Yelvington: Why not kill the editorial page?
Steve Yelvington poses an interesting question: Why not kill the editorial page? Not the editorial discussion itself, of course. He literally means the editorial page, the dead tree.
The printed editorial page has always been low on my daily print reading list, and I honestly don’t get to it all that often these days. I’ve never cared much about unsigned editorials, particularly political endorsements, and I’m not interested in all but a handful of syndicated columnists. I read and genuinely like local editorial columnists, but many papers don’t seem to bother with them anymore. Letters can be amusing at times, but they hardly match the immediacy and interactivity of feedback you get online.
I’m guessing my indifferent editorial page reading habits pretty fairly match those of most readers, which means newspaper opinion on the web is an opportunity to capture a new audience currently untapped by print. For all of our industry’s ignorant dismissals of the blogosphere as little more than a forum for idle opinion-mongering, you’d think we could at least put our industry’s own opinion mongers, idle and otherwise, to better use on the web. I’d love to see a newspaper editorial department truly rethink its approach, and I don’t mean simply bolting another blog or podcast onto the existing print model.