Letter from the Editor: Editorials and what they mean

Analicia Haynes, Editor-in-Chief

“A good newspaper, I suppose, is a nation talking to itself.”

— Arthur Miller

As I type this letter, this terrible jumble of nerves leaves my stomach and transmits all sorts of hesitation throughout my body. 

I’ve been pacing in and out of my newsroom, breathing heavily, pausing in between typing to try to distract myself from the situation. 

I need, as the age-old term goes, a drink and badly. 

It took a lot of time and contemplation to figure out what to write in response to the Facebook traffic we have received on our editorial titled, “What the U.S. has come to.”

It’s not that I’m afraid to write a response or that I fear the outcome or outcry rather, it’s just I can’t bring myself to accept that I must, in 2018, defend journalism and my editorial staff. 

There are a few things that I would like to accomplish in my letter and the first is to say thank you. I’ll explain why later. 

In the meantime, I want to clear up some misconceptions that have been tossed around our Facebook feed. 

Foremost, an editorial is defined as a newspaper or magazine article that gives the opinions of the editors or publishers. 

What everyone is commenting on happens to be a staff editorial, it says so in all caps. That means most of my editorial staff reached the conclusion that we will write about our opinion on the Kavanaugh case and I said publish it. 

The editorial board is made up of a few student members and staff reporters

It is strictly opinion and once again, just so we are all clear, it only represents the majority opinion of my editorial staff, which is just a few students who I hired to lead my newsroom. The editorial does not represent the opinions of the entire paper, that includes staff reporters, copy editors, designers, sports reporters, etc.

This same concept applies for any news organization just pick one and open up to the editorial page. 

Therefore, naturally, editorials differs from news articles because unlike a news article this is an opinion, it is intended to be a little bias, because it is an opinion. I just want to make sure we are clear about that.

A news article is written after doing unbiased reporting and leaves someone’s opinion out of it. We’ve got plenty of news articles I can forward to you if you want. 

Furthermore, we are a student-run newspaper we do not speak for the university and the university does not have us on a leash. 

Eastern is a public institution and under the Illinois College Campus Press Act, “campus media” is “not subject to prior review by public officials (the administration) of a State-sponsored institution of higher learning.” 

So contrary to what people have mentioned in the comments under that editorial post, the president of the university can’t make us take down our edit. 

Ah yes, now onto why I decided to thank each and every one of you for your comments. 

You see, Voltaire once said, “I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.”

I am a journalist, I am an avid believer my first amendment rights, I believe in the market place of ideas, I believe that everyone in this country has a right and Congress shall make no law prohibiting that. My staff believes in the same thing.   

I get emotional just typing this

We all have our right to voice our opinions, even the ones meant to hurt feelings and that’s why I implore you to share your opinions and hell even write a letter to the editor if you want. Because you can. 

Also, thanks for reading and for giving my page views and clicks. After all, that’s all that matters, right? 

Even as I scan through my work, checking for spelling, grammatical and punctuation errors, praying that I didn’t miss anything for the fear that some bozo will point it out and use it against me, I have to remind myself: people will never be happy, and that’s a good thing. At least I’m doing something right.

Analicia Haynes can be reached at

581-2812 or [email protected]