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Editorial | TMS editorial pages in place to facilitate civic conversation

By Editorial Board
On March 11, 2014

Clashes of opinion and argument often occur within the creased centerfold of The Miami Student, the home of the editorial section. This is where relevant and valid discussions of Miami and Oxford life take place-and The Miami Student Editorial Board invites readers to comment and get involved in these conversations. It is a public forum meant for the sharing of opinions backed up with facts and personal experiences that may be different from our own.

"What is the contribution of a good editorial page? With no selfish intent, it provides an informed and independent view on topics, from how the schools are run to who should be president," Washington Post reporter Fred Barbush said about the importance of an editorial section.

The heart of this section can only beat with the help of the Miami and Oxford community in the form of commentary submissions and Letters to the Editor. Editorial Editor of the Washington Post Fred Hiatt said Letters to the Editor "are a great conversation between the paper and it's readers." Letters to the Editor are also unique to democratic societies. The right to express ourselves freely is one many of us take for granted-- a right some confined to state-run newspapers would probably die for, and may have already.

It is also the only place in the paper where we can really take a stand on issues that matter to the editorial board and the community. Where the rest of the paper is supposed to report on all sides, the editorial page is supposed to pick one and argue why we believe and feel that way. The editorials, the columns and the commentary are not supposed to cater to one person, side or subject and please the audience necessarily - they are supposed to challenge the way a reader thinks and provoke democratic discussion. All columns and Letters to the Editor are also the opinion of the writer, and do not always reflect the view of the paper.

The editorial board and its editors also publish a range of topics and letters to the editor in an effort to create a montage, a carefully chosen mosaic of opinions and experiences that will contribute to the development of a well-rounded reader. If an issue or an opinion ever seems too distant from the way you think or believe, then we want you, the reader, to respond. The Miami Student Editorial Board encourages you to fill those spaces with your thoughts and opinions, because after all, this page is created with our readers and community in mind.

The page has certainly undergone a transition within the last few years and in our efforts to endorse credible and reliable arguments, the section editors require every writer to provide sources, quotes and statistics with their arguments, no matter how much they may vary from our own opinions.

Sound editorials should take after news pieces in their effort to conduct original reporting and provide relevant facts and data when necessary. The editorial board holds itself to these standards when it comes to the bi-weekly editorial, where we discuss an important topic and come to some sort of consensus on the issue. The majority of these editorials are intended to shake things up, question the status quo and get the community talking. This is, after all, the true job of an editorial page.

The editorial section will continue to publish polls to gauge readers' opinions on subjects, ask for responses from readers via social media and call for letters to the editor and commentary submissions. This important page functions at it's best when a range of opinions are represented within the black and white lines, giving others a chance to weigh in and figure out what they may or may not believe in. The board would like to hear from you; please send us letters to the editor and commentary submissions to editorial@miamistudent.net

The Editorial Board looks forward to the future development of this section and your participation in its conversations.


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