Op-ed

Last updated

An op-ed, short for "opposite the editorial page" or as a backronym the "opinions and editorials page," is a written prose piece, typically published by a North-American newspaper or magazine, which expresses the opinion of an author usually not affiliated with the publication's editorial board. [1] Op-eds are different from both editorials (opinion pieces submitted by editorial board members) and letters to the editor (opinion pieces submitted by readers). In 2021, The New York Times—the paper credited with developing and naming the modern op-ed page—announced that it was retiring the label, and would instead call submitted opinion pieces "Guest Essays." The move was a result of the transition to online publishing, where there is no concept physically opposing (adjacent) pages. [2]

Contents

Origin

The direct ancestor of the modern op-ed page was created in 1921 by Herbert Bayard Swope of The New York Evening World . When Swope took over as main editor in 1920, he realized that the page opposite the editorials was "a catchall for book reviews, society boilerplate, and obituaries". [3] He wrote:

It occurred to me that nothing is more interesting than opinion when opinion is interesting, so I devised a method of cleaning off the page opposite the editorial, which became the most important in America ... and thereon I decided to print opinions, ignoring facts. [4]

Swope included only opinions by employees of his newspaper, leaving the "modern" op-ed page to be developed in 1970 under the direction of The New York Times editor John B. Oakes. [5] The first op-ed page of The New York Times appeared on 21 September 1970. [6]

Writes media scholar Michael J. Socolow of Oakes' innovation:

The Times' effort synthesized various antecedents and editorial visions. Journalistic innovation is usually complex, and typically involves multiple external factors. The Times' op-ed page appeared in an era of democratizing cultural and political discourse and of economic distress for the company itself. The newspaper's executives developed a place for outside contributors with space reserved for sale at a premium rate for additional commentaries and other purposes. [7]

Competition from radio and television

Beginning in the 1930s, radio began to threaten print journalism, a process that was later accelerated by the rise of television. To combat this, major newspapers such as The New York Times and The Washington Post began including more openly subjective and opinionated journalism, adding more columns and increasing the extent of their op-ed pages. [8]

Possible conflicts of interest

The various connections between op-eds, editors, and funding from interest groups have raised concern. In 2011, in an open letter to The New York Times, a group of U.S. journalists and academics called for conflict of interest transparency in op-eds. [9] [10]

See also

Related Research Articles

<i>The Washington Post</i> American daily newspaper

The Washington Post is an American daily newspaper published in Washington, D.C. It is the most-widely circulated newspaper within the Washington metropolitan area, and has a large national audience. Daily broadsheet editions are printed for D.C., Maryland, and Virginia.

An opinion piece is an article, usually published in a newspaper or magazine, that mainly reflects the author's opinion about a subject. Opinion pieces are featured in many periodicals.

An editor-in-chief, also known as lead editor or chief editor, is a publication's editorial leader who has final responsibility for its operations and policies.

James Taranto is an American journalist. He is editorial features editor for The Wall Street Journal, in charge of the newspaper's op-ed pages, both print and digital. He was formerly editor of its online editorial page OpinionJournal.com. He joined the newspaper's editorial board in 2007.

Herbert Bayard Swope 20th-century American journalist

Herbert Bayard Swope Sr. was an American editor, journalist and intimate of the Algonquin Round Table. Swope spent most of his career at the New York World. He was the first and three-time recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for Reporting. Swope was called the greatest reporter of his time by Lord Northcliffe of the London Daily Mail.

The Tufts Daily, known on campus as the Daily, is the student newspaper at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts. The paper covers news, arts, and sports both on campus and in the Boston area and allows members of the Tufts community to submit op-ed pieces about campus and global issues. Unlike other student organizations and publications at Tufts, the Daily is financially self-sustaining and does not receive funding from the university. Tufts is currently the smallest college or university in the United States to have an independent daily student newspaper.

Annette Fuentes is an American journalist who writes regularly on health and social policy for The New York Times, The Nation, the Village Voice, The Progressive, and In These Times, where she is a contributing editor. Fuentes was also on the faculty of the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University. She is author of the 2011 book, 'Lockdown High; When the Schoolhouse becomes a Jailhouse'.

<i>The Jewish Press</i> American weekly newspaper based in Brooklyn, New York

The Jewish Press is an American weekly newspaper based in Brooklyn, New York, and geared toward the Modern Orthodox Jewish community. It describes itself as "America's Largest Independent Jewish Weekly".

John Bertram Oakes

John Bertram Oakes was an iconoclastic and influential U.S. journalist known for his early commitment to the environment, civil rights, and opposition to the Vietnam War.

Gail Collins

Gail Collins is an American journalist, op-ed columnist and author, most recognized for her work with The New York Times. Joining the Times in 1995 as a member of the editorial board, she served as the paper's Editorial Page Editor from 2001 to 2007 and was the first woman to attain that position.

Clark Hoyt is an American journalist who was the public editor of The New York Times, serving as the "readers' representative." He was the newspaper's third public editor, or ombudsman, after Daniel Okrent and Byron Calame. His initial two-year term began on May 14, 2007, and was later extended for another year, expiring in June 2010.

Andrew Mark Rosenthal is an American journalist and former editorial page editor of The New York Times. He is the son of A. M. Rosenthal, a longtime New York Times senior executive and executive editor.

Karl E. Meyer was an American-based journalist. The third generation of his family to be engaged in that occupation, Meyer's grandfather, George Meyer, was the editor of the leading German language newspaper in Milwaukee, the Germania; his father, Ernest L. Meyer, was a columnist for The Capital Times in Madison, Wisconsin and then the New York Post. In 1979, he joined The New York Times as the senior writer for foreign affairs, a position he held until his retirement in 1998.

Susan Albright is a journalist in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She is the managing editor of MinnPost.com.

Sewell Chan is an American journalist who was named editor-in-chief of The Texas Tribune effective October 2021. Prior to that he was the editorial page editor at the Los Angeles Times. In this role, he oversaw the editorial board and the Op-Ed and Sunday Opinion pages of the Los Angeles Times. Chan worked at The New York Times from 2004 to 2018 in a variety of reporter and editorial positions.

Tunku Varadarajan is a British-Indian writer and journalist, formerly editor of Newsweek Global and Newsweek International. He is currently the Virginia Hobbs Carpenter Research Fellow in Journalism at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, and a contributing editor at POLITICO Europe.

Editorial Journalism genre

An editorial (US), leading article or leader (UK) is an article written by the senior editorial people or publisher of a newspaper, magazine, or any other written document, often unsigned. Australian and major United States newspapers, such as The New York Times and The Boston Globe, often classify editorials under the heading "opinion".

<i>The Express Tribune</i> Pakistani English-language newspaper launched in 2010

The Express Tribune is a Pakistani daily English-language newspaper based in Pakistan. It is the flagship publication of the Daily Express media group. It is Pakistan's only internationally affiliated newspaper, in partnership with International New York Times, the global edition of The New York Times. Headquartered in Karachi, it also prints copy from offices in Lahore, Islamabad and Peshawar. It was launched on 12 April 2010, in broadsheet format, with news design distinctive from traditional Pakistani newspapers.

Michael J. Socolow is an American media historian and former broadcast journalist who teaches in the Department of Communication and Journalism at the University of Maine.

References

  1. "Definition of op-ed". Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. Retrieved June 29, 2010.
  2. Kingsbury, Kathleen (2021-04-26). "Opinion | Why The New York Times Is Retiring the Term 'Op-Ed'". The New York Times. ISSN   0362-4331 . Retrieved 2021-04-26.
  3. Meyer, K. (1990). Pundits, poets, and wits. New York: Oxford University Press.
  4. Swope, H. B. as quoted in Meyer, K. (1990). Pundits, poets, and wits. New York: Oxford University Press, p. xxxvii.
  5. "A press scholar explains how the New York Times op-ed page began". Slate. September 27, 2010. Retrieved August 9, 2012.
  6. Shipley, David (1 February 2004). "And Now a Word From Op-Ed". The New York Times.
  7. Socolow, Michael J. (2010). "A Profitable Public Sphere: The Creation of the New York Times Op-Ed Page". Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly. University of Maine.
  8. "'Journalism'" . Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia. 2010.[ permanent dead link ]
  9. "US journalists launch campaign for 'op-ed transparency'". The Guardian . October 11, 2011. Retrieved August 9, 2012.
  10. "Journos call for more transparency at New York Times op-ed page". Columbia Journalism Review . October 6, 2011. Retrieved August 9, 2012.