By Emily Smith
Assistant Opinion Editor
After being on The Griffin staff for almost a year and following it closely before that, I can say for certain that we are a biased source of news. Although many people on the staff may disagree with me, I feel very strongly that much of what we put out into the world is skewed in some way because, as students who are involved in this line of work, we are very passionate about a variety of different topics. This passion spills over into our writing and onto our pages, shaping the way we present stories, articles, and facts. (Facts are hardly ever all true, I have come to find.) However, this is not necessarily all our fault.
I can’t speak for any other section besides Opinion because it’s not my place (figuratively and literally), but I know that we have published some controversial articles this year. Some examples of this have been “Education is a right, not a luxury,” “The Trump election to a closeted trans student,” “Why I will continue to march,” “Before all lives can matter…black lives have to matter,” and perhaps our most talked-about editorial, “Hillary Clinton for President.”
In my humble opinion (because that’s all I know how to do for this paper), these were all pretty stellar articles. They had strong arguments, they stated facts with passion, and used rhetorical devices to get their points across clearly and firmly. To myself and the rest of the paper, they were solid enough to put out into the world for consumption and enjoyment, meant to start you, the reader, thinking about different topics. They are good articles individually, but when you look at them as a whole, a huge problem starts to become very clear.
Every single one of the articles above came from relatively the same set of opinions. With the exception of the article by the closeted trans student who chose to stay anonymous, the articles were all written by white, liberal, college-aged women. With myself included in this group and with my opinion thoroughly heard, I have begun to think about what it would be like to be someone outside of these guidelines who had an opinion that they fet needed to be heard.
If I were, say, a male Trump supporter, I would be terrified to submit my opinion to a paper run so completely by liberal students. I know I would feel that my opinion would not be respected and would be instantly attacked and ran into the ground, fueled by the agenda of one set of unified people. Coming from the “side” of someone firmly planted in the majority, I find these fears to be completely valid and warranted, not because I think we would shut down these pieces, but because I know that’s what it seems like from the outside.
I said it before and I will say it again: The Griffin is biased. We are not this way because we believe that only one viewpoint should be represented, but instead, because we are all very passionate people who just so happen to be passionate about relatively the same things.
Of course, I’m not trying to defend our section or our paper for being so obviously biased; a news source that is one-sided is a news source that can not be taken seriously, and I am fully aware of that. What I am saying, however, is that the bias is not necessarily our fault.
We want people with different opinions to write for us. Listen, friends, I’m not joking! Especially in Opinion, we know that our section is overwhelmingly liberal, white, feminist ladies accompanied by the ideas that come with us. Honestly, I particularly like this group because I’m immersed in these beliefs, but I truly wish every week that someone would submit something that absolutely tore our viewpoint apart. Just like any group, we need to be taken down a peg every once in awhile and shown the views of a side that is not our own. And furthermore, the readers (you!) deserve more than one side to every story.
I’m not purposely trying to call out the fine establishment that is The Griffin, but I do suppose that’s what I’m doing. I love this paper, and preserving the integrity of what we give out to the world is highly important to me and the rest of the staff. However, our staff is hard-pressed to offer non-partisan opinions since so many of us are so highly opinionated and liberal.
The point of a news source, and especially of an opinion-based section, is so help start dialogue about different issues on campus; if people are talking about an issue, a solution of some sort is always more likely to be reached. Sadly, conversations are much less likely to happen if you, the reader, does not see equally-represented opinions in our pages. Prejudicial news is bad news, and you can help to remedy this problem by sharing your opinions and thoughts with us, whatever they might be.
This is where you come in. If you have an opinion that you feel we would absolutely disagree with, send it our way! Let’s fight; let’s talk; let’s finally converse with people outside of our immediate range of vision. It will be good for our paper and good for the Canisius community.