Have an opinion? Care to share it with the AU community? We here at The Eagle are inviting you to submit your written opinions to be published in our public forum. However, before you set your ranting pen to paper (or rather, fingers to keyboard), there are a few things to learn about The Eagle’s editorial page.
What is an op-ed versus a column?
Op-eds and columns are fairly similar, as both express the opinion of the individual writer and do not represent the opinion of the newspaper (unlike the staff editorial). Op-eds tend to be opinion pieces on any subject, whereas columns are separate pieces under an overarching theme. For example, in the past we’ve featured political and AU affairs columnists. While we have several regular columnists at The Eagle, we occasionally feature guest columnists.
What is the staff editorial?
If your regular perusal of the editorial page, you usually will find an opinion piece with no byline. This is the staff editorial, an opinion piece formulated by the entire staff of The Eagle, not just one person. Before our publication hits the stands around campus, we pick a news story we feel is important and weigh in on it. This isn’t to say that we all immediately agree on what you eventually read in print, or that we agree at all. In the interest of fostering debate on a particular issue, however, we feel that it is important that we show our stance on an issue so that it can be brought further to your attention. Usually debate will go on for quite a bit before some common opinions can be identified.
So next time you eyes flick over the seemingly authorless piece (trust us, someone has to compile all the various opinions into one article that makes sense), give it a second glance.
How do I write an opinion piece?
There is more subtlety to writing an opinion piece than blatantly stating your beliefs. While the ultimate objective is to convey your opinion to a wider audience, you must include facts to back up your arguments. As controversial as a piece may seem, your audience will be much more receptive if you support argument with believable fact. Opinion pieces do not need to be straightforwardly serious either. Injections of humor, personal anecdotes, etc., help to generate reader interest. Striking the right combination of facts and interest may seem challenging, but is vital to creating an opinion piece that people will want to read.
Debate is always welcomed and encouraged, but harm and prejudice is not. This piece is not your fire-and-brimstone soap box, but rather an open floor for debate. You must also clearly state your opinion within your piece.
I’ve written an op-ed/column. How do I get it in The Eagle?
What if I want to try my hand at political cartoons for The Eagle?