Saturday, September 1, 2018

'Social media, metrics, bad faith readers, columnists, instant and bad takes, blogosphere nostalgia, and online abuse have created an op-ed internet culture...'

At n + 1, "The New Reading Environment":

Since Donald Trump’s election, new prominence has been given to an otherwise deranged and degraded form: the op-ed. The Times op-ed page — along with its basic best friend, the Washington Post op-ed page, and its evil, basement-dwelling older brother, the Wall Street Journal op-ed page — should have gone the way of the classifieds section. Instead it exerts a malevolent gravitational pull, delivering with punishing regularity an endless stream of annoying and offensive provocations.

The irony of the op-ed’s depressing reemergence is that everything is an op-ed now. The op-edization of all writing should have rendered its traditional purveyors redundant. Why read a Times columnist when you can read the same opinion delivered with more style and energy almost anywhere else? But even as internet writers refine and defend and reiterate their opinions — an archipelago of converging takes — so-called traditional outlets have consolidated their influence...