Our Opinion: Yes, you read that right, “Opinion”


According to The Oxford Dictionary, the definition of opinion is: “a view or judgment formed about something , not necessarily based on fact or knowledge.”

The Editorial Board

It’s come to the attention of The Wood Word Editorial Board that some of our readers may not agree with the views expressed by individual writers within the Opinion section of our news site.

That’s fine.

The Wood Word Editorial Board welcomes both support and criticism, because open and free discourse is something that we as journalists are passionate advocates for. One thing, however, that we feel is necessary to address is the difference between news stories and opinion pieces.

There is, and always will be, a difference between fact and opinion and that goes for journalistic writing as well. Practically every news source divides stories into various categories, including “News” and “Opinion.” The Wood Word is no different.

Yes, The Wood Word has published a number of opinion articles concerning and criticizing Donald Trump. But these are just opinions.

We have also published numerous news stories in which our reporters went to local political rallies. In those, our writers reported the facts. No opinions, just what happened.

It doesn’t help that Donald Trump refused to grant us press credentials for his rallies, making it appear as if we only cared about the Democrats, which is not true.

The Wood Word did cover the first Donald Trump rally and the only Ted Cruz rally in the area. The Wood Word requested access every time Trump came to town, and even covered Trump’s rally the day before Election Day from outside the doors. If you think our coverage was unbalanced, blame Trump’s press team, not liberal bias.

As student journalists, we are taught that it is our duty to inform our readers of the truth. But we are also encouraged to use our platform to take a stand and speak out when we see problems in our community that need solving. The Wood Word, like any other news source, not only serves to deliver the news, but also to provide a platform for writers to speak their voice.

That’s what opinion writing is all about: opinions. Our opinion writers have long backed up their own individual personal opinions with facts. These are not news stories, but the thoughts, views and perspectives of our writers. Even still, we don’t let those writers off the hook easily; they’ve got to provide solid evidence to support their claims before we give their work the go-ahead for publication.

Furthermore, in no way do these individual opinions reflect the opinions of our entire staff, made up of almost 40 student journalists. Even our editorial pieces are only expressions of the opinions of our Editorial Board, which consists of our five section editors and editor-in-chief.

We may not have opinion writers expressing their support of the current president-elect, but that’s only because none of our staff have (as of yet) come forth offering to write such a piece.

Our last editorial, which was published before Election Day, criticized Donald Trump. Despite what some of our readers may think, this was in no way an endorsement of any candidate.

There’s no other way for us to put this. There is a difference between news and opinion. We’ve labeled those sections of our websites accordingly, separated our articles into those categories, and included “OPINION” at the beginning of all opinion headlines.

What more can we possibly do to make this any clearer?

In a time when fake news floods the internet, it’s crucial that media consumers do their part by paying attention to the facts and understanding the difference between credible news and fake news, and just as important, the difference between news and opinion.

Most of all, remember that opinion writing comes from almost every major news outlet, and unless those opinions are being labeled as fact, they do nothing to detract from the credibility of that source.

We will continue to invite our writers to share their views in opinion articles. And, we will continue to invite you, our readers, to share your views with us on Facebook, Twitter, or by writing a letter to the editor. The Wood Word is your platform, too.

Have an Opinion? Send a Letter to the Editor!
Letters must be less than 300 words. The Wood Word reserves the right to edit letters for length and grammar. Please include your name, title, and a phone number where you can be reached.

Send to: [email protected]