Tag Archives: Newspapers

The columnist versus the commons

All who have written for the newspaper editorial section know what readers know, that theirs is a strange and, in some respects, ridiculous task. We understand how tedious it can be to discover us, once again, with our opinions of the moment. In the defence of editorialists, however, I’ll note it’s simply the case that someone must fill the area between the ads, and a fellow with something to say about the President’s latest tweet (or whatever) is a cost-effective proposition. Not only this, comment sections are as a rule popular features of a paper. As a result you are probably stuck with us, as we with you. This being so, isn’t it time we confessed to some unspoken truths of editorial, opinion, or political writing?

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The Paywall and the Blockhead Writers

BOSWELL REPORTS THAT Samuel Johnson once said “No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money.” There are many reasons to write, and those of us who have written for objects other than money will likely petition the blockhead designation. Having read about the 2013 imposition of pay walls, however, I begin to suspect Johnson was nearer the truth.

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The Limits of Honesty in Writing

TRUTH, LIKE WEATHER, arrives in degrees. Just as the weather is all around, so too dishonesty in writing. Indeed, the taking of the media’s temperatures is a primary moral responsibility of the modern reader. The question which confronts us is how do we read well in an age where dishonesty on many of the important topics may be taken for granted.

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