts to invoke emotion, and it motivates the reader to take a side. Sometimes it’s the side of the author, and sometimes it’s a stark opposition. Either way, it aims to get the reader involved in an issue.
This section helps test the strength of arguments. You might not agree with what a state official does, but can you explain why? When you read how someone else explains their reasoning you’re forced to either align with them or differ in some way. In either case, you have to think about an issue more than you otherwise would have.
Madison is in for some politically-charged times in the next few months. One common critique we hear of this university is that the student body is incredibly like-minded; news tends to spread among friends in an unreliably biased manner, and we often only hear one side of a story in daily conversation.
We hope the opinion section will help students think deeply about the issues that lie ahead and appreciate those issues are almost always more complicated than what you read in the headlines or what you hear from friends.
Of course, we hope to make sure this section presents well-written opinions from both sides of issues. So if you disagree with what’s being written, then apply to be a writer, and help us diversify our opinion arsenal. We want to personally welcome you to the opinion section, and we are looking forward to what will no doubt be a great semester of sifting and winnowing.
Taylor Nye and Reginald Young
Opinion Section Editor and Content Editor