Column Or News Piece


The Editor’s Note in the Feb. 2 “Letters” appended to a reader’s objection to the tone of a previous article on Vice President Pence’s visit to Israel correctly noted that the article, labeled “Letter From Israel,” was an “opinion” piece rather than a hard news report, and that such opinion reports are entitled to greater leeway than the tenets of straight news reporting would allow.

The problem arises, however, when all or most of the “opinion” articles, mixed in with straight news articles, appear to be presented as straight news. Similarly, although op-ed pages were created originally to allow newspapers to offer on a page opposite the editorial page a refutation of, or counter arguments to, the newspaper’s position (hence “op-ed”), many newspapers have come to use the op-ed page to feature columnists and guest writers who merely enhance and reinforce the positions these newspapers espouse on their editorial pages.

And unfortunately, the ability to enhance an editorial position has now even invaded the sacred columns of honest news reporting that were once the hallmark of many formerly respected sources of news. Readers beware.