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The Appalachian

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The Appalachian

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Leah’s Lens: Opinion journalism takes the cake

Leahs+Lens%3A+Opinion+journalism+takes+the+cake
Kaitlyn Close

Opinions make the world go round. Whether it is something mundane, like chocolate ice cream being better than strawberry, or something much more serious, like abortion rights, your opinion is important. Most newspapers have an opinion section in which these stances are written in a more professional way, giving readers the chance to do what they do best: fight.

College journalists often write pieces about their opinion on both local and national events, which can easily catch the attention of most. While it may seem counterintuitive, a disgruntled reader who lights up the comment section is actually a prized possession within opinion journalism. Eliciting a reaction is the goal of many opinion journalists, and the passion that these pieces bring out in readers has the ability to keep college journalism alive. 

News and opinion journalism work hand in hand, often feeding off each other. A news article will provide the facts and figures in an unbiased manner to bring awareness of a situation to readers. An opinion article will also present factual information, but journalists use it to further their stance on the topic. Opinion articles discussing the same subject as a news article will sometimes be released soon after the news piece, allowing readers to understand the subject and then read an in-depth opinion on it.

The news and opinion desks of The Appalachian often use this technique. For example, a news article was published regarding the renovation of Wey Hall with an opinion article about the same topic being published two weeks later. Opinion journalism can often be a way for readers to dive deeper into the topic, and therefore have a better understanding. 

In this day and age, with opinions being spouted out every which way, it is often difficult to form your own due to all the noise. Opinion journalism, especially in college, is sometimes the only way students can find their voice. It is common for people to change their political views in some capacity after moving out of their childhood home, and in some cases college is the next step. Whether it be writing for an opinion desk or just reading the articles, opinion journalism can play a very large role in people’s stance on the matter. It can also shed light on the different viewpoints on one situation, allowing readers to make a more informed conclusion.

The opinion section of a college newspaper is also something that many students lack: a safe space. Whether it is coming from an unhealthy home, school or town environment, college is a place for some that ends up feeling more like home than anywhere else. With a sense of comfort should also come a sense of safety, especially to be yourself. Seeing undeniable proof that you are not alone in your opinion, as well as seeing that it is okay to have differing opinions, can offer a sense of peace.

Opinion journalism in college is not only important for these significant reasons; it also offers the opportunity to start an argument on a silver platter. Readers get into arguments in the comment section or while walking around campus. There is no denying that humans love to argue; opinion journalism gives them an excuse to do just that. 

For many, college is a time to find yourself and learn who you truly are. Journalism is becoming less and less prevalent in today’s society, with a lot of information being one swipe away on social media. Keeping college journalism especially alive is of the utmost importance in order to provide students with a safe space as well as accurate information regarding what is going on around them. Opinion journalism specifically is a way to get people involved with current events in a way that often holds their attention far longer than facts and figures. After all, who would want to turn down a debate on holidays, ducks or serial killers?

 

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About the Contributors
Leah Boone
Leah Boone, Opinion Editor
Leah Boone (she/her/hers) is a junior chemistry major. This is her second year with The Appalachian.
Kaitlyn Close
Kaitlyn Close, Graphics Editor
Kaitlyn Close (she/her) is a senior Graphic Design major and Digital Marketing minor. This is her second year with The Appalachian.
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