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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

An op-ed, abbreviated from opposite the editorial page (though often believed to be abbreviated from opinion-editorial), is a newspaper article that expresses the opinions of a named writer who is usually unaffiliated with the newspaper's editorial board. These are different from editorials, which are usually unsigned and written by editorial board members.

Although standard editorial pages have been printed by newspapers for many centuries, the first modern op-ed page was created in 1921 by Herbert Bayard Swope of The New York Evening World. When he took over as editor in 1920, he realized that the page opposite the editorials was "a catchall for book reviews, society boilerplate, and obituaries".[1] He is quoted as writing:

"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."[2]

Beginning in the 1930's, radio began to threaten print journalism, a process that was later sped up 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 growing their op-ed pages.[3]


  1. ^ Meyer, K. (1990). Pundits, poets, and wits. New York: Oxford University Press.
  2. ^ Swope, H. B. as quoted in Meyer, K. (1990). Pundits, poets, and wits. New York: Oxford University Press, p. xxxvii.
  3. ^ Marc, David (2010). "journalism". Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia. 

External links

  • – Read and search over 100 major newspaper op-eds
  • The Opinionator – "provides a guide to the wide world of newspaper, magazine and Web opinion"
  • The – read today's best political opinions and join the discussion
  • – read the Blogosphere's Editorial Opinion
  • The OpEd Project – "an initiative to expand public debate and to increase the number of women in thought leadership positions." Seminars around the US target and train women experts to make a powerful, evidence based case of public value, for the ideas and causes they believe in, and connect them with a system and network of support.


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