2007 Yale Daily News columnist contest

In the last decade, newspapers have ceased to be the sole gatekeepers of written commentary. Blogs and online forums have added another dimension to the public debates that are so essential to a free and open society.

Yet few online forums can match the reach of the old-fashioned newspaper opinion page. The high standard of editing ensures that this medium is one of the most effective ways to disseminate a well-reasoned argument, and the diversity of views printed draws in a equally wide-ranging audience. The News takes pride in following this tradition and providing the Yale community with quality opinion content every weekday.

While we gladly accept letters and guest columns from the Yale and New Haven communities, the core of our opinion page is our staff of regular columnists. These students are some of the most visible personalities at this university, and their work, printed every other week, is read by thousands. Their insightful commentary on university, regional, national and even academic issues guides discussion on campus and has started many an inspiring conversation at dining hall tables. We have columnists who write about politics, philosophy, activism, the Yale administration, religion and science, among other topics.

The News therefore would like to invite all interested undergraduates and graduate students to apply for a regular column on this page. To apply to become one of our regular columnists, send us a short description of what you would do with a column; three ideas for potential columns; at least one sample 650- to 800-word column, preferably unpublished (if published, please include an unedited draft); and tell us a little about yourself, particularly about other groups on campus in which you are involved. Send all this information in an e-mail attachment to Editorials Editor Jay Buchanan (jay.buchanan@yale.edu) and Editor in Chief Sarah Mishkin (sarah.mishkin@yale.edu). Please write us with any questions you might have about the process or about other details of writing a regular column.

The final deadline for applications is Friday, Sept. 21.

Holding a leadership position in another campus organization does not disqualify you from having a column. In the past year, we have had members of the Yale Political Union and the Yale College Council executive boards as columnists. There is, however, one important caveat: The column cannot be used as a mouthpiece for any particular group. Please ask if you have any questions about this policy.

Though humor and originality are encouraged, we ask that you keep your writing within the bounds of good taste expected of a reputable newspaper. For those of you who consider that guideline unfortunate, we may direct your application to the editors of our weekly scene section, where decorum is more a hindrance than a requirement.

If you’re not ready for the responsibility of writing every other week, you are invited to submit guest columns and letters. But if you want to establish yourself as a respected voice on campus, a regular column in the News is the most effective way. We look forward to reading your application.

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