“What’s Wrong With America’s Newspaper Opinion Columnists in One Chart” is an article written by Sarah Hedgecock published online for Gawker in December 2012. The article was written in response to an opinion column that denounced technology and contemporary ways of communicating. An opinion column or op-ed (short for ‘opposite the editorial page’) is a column in the newspaper that presents an informed and focused opinion of the publisher or writer. Hedgecock noticed that opinion columnists frequently dismiss millennials and younger people’s ideas. Hedgecock analyzed the demographics of major opinion column writers for large publishers like the New York Times and the Wallstreet Journal and discovered that the average age for writers was around 60 years of age. Hedgecock concluded that consistent conservative, confused, and often politically incorrect opinion pieces are in large part explained by the age of writers.
What purpose do opinion columns serve? In what ways do opinion columns affect readers?
How does the generally older age of opinion columnists affect what opinions are being published? How might younger opinion columnists change the tone of writing?
What does the chart also show us about gender?
How is the voice of children and teenagers represented in society? How do you feel these voices compare to voices of adults?