In light of current political discourse, upcoming elections and the continuing COVID-19 crisis I have chosen to rerun this column that published back in February 2020 regarding the Daily Journal’s Opinion page. Now more than ever the newspaper’s role in a community is an important one in terms of making sure readers can voice their opinions in a tried and true way … on the Opinion page.
I would like to clarify for everyone what the Daily Journal Opinion page is and what its intended use is. First off the Opinion page is exactly what it suggest, it’s a page that features opinions and should be taken as such. Opinion pages in newspapers go back to colonial times therefore making them a staple of the past and present means of expressing an opinion to the general public. In today’s world readers can understandably get confused between what is fact and what is opinion as both may be presented on the Opinion page. This generally happens when someone is voicing an opinion about a subject and attempts to back it up with data etc. Furthermore, across the nation we (viewers/readers) are inundated with news panels/roundtables on national news channels like CNN or Fox News etc. Typically the subject of a panel/roundtable revolves around politics and current events around the nation and world. Each person participating in the discussion gives their opinion regarding the subject at hand. The discussions can and do become heated as you would expect when politics is the subject. The segments can be insightful and entertaining to watch to say the least. The problem is that some viewers/readers take the opinions being expressed as fact for whatever side they are on. This will not go away and the general public has to be aware of what fact is and what opinion is.
The purpose of the Daily Journal Opinion page is for a local reader to express an opinion. Opinions can be on most any subject and it’s easy to submit. All they have to do is send a letter to the editor to the Daily Journal. Letters can be mailed or emailed and a phone number for the person writing the letter is required so we can confirm its authenticity. If someone objects to what is being written they can offer their opinion as well and submit a letter to the editor. Letters can be mailed to the Daily Journal, 125 North Union Avenue, STE 301, Fergus Falls, MN 56537 or emailed to email@example.com. Letters to the editor are free, however, if political parties/campaigns wish to submit endorsements there is a $25 charge.
Certainly there are many ways to communicate, however, a newspapers Opinion page takes it to the next level in print and digital formats and is archived where it is searchable for generations to come.
We look forward to reading your letter to the editor.
Ken Harty is the publisher of The Fergus Falls Daily Journal.