Repeatedly, reader unfamiliarity with the function of different parts of the newspaper leads to confusion as to who is to blame or credit for a particular piece of writing. With hopes of making everything easier to understand for our readers, here is the handy-dandy Wildcat guide to the different sections of the newspaper.
The main body of the newspaper (News, Sports and the weekly "Mutato" arts section) is made up of informational articles Ÿ articles in which the writer seeks only to put forth the facts rather than offer opinions on the subject.
The Perspective page Ÿ where most of the confusion occurs Ÿ is strictly opinion and houses three different types of writing: letters to the editor, staff editorials and columns.
Letters to the editor are the voice of the reader. Each letter contains the name of the letter writer, giving them the same sort of accountability to stand behind their words as reporters and editors and columnists in other sections of the newspaper. No unsigned letters to the editor are published. The Wildcat accepts original, unpublished letters from all of its readers and reserves the right to edit letters for clarity and brevity.
Columns, like articles, run with the writer's byline. Unlike articles, columns allow writers space to voice their opinion on a topic of their choosing. John Keisling, for example, is a columnist for the Wildcat. He writes about issues that interest or concern him, and we package them as his opinion on the perspective page. Some members of the Wildcat staff also run columns on the editorial page. Columnists Ÿ either staff or guest Ÿ do not report on the same issues they write about as columnists. The Wildcat accepts guest columns from all of its readers to provide additional viewpoints and to encourage debate on issues important to the university community. Columns represent the views of the author and not the views of the newspaper.
Staff editorials are generated by the Wildcat opinions board Ÿ a column, of sorts, written by more than one person to represent the unanimous opinion of the board. If a staff editorial is unsigned, it is the collective work of the editor-in-chief, the opinions editor, the managing editor and the editorial page copy editor. It is these features Ÿ and none other Ÿ which should be taken to represent the Wildcat's stance on an issue.
Hopefully, this will give all of our readers a clearer idea of how things are run behind the scenes down here, and help them realize who is responsible for what they read.
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