Our Opinion Desk produces informative and persuasive columns on topics that impact Northwestern students and Evanston residents. If you're interested in joining the desk, you'll write regular columns — usually on a weekly or bi-weekly basis — expressing views on issues important to you and your community.
The opinion editors work closely with all columnists to develop ideas for columns and improve their writing throughout their time at The Daily, so no prior experience with column writing is needed. It's a place where you'll quickly develop skills in crafting arguments, and as a result is often a desk that includes a strong mix of journalism students and students outside of Medill.
Full-time opinion writers aren't allowed to report and write for the Opinion Desk in the same quarter. However, if you're interested in joining and wanted to try out reporting in addition to opinion writing, you'll be able to for your first quarter as long as you're not reporting and writing on the same topics (ex. covering student government and writing columns about it, reporting stories on Evanston schooling and writing columns about it, etc.).
On the Opinion Desk, you'll get to write about your topic of choice and spark conversation among students, faculty and alumni. After Fall 2018 Audio Editor Cassidy Jackson watched Netflix’s original film “Nappily Ever After,” she decided to reflect on what the movie got right — and wrong — about black hair. Other columnists have shared their opinions on topics ranging from going beyond separating art from the artist and the importance of trans inclusive rhetoric to Suu Kyi’s culpability in the Rohingya genocide and a reevaluation of the Supreme Court appointment process.
The Opinion Desk can also be a space for writers to share personal narratives and experiences based on their identities. In-Focus Editor Andrea Bian used the space to discuss why mixing her up with other Asian-American students isn't a harmless mistake. Other writers have discussed why marginalized journalists don't need additional rules, adjusting to Northwestern's racial demographics as a black student, navigating their experience with depression and accepting themselves before coming out. If this sounds like something you're interested in, you'll have plenty of support in learning to practice vulnerability through your writing.
Former managing editor Alex Schwartz decided to write about environmentalism requires more than nature photos using research and background information to supplement his argument. Other writers have found interesting approaches to often discussed topics including analyzing blackness in the royal wedding from a historical perspective, reflecting on the importance of empathy in journalism using their experience in Medill classes and making a fresh case for universal healthcare, among many other well-written columns.