Monday, August 2, 2010

Opinion Journalism and the Challenges of Debate

Walter Keith Griffin '10 (SJP '05 Alum/SJP '07 Intern) leads the Arizona immigration law debate.
By Bianca Dennis (Atlantic City, NJ)

I think that deep down, anyone who wants to be a journalist wants to have his or her voice heard. The great thing about this program is that everyone gets that chance, and sometimes all at once.

Tonight we had SJP '05 alumnus and recent Princeton graduate Keith Griffin talk to us about opinion pieces: how to distinguish between opinions that are still journalism, and opinion pieces that don’t belong in the field.  He had us choose a topic and debate amongst ourselves. He served as the much needed referee as we discussed the recent Arizona immigration law with the team.  I was on the team against the law, and the other half of the SJPers came up with arguments supporting the law.  Long story short: it was a heated discussion with some raised voices and strong opinions, but it was an awesome experience.

Presenting a case, refuting arguments, and debating was a lot of fun, but, like a “supporter" pointed out, it can be hard to argue for something you’re against!

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