Letter from the editor: Reader engagement will support Daily Bruin Opinion’s community conversation
(Tanmay Shankar/Assistant Photo editor)
By Lucy Carroll
Sept. 18, 2019 1:00 a.m.
With three months of summer under our belts, we’ve finally made it back to square one.
Fall quarter will surely bring a flurry of activity – both for you and for the constantly moving pieces that make up this university: the students it houses, the research it supports, the controversy it finds itself embroiled in.
That’s where the Daily Bruin comes in.
At its core, our newspaper tells stories. Most are told with a beginning and an end – a subject, a scandal, a heartwarming student life feature.
But you can’t do every story justice that way.
The stories the Opinion section tells are harder to quantify, more difficult to spot a narrative in and less structured than most. That’s because the stories this section hopes to preserve are living histories of the discussion, discourse and conversation between the university, our writers and – most importantly – our readers.
In the Opinion section, we realize The Bruin is just as much a moving piece as the next part of this university. It’s a history of conversations on campus. It’s proof we may overcome an inability to hear one another in civil discourse.
That being said, the Opinion section has long been critiqued for its tone. I am no stranger to criticism that our pieces are overly argumentative, unduly harsh or consistently negative – to name a few. My predecessors have penned similar letters addressing those same concerns and more letters of a similar nature will surely follow.
Granted, we’re not always the most positive section. But I’m not here to defend Opinion.
In keeping with a mission to tell the stories of campus conversation, I’m here to provide a platform – one that supports our columnists and our readers in carving out a space for dialogue and discussion.
And that’s where you come in.
If you feel a column is overly critical, send us a letter. If you think we haven’t done a topic justice, write an op-ed. If you believe the editorial board took the wrong stance, give me a call. We want to hear from you – because you are just as much a part of this story as we are.
Though the columnists who drive these pages may love a quippy one-liner, their intention is never to criticize for criticism’s sake. The Opinion section thrives because the people in it want to see improvement – on this campus, from the UC or even on a statewide level. They’re in it because they care.
And sometimes they can’t catch every injustice or good deed. Sometimes we won’t give a topic the time it deserves. But if you help us fill in those gaps, the narrative we’re trying to tell gets better. And you make us better at telling it in the process.
Whether you are shocked by our columns, comforted by our editorials or taking to Twitter to express your aggravation about us – we want those feelings printed on our pages, preferably with a well-argued stance and a word count under 1,000.
Sure, it’s easier to be complacent, to complain to your friends or to post about us on the UCLA Memes Facebook page.
But it’s a worthwhile effort to contribute.
Because if you do, it means you get to shape the conversations taking place on this campus and document the discourse for future Bruins. It means those conversations can continue. And it means this section can be a place for an inclusive, constantly improving discussion – a discussion that includes its readers.
We’re journalists – if it was up to us, we’d tell all the stories we could get our hands on.
So trust me when I say, we can’t tell this one without you.
Daily Bruin Opinion editor