“Holding the Balance”

Feb 122007
Authors: Nick Hemenway

This week I thought I would tackle what seems to be quite the topic of interest lately for Collegian readers – the political balance of our paper. Many of you have voiced your concern over the apparent lack of conservative thought being represented, which is a valid issue.

My knee-jerk reaction to letters addressing this is: Do none of you read the paper on Tuesdays? I’m here every week, proudly representing the vast right-wing conspiracy. But apparently that’s not enough. At least my mom loves me.

To be serious, just like any mainstream media source, there are probably more liberals than conservatives in our opinion department. I am sure most of you have taken note of this by now, judging by the content of our columns.

But again I must say, that doesn’t compromise the integrity of the opinion section. Opinions are opinions no matter who writes them. Furthermore, reading the work of those you don’t agree with will only affirm your knowledge in exactly what you believe.

So why do liberals gravitate to the media more than conservatives? This is something I have thought about for years. The best answer I can come up with is that liberals by their very nature tend to question society and the world around them more than conservatives. The media is a perfect outlet for this inquisitive predisposition.

As for conservatives, we believe in absolute truths and traditional values. We believe that returning to the principles laid out by our founding fathers is the best direction for our nation.

Merriam-Webster defines conservatism as the “disposition in politics to preserve what is established.” This vision is many times contradictory to the inherent purpose of the media, which is to challenge society.

Despite these reasons, if you are still deeply concerned about our political balance at the Collegian, there is one other thing that you are forgetting. The Collegian is a student-run newspaper. You have the opportunity to make a difference!

A little over a year ago, I was in your shoes, frustrated with some of the liberal columnists. I too wrote a letter to the editor. Then I decided that rather than complaining, I would be proactive and apply for a position. And now here I am, with the opportunity to bring the heat each and every week. I love every minute of it, even when my secret admirers write me love letters (that’s what I call the letters to the editor directed at me).

Here’s my challenge to you, my fellow conservatives: If you think you can make a difference, come down to Student Media in the Lory Student Center and fill out an application. I expect that by next week, my editor will be yelling at me about all the conservatives who want to write. So come apply now, because who knows – you may just get in. And your time starts. now.

Nick Hemenway is a senior mechanical engineering major. His column appears every Tuesday in the Collegian. Replies and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.

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