Dear Managing Editor of The Beacon,
As a fond reader of newspapers, I wish to write to you in appreciation of your hard work delivering the news to our great campus. In this new era of “fake news,” journalists are under severe scrutiny, and unbiased pieces are hard to come by. After reading your most recent edition, I was not only impressed with the amount of variety in content in the paper, but in the writing itself. In particular, your front-page story entitled “Gun Violence Sparks Debate and Activism in Southern Maine.” This article was not only informative and well-crafted, but it was refreshingly neutral. While I’d say a majority of people in our college community identify with the liberal values of the left-wing, myself included, you did not preach nor evoke your own personal opinion, which is often what can derail such important discussions in the classroom setting.
We are in a time where ideologies are fueled by emotions, passion is plentiful, and we judge our peers not by their moral character, but rather by what news network they prefer. We have polarized ourselves into anarchy. But I think you made a welcomed observation: “The willingness to engage in debate over issues like gun violence is a hallmark of democracy … Through discussion and mutual understanding, we are getting closer to a solution that will prevent more tragic losses from occurring in the future while honoring the rights of our citizens to safety and security.”
Words like “willingness” and “mutual understanding” are hard to find in today’s politics. It can be exceedingly frustrating to know that college-aged students understand this and our leaders do not. Forums, such as the one held at SMCC by the SPLC Student Group, are one of the many ways to begin the engagements of such debates. It is certainly a stepping stone for those wishing to get involved, while knowing they are in a safe place to express their opinion and can then perhaps see the other side (if only Washington could embrace such civility). Moments like these are important; they remind us that although we may not agree with someone’s view, we can respect that they are entitled to have it. These debates may also ignite one’s activism that could lead to real change. Either way, the impact is there.
So, I wish to conclude my letter to you by saying thank you. Thank you for your hard work producing a quality paper, that not only informs readers about what’s happening on campus, but reminds us what good journalism is all about.
Dear Ms. Webster,
Thank you for your thoughtful response to the paper. We at The Beacon do work hard to be the best journalists we can be, and it is good to know that readers like yourself appreciate our efforts!