An opinion on opinions

Hayley Moss, Arts/Entertainment Editor

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It seems that as of recently, some students are confused as to what the very definition of a newspaper is, moreover what an opinion is. So I thought I should clear some things up for everyone who is actually aware of The Green Pride’s online news site.

Twenty-six years ago, the state of Kansas passed the Kansas Student Publications Act which gave rights to student journalists similar to professional journalists. Meaning, yes, that as student journalists, we are allowed to write opinion pieces as long as they are not obscene, libelous or slanderous. Most importantly, however, it states that “Material shall not be suppressed solely because it involves political or controversial subject matter” (Sec. 3a). A recently published column concerning Brett Kavanaugh’s appointment to the Supreme Court fits perfectly into this category. I’m confused, however, with the recent amount of anger that some have showed towards the newspaper staff. Some students believe that opinions do not belong in our newspaper, certain politics should not be discussed in school or our staff member’s opinion was apparently just flat out wrong.

Because of this, I sincerely apologize that an educated opinion—one that might be different than some of the people’s at De Soto High School—was expressed in such a calm and professional manner that could have “brainwashed” the entire student body. Maybe we should start including “fact and opinion” worksheets in our paper before I assume everyone knows the difference between the two. Or maybe one could just read the heading of the page titled “opinion” before assuming we are corrupting the impressionable youth with our false facts, illogical statements and fake news. Because that’s all it is, an opinion (although that particular opinion piece was based on substantial facts). I could write an opinion story on merely anything and it is simply just my opinion, because, my dear readers, opinions cannot be wrong no matter how much you disagree with them.

Furthermore, the article included the writer’s feelings of discomfort and disappointment of which one cannot simply dismiss as invalid either. Everyone’s feelings are valid, just as their opinions are. It has become common in today’s society and politics to not even consider another’s opinion because of their background or simply because it is different than theirs. Without considering others’ opinions and perspectives, we as people can never grow and mature mentally.

When a staff reporter for The Green Pride writes an opinion piece in the newspaper, it is not for the purpose of convincing everyone that their opinion is right and they must agree with it (despite it being an issue that many people agree with). It is rather a way for people to expand their horizons of perspective and gain insight so that in the end, writers are able to develop their own original, thorough opinions. Instead of disregarding one’s feelings or opinions based on political party or gender or whatever, writers can listen, consider and think for ourselves.

If one does not like what is written about in our newspaper, by all means, take the introduction to journalism course and learn the basics of journalistic writing, including opinion pieces, and apply to be on staff where you may be able to have your own opinion piece published. We take pride in our newspaper, which is why we pass it out directly to our peers and spend so much time on a product made to do so.

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