Making people uncomfortable: The role of an opinions section

Conrad Frommelt, Opinions Editor for The Chimes, shares his hopes for the Opinions section to be a safe place for discussion and the pursuit of truth.

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| Aaron Fooks/THE CHIMES

Conrad Frommelt, Writer

This year, my writers and I have decided to talk about the truth. This is a risk because we can make mistakes that have the potential to hurt people. Still, we believe telling the truth is essential for the growth and proper maintenance of a community.

We mean for our articles to be safe meeting places that allow the community to gather around a common idea. We strive to provide interesting and well-formed positions presented with the same casual atmosphere of friends sharing overpriced but delicious coffee. We hope this section  allows our audience the room to have conversations, even difficult or uncomfortable ones. And we hope that you, our readers, will join us in this conversation.

We invite you to be gentle readers and to judge our ideas with grace. To trust, though we may offend you, that we do not intend to and we continually desire your thoughtful suggestions. We ask you all to hold us to high standards of artistic, intellectual and moral responsibility.

But we are committed to saying true things, which sometimes means we will have to say things that are difficult to hear. Reality often inflicts pain. But If we ignore the uncomfortable areas of our existence, we limit our ability to interact with so much of what makes us human.

When our articles do offend our readers, we will make an effort to engage in constructive discussion about the topics in question. In this way, I hope to minimize the potentially harmful effects of the topics we cover. But, we will not tolerate any form of personal attack on our writers. We invite you to interact with their ideas, not their persons.

As a staff, we will present difficult topics in gentle, accessible ways and avoid sensational, inflammatory writing. Honestly presenting the ordinary is often sensational enough. In return, we need your help. The truth is complex and requires the collaboration of dedicated conversation partners.

With this in mind, I want to share our vision statement, To do the best we can to speak honestly, genuinely, and fairly while discussing our experiences over a variety of topics, including those that could make our audience uncomfortable, or those not commonly talked about. With this always in view, let us seek the truth and strive to grow in our understanding of each other.

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