A letter to the editor in today’s edition (“Diversify opinion,” p. 5) brings up a serious point about Hatchet opinion content – it so far has been nearly void of conservative expression. It is important to note, however, that not one conservative submission has been turned away in favor of more liberal content – there simply have not been any submissions thus far advocating a conservative viewpoint. This is not because we discourage, in any manner, conservative writers from sending in submissions; in fact, we actively pursue conservative columnists, as well as writers from all sides of the political spectrum.
The Hatchet aims for a balanced opinion page that reflects the opinions of the student body – any assertion of bias is based on lack of knowledge about how the paper is run and the people who run it.
First of all, let us make clear the difference between news and opinion content. Any claim of bias in the news department based on ideology is absurd. It is hard to insert dogma into Health and Wellness Center changes or University administrative action – the vast majority of campus news is simply not political and cannot be framed in any matter to favor a political party.
The GW Patriot, a new conservative paper on campus, claimed in its inaugural issue last year that “conservatives and independents on campus feel our issues and opinions receive little attention from the main college newspaper, The Hatchet.” As the returning opinions editor, it is a fact that not one opinion article, columnist or letter to the editor has been overlooked due to political ideology. We have gone out of our way to get the conservative viewpoint into the section.
We do this because we realize there are many more liberal writers that wish to write for The Hatchet opinions section than conservatives, and we worry about the perception of bias. This is precisely why I contacted the president of the GW College Republicans last year, on multiple occasions, nearly begging for conservatives to respond to liberal pieces or develop op-eds of their own. It is also why our editor in chief spoke at the College Republicans’ first meeting of the year Monday night.
Opinion articles are not assigned they are products of students who send in submissions based on their own ideas, beliefs and opinions. Not everything is published that is submitted, but factual and well-written articles will be run if at all possible, regardless of political leanings.
It is acceptable and commendable for conservatives to have their own newspaper, but to completely ignore the campus’ main paper, which is neither liberal nor conservative, leaves a void of educated public dialogue on pertinent issues that would be beneficial to the community as a whole.
Whether conservative, liberal, socialist or communist, feel comfortable that The Hatchet opinions page has no political agenda as to what it runs and will continue to work towards representing the diversity of opinions that inundate this campus.
-The writer, a junior majoring in international affairs, is the Hatchet