Opinions have a place in journalism; respect them

Written By Sarah Gibson, Co-Copy Desk Chief

I love journalism. I really do. I think the fact that the President has called the press the “enemy of the people” has raised awareness for all of the good that journalists do. At a time where elected officials are trying to discredit the press, it’s very important to pay attention to what that press is saying.

However, not every part of a newspaper is news. Newspapers have had plenty of ways for readers and columnists to voice their opinions for years, and if you don’t know where those opinions are appropriate, it might be confusing for someone reading the paper. I know a few people who have asked me questions about this, I figured it might be a good idea to talk about different types of opinions that can be found in a newspaper.

First, you have letters to the editor. These are exactly what they sound like, and the best part is: anyone can write them! If you have a gripe or something you wish everyone could know, write it and send it in. The Globe publishes nearly every letter we get, given that it’s appropriate. For instance, last year we declined to publish a letter sent to us by the KKK, for obvious reasons. The most recent letter we published was from Alexa Lake preceding the USG election. We don’t get these often, so if you’re interested in sending one in, write it up and send it to [email protected]

Next, you have run-of-the-mill opinions pieces. Again, these can be about anything. We have a page of them in The Globe every week. The key differences between letters to the editor and opinions pieces is that in traditional papers, opinions pieces are written by staff and letters to the editor are written by readership. However, because The Globe is open to everyone at Point Park, you can write either if you’d like. No matter what your major, year or writing experience is, you can write for The Globe if you want. All you have to do is ask! However, like letters to the editor, we prefer that you don’t use hate speech or deliberately spread misinformation. If you write an opinions piece, your piece will have to adhere to The Globe’s writing standards (which is really easy, so don’t worry about it). If you’d like to write an opinions piece, contact our opinions editor or the Globe email at [email protected] 

After that, you have Editorials, but we call them The Globe’s Point. The Globe’s Point is a short opinions piece written every week that everyone in The Globe reads and signs off on before publishing it in the paper. An Editorial is essentially the official opinion of the paper.

Lastly, you have reviews. A review is what sparked the writing of this piece, since last week, many students had a problem with a review of a show put on by our COPA students. While reviews are opinions on pieces of work, be it movies, albums or theatre pieces, they go into the Arts and Entertainment (A&E) section because the reviews are written regarding a piece of A&E. If you’d be interested in writing reviews in the future, hit up our A&E editor or The Globe email at [email protected]

While I know that scathing reviews can hurt, they’re allowed to be published in the paper, and it isn’t The Globe’s fault that you didn’t like it. Reviews aren’t always positive pieces. If The Globe only allowed positive pieces to be published, it would be unfair to those who wanted to write a real and honest review of something they saw. Furthermore, The Globe doesn’t gatekeep who can and can’t write a review. We are an open organization, and anyone can write for The Globe if they want to. Granted, if they do, that doesn’t mean it’s the official opinion of the newspaper (You will only find that in The Globe’s Point) but they are using The Globe as a medium to have their voice heard.

It saddens me when I hear someone say “Shame on The Globe for publishing this!” in regards to a negative review, because in the name of a fair and unbiased paper, it would be a shame if we didn’t publish something based on whether it was positive or negative. Choosing not to publish something based on whether it’s positive or negative is bias because it would be censoring the author over a piece that is otherwise held to the standard and quality of what The Globe publishes. While I’m not trying to step on any toes here, I am trying to educate you on why we can’t do away with negative reviews, and why if we did, it would actually be indicative of a problem. I love what my fellow classmates at Point Park do, in all schools and organizations, but I also love The Globe, and whether I agree with a review or opinions piece or not, I will defend The Globe’s right to publish it.

Want to rebut? Write a letter to the editor.