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Join the Conversation on New Opinion Page

Duke Today opinion section seeks to share faculty expertise, inform public discussion

University Thursday launched a new website to feature expert opinions from its
faculty on issues ranging from the economy to foreign policy.

by the university's Office of News and Communications (ONC), the new opinion section of Duke Today draws
on op-ed articles, blogs, tweets, video interviews and other material that a
growing number of Duke faculty experts have begun producing to engage with
audiences beyond their classrooms. Duke experts now appear regularly in major news media
around the world.

of Duke's core missions is knowledge in service to society, and we hope this
new site will help our faculty connect with people who otherwise might not hear
what they have to say," said David Jarmul, associate vice president of news and
communications. "Duke faculty members are writing op-ed articles, interacting
with the news media and using new tools such as blogs and Twitter. This site
will showcase what they're doing."

site will highlight articles from ONC's op-ed service, which distributes
several faculty-authored articles monthly to 20 major newspapers across
the United States and Canada. During the past month, for example, the
Philadelphia Inquirer and five other papers published an article on how the
Berlin Wall continues to divide Germany, written by Germanic languages and
literature chair William Donahue. A piece analyzing Syria's demonstrations by professor of Arabic literature and culture Miriam Cooke appeared in the (Toronto)
Globe and Mail and elsewhere. Public policy professor Charles Clotfelter's article
on cheating in big-time college sports ran in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

of Duke's op-ed articles now runs, on average, in three or more major newspapers,"
said Keith Lawrence, ONC's director of media relations, who manages the op-ed
service and will edit the new opinion site. "Opinion editors have plenty of choices, including columns by prominent
writers such as Thomas Friedman and George Will, but Duke has carved out a
niche by providing thoughtful pieces on timely subjects. We also encourage our faculty
to 'zag' from what everyone else is writing about."

addition to Duke's op-ed service, Duke faculty publish in other forums, such as
a recent commentary on interdisciplinary research by Tom Katsouleas, dean of
Duke's Pratt School of Engineering, that appeared in The Chronicle of Higher
Education. Prominent Duke bloggers such as Dan
, Cathy Davidson and Mark Anthony Neal attract large
audiences, and ONC is helping faculty reach out through new social media channels such as Facebook
and Twitter, and through its Duke on Demand
video site. Much of this material will be included in the new opinion site,
which supplements Duke Today's two
existing sections, for news and Working@Duke.

site also provides an additional outlet for the hundreds of Duke faculty who
have participated in ONC's annual media training workshops, which include short
sessions on how to write op-ed articles. This fall, based on faculty feedback,
ONC will offer for the first time an extended workshop on op-ed writing. ONC's guidelines
for op-ed articles also appear online.

"We're excited about the new site. Duke faculty are
incredibly engaged in the issues that affect all of us, and we think a lot of
people on campus and beyond are going to enjoy coming to a single place and
seeing what they have to say," Lawrence said.