Opinion Writing 101

Sunday, August 31, 2014
Guest host--and op/ed columnist--Jonathan Capehart (far left) guides an insighful discussion about the role of opinion columns in today's news business with fellow columnists Froma Harrop, Clarence Page and Connie Schultz on MSNBC's Up with Steve Kornacki show yesterday morning.

I will try to keep my own comments to a minimum here but I was fortunate enough to watch an outstanding panel on the subject of opinion writing that was telecast on yesterday's Up With Steve Kornacki show on MSNBC. Guest host--and op/ed columnist for The Washington Post--Jonathan Capehart held a virtual roundtable with fellow columnists Froma Harrop, Clarence Page and Connie Schultz about the role of opinion writing in today's news landscape.

Their insightful discussion lapsed over two segments and I have embedded the video clips below for your viewing pleasure...the first lasts just under 10 minutes:

The second goes on for nearly an additional four minutes:

Capehart identified me right at the beginning of his introduction: I do love the news and I also love opinions about the news. However, he forgot to add a third--I love to share my own opinions about the news and that is why this panel featuring two Pulitzer Prize-winners, a top 20 syndicated columnist and an "opiner" who writes for the seventh highest circulated newspaper in the country was so beneficial to me in order to get some perspective into the life and work activities of such professionals. Analysis, explanation, context, and reflection are traits that have been ingrained into me over the past 35 years and it appears that my adoption of a web-based platform might have me at the cutting edge of current trends.

P.S. Not to continually bring up (or bash) my academic training on this journalistic specialty but I believe that I learned more about opinion writing in this approximately 15 minutes of footage than I learned in the entirety of the 15 weeks of my UMass Amherst class from last fall. If that particular subject is still being offered there, I would highly recommend incorporating the insights provided by these four nationally known columnists into the curriculum.

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