Is the common editorial worth keeping alive today? Jeff Jarvis at Media Buzz says no.
When the JACC Board of Directors last met and reviewed contests that might be eliminated from the long list of mail-in and on-the-spot/bring-in contests, one of the contests thrown on the table for discussion was editorial writing. We already have opinion writing and column writing (a collection of opinion stories by the same writer). The argument was made that most students today, indeed most commercial publications, do a weak job with editorials. I haven’t seen a real dinger from my students for a very long time. They don’t know how to come up with interesting topics and when they do, they repeat their point three to five times without hitting a homer.
In this age of open media, when every voice and viewpoint can be heard, when news is analyzed and overanalyzed, and when we certainly are not suffering a shortage of opinion, do we need editorialists? No.
There are some good followup comments on the blog site, too.
He accuses editorialists of leaching off others’ work rather than doing real work themselves (sort of like I’m doing with this blog entry).
What do you think?
Related Note: The students at the University of Illinois Daily Illini, who suspended editorials a couple of weeks ago because of repetitive errors, has resumed them with a new policy.