Last week we received several complaints about an article published in our newspaper. A couple things should be noted right away. First, this article was published in our opinion/editorial (op-ed) section. Second, the job of a newspaper isn’t to display a world you, the reader, wish to see. Rather, a newspaper reflects current reality.
According to the Society of Professional Journalists, journalists should:
“Support the open and civil exchange of views, even views they find repugnant.”
What is placed in our op-ed section is nothing we endorse. We don’t practice favoritism over the opinions that are published in our newspaper. No matter my personal beliefs, I cannot censor a writer.
If I ever did, I would be acting unethically.
With that being said, we check for the following things in every article: spelling, grammar, AP style and clarity.
For our op-ed section, we fact-check and may offer suggestions on making better arguments. That is our only job.
The article in question is not a call to action for violence. If it was, it would not have been published. The only legitimate objection anyone can have to the article is not agreeing with the author’s opinion.
We aren’t in the business of changing the minds, opinions or beliefs of writers. We are a public forum open to everyone and anyone.
If you have a problem with this opinion, please feel free to write us. A letter to the editor is always welcomed. Remember, our op-ed section isn’t a manufactured pool of political thinkers. We don’t have a mold for a writer; we have expectations.
Our op-ed section is made up of people who care enough to express their beliefs. There is no entrance exam that filters opinions I don’t approve of. As long as I am editor-in-chief, that will not change.