Opinion The Real Reason the Times Has Quit Using the Term ‘Op-Ed’
NHL's COVID protocol-related absences for April 17, 2021
Players in the protocol are: Colorado's Bowen Byram, Philipp Grubauer and Joonas Donskoi; Edmonton's Dmitry Kulikov; Los Angeles' Matt Roy; Montreal's Jon Merrill and Erik Gustafsson; Philadelphia's Jackson Cates; Toronto's Nick Foligno, Riley Nash and Ben Hutton; and Vancouver's Nate Schmidt and Jake Virtanen. Read more here.APRIL 15The NHL has confirmed that the Vancouver Canucks will not return to play from their lengthy COVID-19 pause Friday night versus the Edmonton Oilers as originally hoped.
On Monday afternoon, New York Times opinion editor Kathleen Kingsbury retired the paper’s Op-Ed rubric, which only just. As she showed the old man the door, thanking him for his service in a 900-word announcement that was to the web and will appear in Tuesday print editions, Kingsbury actually avoided explaining the real reasons for giving the Op-Ed appelation the shove.
Opinion has never been more important to the Times’ journalistic mix, Kingsbury averred, and stated that the paper remains committed to running a wide range of views. So why was she ditching the Op-Ed rubric for a new label, “Guest Essay,” that will run above the headlines of pieces by outside writers? To hear Kingsbury tell it, readers seem not to have fully grasped after half a century that piece appearing in the Times Op-Eds space were not expressions of Times sentiment and that the “Guest Essay” tag added needed clarity for readers. This is hardly revolutionary. Newspapers in all corners have long called their sections “Opinion.”
Opinion: Trump's dominance spells trouble for the GOP
Trump's announcement that he's "beyond seriously" considering a 2024 bid plays right into the dynamic that keeps him in control of the party, writes Michael D'AntonioOthers have said it, but since top Republicans haven't taken it to heart, the message bears repeating: With all due respect, you've got to quit Donald Trump. For your own sake, and the country's, cancel your reservations at Mar-a-Lago. Block his number. And whatever you do, don't fall for any of his old tricks.
Even if you take Kingsbury at face value, you’ve still got to ask why she’s changed the name. And why it needed 900 words to explain. When her piece first appeared on the web at about 1 p.m., itscalled the new treatment a “Redesign,” which at least hints at some bigger changes. But “redesign” was subsequently dropped, leaving readers to wonder what all the fuss is about (the “Redesign” language is still in the URL). Two explanations come to mind. The first is cosmetic. The second indicates yet another transformation of the paper from its old print form to a primarily digital one.
The diplomatic reason for the renaming is that the Times wants to avoid a reprise of the internal and external uprising fomented in June 2020 by its publication of anby Sen. Tom Cotton, (R-Ark.), advocating the invasion of U.S. cities with military troops. The fallout from the piece forced the resignation of Kingsbury’s predecessor, , and her ascension. In the previous Times order, the paper’s news and opinion editors put great care and toil into building and maintaining a fence demarcating “news” from “opinion,” but that still didn’t prevent readers from confusing the two journalistic genres and attributing contributor opinions to the paper itself. In the new arrangement, it appears the editors hope the “Guest Essay” label will erect a sturdier fence for the Times between “us” and “them,” and give the paper greater deniability should it publish something that’s as contentious as the Cotton piece. Will Kingsbury ever assign such Cotton-like pieces? Probably not. As she writes in her announcement, “we have our thumb on our scale in the name of progress, fairness and shared humanity.” Progress, fairness and shared humanity aren’t the first words you’d associate with Cotton.
UK's Johnson under growing pressure after ex-aide's attacks
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson faced growing scrutiny Sunday following explosive accusations by his former chief aide Dominic Cummings earlier this week that he lacks competence and integrity. Johnson's office has dismissed the damning accusations, insisting all "reportable donations" are transparently disclosed and that the prime minister "has never interfered in a government leak inquiry".Cummings, who stepped down as his top adviser in December, used a personal blog Friday to allege Johnson tried to solicit potentially illegal donations to renovate his publicly-funded Downing Street flat.
The digital reason for the Op-Ed page’s rebranding arrives in an boxed solicitation after the third paragraph of Kingsbury’s announcement, which invites readers to subscribe to the Times’ “Opinion Today” newsletter. Every digital publisher from POLITICO to the New York Times to Substack toto the smallest alt-weekly has embraced newsletters as a way to build paying audiences online. The commercial potential of a Times opinion newsletter is real, as argued in a piece for the Columbia Journalism Review last year. “The opinion section was producing less than 10 percent of the Times’ total output, yet opinion pieces represented 20 percent of all stories read by subscribers—which meant that the takes were punching well above their weight,” Piore wrote.
By corralling opinion inside the “Guest Essay” definition and serving it via newsletter as a pure opinion product for subscribers, the paper hopes to drive subscription sales as it has with itsand apps. Digiday in the first six months of last year that the Times brought in $25.1 million from its standalone subscription products, including cooking, games and audio. That was up from $15.7 million the year before.
Senators sign second-round pick Roby Jarventie to three-year, entry-level deal
Jarventie was selected 33rd overall at the 2020 draft, but because of the three first-round picks the Senators had, he joins the organization with a little less fanfare than usual for such a high second-round pick. Doubting his upside is a mistake though, as the 6-2 winger played very well in his first full season in Liiga, Finland’s highest tier. In 48 games for Ilves Tampere, Jarventie recorded 14 goals and 25 points. Using his big frame to protect the puck, Jarventie can create offense off the cycle instead of being rush-dependent, something that will come in handy at the next level.
Consult internal Times studies, such as the January 2017 “” report, or listen to Times executives talk, and you’ll hear the constant refrain that the paper is now a digital-first, subscriber-first enterprise. “We are not trying to win a pageviews arms race,” the 2017 report stated. “We believe that the more sound business strategy for the Times is to provide journalism so strong that several million people around the world are willing to pay for it.” Separating the opinion section from its old Op-Ed moorings and rechristening it as a subscriber-only digital product places it in a flow with the paper’s other successful digital products. “If you go back to the idea of the habitual reader, opinion columnists are precisely the kinds of writers who attract repeat visits and drive habitual behavior,” a former Times editor and VP for product and technology told CJR’s Piore.
It would be a mistake to think of the newsletterification of the Times as a reaction to the recent success places like Substack have reaped and others hope to. No Johnny-come-lately to the form, the paper has been pushing newsletters so hard and so long it now publishes more than , according to a recent Digiday story, and now reaches about subscribers. In 2020, readers opened more than 3.6 billion Times newsletter emails. The strategy here is to use the newsletters to upsell subscriptions to new readers. Of the Times’ 7.5 million subscribers, 6.69 million are digital-only, but the newspaper hopes to grow that number tenfold. “With a billion people reading digital news, and an expected 100 million willing to pay for it in English, it’s not hard to imagine that, over time, the Times’ subscriber base could be substantially larger than where we are today,” New York Times Company President and CEO Meredith Kopit Levien a Times reporter in February.
Today’s play by the New York Times can be read as the company’s latest arrivederci to its print form as it continues its digital metamorphosis. Oh, you’ll still be able to read opinion pieces in the paper, but the real story isn’t about the Times going from Op-Ed to Guest Essay but from Op-Ed to ultradigital.
My email address groans with the weight of newsletters. Don’t send any more to. My are a kind of newsletter. My boycotts podcasts (remember them?). My feed calls newsletters a bunch of hooey.
AP-NORC poll: Government should help Americans age at home .
WASHINGTON (AP) — A majority of Americans agree that government should help people fulfill a widely held aspiration to age in their own homes, not institutional settings, a new poll finds. There's a surprising level of bipartisan agreement on some proposals that could help make that happen, according to the late March survey from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. Still, Republicans lag Democrats in support of some policies, including the most far-reaching idea: Only 42% of Republicans favor a government long-term care insurance program for all Americans, compared with 78% of Democrats. Overall, 60% of the public supports that approach.