Signing off: A letter to editors everywhere

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Re: “Vol. 100”
May 11, 2006 to April 12, 2007

To all Editors:
Congratulations on having such a privilege. Whether you are editing a national newspaper, a campus newspaper, a chemistry lab report or a friend’s first-year sociology essay, you have been granted a great responsibility.

Language is one of the most powerful tools you will ever use. As members of an academic institution, we are taught how to use this tool in a myriad of ways. Use it carefully and use it correctly. Since we are among the few lucky enough to enjoy this level of education, we have a duty to use what we have learned and will learn for the benefit of others.

As editors, we must learn to distinguish the relevant from the irrelevant, the concise from the rambling, the fact from the opinion, the adjective from the adverb and the interesting from the banal. A good editor preserves meaning, voice and structure, makes a poor author coherent and a good author better.

Approach everything you write with an open mind. Seek multiple perspectives and try to be a fair witness to the facts. Try to write with clarity and simplicity, and yet not without style. Be prepared to provoke, but remember that mere provocation is not the point. A good news story should never be about the person writing it.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, writing should always be fun. Whether you are writing about an important political issue or making fart jokes, do it with some creativity and flair.

I’ve had a wonderful year reading your letters, Western. Don’t ever stop writing.

"Georgia Tanner
Opinions Editor, Vol. 100

Share this article on:

Facebook | DiggDigg |

Copyright © 2008 The Gazette