Bridge is drawing a clearer line between news and opinion

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.

Bridge welcomes guest columns from a diverse range of people on issues relating to Michigan and its future. The views and assertions of these writers do not necessarily reflect those of Bridge or The Center for Michigan. Bridge does not endorse any individual guest commentary submission.

If you are interested in submitting a guest commentary, please contact Monica WilliamsClick here for details and submission guidelines.

Facts matter. Trust matters. Journalism matters.

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Comments

Arjay
Mon, 02/03/2020 - 8:38am

Your claim of being non-partisan is laughable. Your so called news can be highly slanted toward one political direction by what is said, and also by what is not said.

Steve Smewing
Mon, 02/03/2020 - 10:49am

Ajay, your name, is that just a first name? I was wondering why you don't want your whole name, if that is the case, seen. Opinion and article writers include their whole name.

How so is Bridge slanted? Do you have any examples where the truth varied from reporting? You seem to not be a fan of Bridge. But, you are writing in the comments section. Why is that?

Bobbie
Mon, 02/03/2020 - 9:29am

Fantastic.

Anon
Mon, 02/03/2020 - 10:19am

Too little, too late after you helped destroy a teacher's repuation by having your staff write an opinion piece that read more as a bitter personal revenge manifesto.

Steve Smewing
Mon, 02/03/2020 - 11:01am

I appreciate that you will now require opinion pieces have citations for relied on facts in building said opinion. It may help. Or, it may simply lead to opinion pieces that are extensions of other writings that are slanted to the writers preferred views.

Do not get me wrong I am wholly for it. In fact I believe Bridge could bolster its own factual base to the articles written as well by including citations.

The news media would be a whole different game if all writings were in the format of AP style research papers such as those written for college courses. At the very least some type of blend of the author's views and reliable, cited facts would be a wonderful thing to read.

marco
Wed, 02/05/2020 - 8:37am

Nobody would ever "get you wrong," Steve!