Hi, my name is Jarad Johnson. You might recognize me as the person who writes stories for the Collegian, but two weeks ago I was in an editorial piece about how we need opinions. In that piece, Caitlin Smith mentioned how I was among one of the limited people that have written opinions for the Collegian this semester. Well, funny — look what I am doing now.
As students, faculty and staff of Hastings College, you are provided with an excellent opportunity to address the masses of the HC community through the Collegian. As a journalism outlet, it is our duty to provide this opportunity to you because we care about your voice and experiences. We have done so diligently, every week, keeping our page six open for your voices. In the weeks that one of our staff writes these opinions, we do so because it is necessary, not because we necessarily want to. As much as I enjoy writing, I would rather not write a fourth article on top of school work.
Most of you likely do voice your opinions on social media, and there is nothing wrong with that. However, let’s consider your tweets’ or Facebook posts’ limited impact compared to the opinions on the opinion page.
First of all, the audience is limited to only your friends and possibly friends of friends that saw a shared post — if it was shared. Everyone on campus and everyone that will be at Hastings can see your opinion in the Collegian. I have referenced Collegian issues from years past when writing articles and essays, and I have seen the lasting impact they have at the college.
Secondly, when you write an opinion in the Collegian, your voice carries a stronger ethos than a social media post. When people read the Collegian, they can expect well-written, factual material and that standard carries over to the opinion page. We make any submitted pieces follow the Society for Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics. That means that we check pieces for accuracy, determine if the benefit outweighs the potential harm done and share the voices of the unheard. We care about your voice and want to give it a platform.
This is a call to get outside of the safety bubble that is social media. Do you have an opinion you want to write about? Then you should write 350-600 words about a topic you are passionate about. So go ahead and send it to us. We will seriously consider any well-written opinion supported by facts, as is. Send all opinion submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org.