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Are editorials obsolete?

I posted to a NYT story about how the LAT is looking to reinvent its editorial pages. [See "Newspapers look to the future"]

Slate.com's Tim Noah has his own commentary titled, "Abolish Michael Kinsley! Why editorial pages are obsolete."
If the newspaper editorial were, in itself, a compelling journalistic form, it might be worth going on pretending that editorials represented something more than the opinion of a few journalists assigned to the editorial page and their boss, the editorial page editor. But the genre has certain built-in defects. One is that editorials typically lack sufficient length to marshal evidence and lay out a satisfactory argument. Instead, they tend toward either timidity, at one extreme, or posturing, at the other. Almost every editorial I've ever read in my life has fallen into one of two categories: boring or irresponsible. Most are boring, because, in addition to the length problem, the opinions expressed in the editorials are usually either arrived at by committee, or arrived at by an individual writer or editor who has internalized the views of that committee, real or imagined. Whenever that happens, the end product can't avoid being bland.

Therefore, he suggests newspapers merely do away with editorials.

OK, OK... I guess I'll put my promised post on hour FCW's editorials come about on the front burner.

Posted by Christopher Dorobek on Jun 15, 2005 at 12:14 PM


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