Monica Williams edits Guest Commentary for Bridge Magazine.
In the few months that I’ve edited Guest Commentary for Bridge Magazine, I’ve gotten an earful from our readers about the feature.
Some of the feedback has questioned our impartiality; others have taken us to task for even publishing controversial opinion pieces.
Bridge is nonpartisan, and doesn’t make endorsements of any kind and only editorializes in the rarest instances. We are fiercely committed to data-driven, nonpartisan journalism, but as we’ve grown, some readers have been confused about the difference between news articles and Guest Commentary.
Make no mistake, we are committed to providing a diverse platform for opinion pieces from smart Michiganders and believe that hearing different viewpoints is vital to democracy.
But we have implemented several changes to better distinguish between news articles and guest pieces.
We still welcome Guest Commentary and cherish diverse viewpoints, but we’ve raised the standards for publication. For one, we now require footnoted source materials for major factual assertions.
In recent months, we’ve further separated commentary from Bridge’s news coverage on our website and email newsletter to reduce reader confusion and tamp down any perception that our news stories and commentary are one and the same. We realized we needed to do a better job distinguishing fact from opinion and, to that end, we’re always striving to improve. We’re still a forum for public discourse; you can find our opinion pieces on the Guest Commentary page.
Every guest piece also includes a disclaimer that these opinions are not necessarily those of Bridge staff members, to distinguish them from the deep, balanced reporting of Bridge staff writers and our experienced freelancers across the state.
If you have an idea for a great Guest Commentary related to vital issues in Michigan, reach out to me.
As always, thanks for your support of Bridge and our coverage. We can always stand to improve. Your feedback makes Bridge — and Michigan — smarter and better.