An overwhelming majority of readers of the old Planet that I’ve talked to tell me they turned to the Opinion pages first. They loved the letters column and the long “Perspectives” in the original Planet, and were disappointed when Perspectives shrank and eventually almost disappeared. For the new Planet we want many more Op-Ed (“Opposite Editorial”) pieces and many more letters.
To that end, we won’t focus on what criteria we can use to EXCLUDE contributions: how long, how often, etc. On the contrary, we’re working on how to encourage even more contributions to the Opinion pages. I do think that the best Op-Eds tend to be about 600 words long, but even that might be too long for some subjects. Lively, interesting writing will be the main criterion for inclusion. Click on “Opinions & Letters” to see a sample of the kind of diverse pieces we hope to get.
I also plan to write an occasional editorial myself, of the traditional kind, representing the opinion of the owners of the paper. This was not done in the old Planet. People who know me know that this will create controversy, which is exactly what we want. Op-Ed isn’t as much fun if there’s no Ed to fulminate against.