Mills, Crawford: Oh Opinion …

Welcome to the opinion section! We have so many goals for this quarter, but at the top of our list is inclusion and support for those who choose to share their voices with us. Over the next few months, we want to build a community of people with diverse opinions.

Writing for opinion can be a mixed bag of confusing emotions: It can be liberating because you are free to express yourself on your own terms, but it also exposes you to an unforgiving public forum, which can sometimes be difficult to navigate. Editorial journalism is a unique facet of a publication because it is so subjective — something that sets it apart from the other sections.

Opinion, the antithesis of objectivity, is diametrically opposed to news journalism. When you write for opinion, you are offering something more than just facts. You have the freedom to provide a new perspective that may challenge or reinforce existing ideas. You can also introduce new ideas and ways to substantiate them.

At the opinion desk, we are in a unique position to offer diverse viewpoints from anyone who wants to be heard. Editorial journalism occupies a special place in a newspaper where writers can share stories that might not make the news otherwise. Stories can range from commentary on politics and administration to columns on navigating love and sex and this silly little place we call Northwestern University.

As editors and former columnists, we know The Daily is not always representative of the NU community and the greater Evanston communities we serve. Everyone has unique opinions and thoughts. Despite our own opinions and the pitfalls of student journalism, we are here to give you an accessible platform to voice your views. The opinion section is a place for everyone to share their political analyses, personal essays, hypothetical thoughts, administration callouts, etc. We want your scalding, boiling, steaming (and lukewarm) takes.

The community is integral to the success of the opinion section. To truly represent the community and the diverse viewpoints in Evanston and at NU, we must remain engaged with our readers by publishing the stories you deem important. The opinion section is what you make it, and it is our job to facilitate that open dialogue between the paper and the community.

Our goal for this fall is to foster a space for diverse and opinionated people who feel safe sharing the stories they feel are worth sharing. It is our job to make sure writers feel supported in expressing themselves and being vulnerable. The responsibility of fostering such a space is a lofty one, but one we must fully embrace.

Editorial journalism is hard. From tireless hours in front of a computer to the stress of a Wednesday night print deadline, contributing to the section can be daunting — especially when you’re writing something that is so much more than just an article.

Opinionists share a piece of themselves. And while it’s not necessarily the norm, hate mail is very real. It can tear down even the strongest of writers. Good journalism doesn’t make everyone happy, but this is a risk that comes with vulnerability.  We have an obligation to support and empower our writers through it all.

As a desk, it is our responsibility to support and uplift not only our writers but our community members as well. We are obligated to stand up for what is right and what our contributors value.

We cannot wait to hear from you.

Kadin Mills is a Medill junior. He can be contacted at [email protected]. Colin Crawford is a Medill sophomore. He can be contacted at [email protected]. If you would like to respond publicly to this op-ed, send a Letter to the Editor to [email protected]. The views expressed in this piece do not necessarily reflect the views of all staff members of The Daily Northwestern.