N.Y. Times retires ‘Op-Ed’ page for guest essays


NEW YORK — The New York Times is retiring its Op-Ed page and inviting guests.

The newspaper said Monday it is eliminating the designation it has been using since 1970 to signal opinion columns written by outsiders. The name, meant to designate opinions that appeared on the page opposite the newspaper’s own viewpoints on issues, doesn’t make much sense at a time many people experience the writing digitally, said Kathleen Kingsbury, the Times’ opinion editor.

Articles written by outside writers will now be known as “guest essays,” Kingsbury wrote in the newspaper Monday.

Institutions like The Times can better serve their audiences with direct, clear language, she wrote.

She said the Times likes people invited to write guest essays to sometimes be surprised by the offer, and for the editors to be surprised by submissions from writers or on ideas new to them.

“A half century ago, Times editors made a bet that readers would appreciate a wider range of opinion,” Kingsbury wrote. “We are making much the same bet, but at a time when the scales of opinion journalism can seem increasingly tilted against the free and the fair, the sober and honest. We work every day to correct that imbalance.”

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