Letter to the Editor: Publications can and should include humor

Like many in the school, I read the Rank&File monthly issues. The journalism is superb and offers great perspectives into our Marshall community news. This being said, criticizing any establishment is always an entertaining venture, so I do have some thoughts I’d like to share.

When reading this newspaper, I find two things to be missing: a humor column and cartoons. I am not saying these would be a necessary addition for every issue, though I do think it would be an enjoyable option for a few issues every year.

Humor columns would draw the attention of new readers; they might only have the intent to read the humor column, then venture into reading the rest of the articles. This creates a broader audience of those who read the Rank&File and those who provide their opinions in future articles.

In addition, cartoons extend the outreach of the newspaper to artists and those interested in providing humorous captions. This will attract readers to the paper, not only for the humor of the cartoon, but for the gratifying result of getting their art and/or caption published.

Some might offer the opinion that a humor column and cartoons hurt the integrity of the newspaper, and undermine their journalism. I disagree. Distinguished national newspapers and news magazines have humor columns and cartoons, such as The New Yorker, The Washington Post, and The New York Times. People don’t see these news organizations as lesser than others, nor does it hurt the integrity of their factual reporting. Others might say to create a separate entity, such as the Harvard Crimson and Harvard Lampoon being different organizations.
In this situation, I also disagree. High school publications’ resources are thin. The allocation of resources is directed toward the publication with the larger staff and following, therefore a smaller entity would be ineffective without any funding to publish its works.
Of course, I am not saying the person writing the column needs to be the next Andy Borowitz or David Sedaris, just someone who has enough of a sense of humor.