Deb Habib: My Turn or our turn?

Lum3n/via Pexels

Lum3n/via Pexels Lum3n/via Pexels

Published: 02-12-2024 5:44 PM

Modified: 02-12-2024 7:04 PM

I appreciate the Recorder for maintaining an opinion page. It is often the first section my husband and I turn to at the end of the day. However, it feels that the same writers show up too frequently in My Turn pieces (as well as weekend columns). It is much more interesting on the days when the opinion page reflects the range in cultures, age, gender, life experience, and ability that makes our region wonderful.

Perhaps the newspaper is simply not receiving enough My Turn submissions or columnist contributions to keep things fresh? There are, in our Franklin County and North Quabbin region, thousands of middle, high school, and college students, as well as those in social service and health care jobs, factory workers, artists, and small business owners.

When my son was suddenly home from college during the start of the pandemic, we encouraged him to submit a piece he was working on for a class paper for a My Turn. It was published and he said it was one of the best learning opportunities of those challenging months. The opportunity to write a 700-word piece in a thoughtful way and have it published offers a wonderful experience for many young people and community members who have never done so.

Might Recorder staff (and readers), actively reach out to our region’s high school and college educators, for starters, to encourage more My Turn submissions? Could Recorder staff even offer a workshop, (with translation as needed) on tips and prompts for writing a compelling and well-considered 700-word piece?

Some changes to keep things fresh on the opinion page are needed. It would be a pleasure to read My Turn pieces as well as columns that are reflective of a wider range of residents and voices in our region.

Deb Habib