The role of an opinion page is simple. It presents a variety of views on a wide array of topics.

Its purpose is to help shape your own opinion by absorbing how one mind or entity perceives a particular topic or current event, and, in turn, you may completely agree, somewhat agree, somewhat disagree or completely disagree. Any of the above is OK. That’s precisely the point.

Our opinion page is almost always comprised of four main elements every day (yes, every day because our Weekend edition features two editorial pages and we produce a Tuesday e-edition with Opinion on A4).

Some days you may go 4 for 4 on agreement. On other days, you’ll proudly take an 0-for-4. Again, either is permitted. That’s the beauty of the First Amendment.

For some of you, our readers for whom we are thankful, Opinion is the first page to which you flip.

You’ll typically see a letter or two from community members. We do our very best to allow you the freedom to express your opinion. However, if there are assertions thrown in that could be construed as a fact, we do attempt to fact-check these statements prior to publishing.

You’ll also notice a column as a staple. The editor of this newspaper usually selects a column from The Washington Post — with which The Daily Independent is locked into an agreement entailing three columnists, Megan McArdle, George Will and Kathleen Parker — or Creators Syndicate, which features a solid assortment of “conservative-leaning” and “liberal-leaning” columnists. Our goal is provide a balance. You’ll especially see that in a Weekend edition, in which we present back-to-back opinion pages.

You’ll find a cartoon at the top of the page. Fortunately for The Daily Independent, a local artist contributes a creative work just about every week (in the Weekend edition). We treat cartoons like the chosen columns — we intend to supply both sides of the political spectrum. And it’s nice to veer away from the political avenue once in a while.

At some point — perhaps first thing? — you’ll arrive here, along the left-hand side of the page. This is known as an editorial. It can come in many forms. Our editorial board may take a stance on an important community issue. We may pen a “rah rah” piece congratulating an individual or group on an achievement. We may also put out sort of a public service announcement, as we have on several occasions throughout the pandemic. You’ll, from time to time, see a guest editorial, too. Again, it’s there to help you shape your own opinion.

So, there’s the purpose to the Opinion puzzle. As always, thank you for reading.

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