Newspapers just keep shrinking. Most recently we learned that The Detroit Free Press anticipates newsroom staffing cuts. In this June 24 appeal, business columnist Tom Walsh’s invited readers’ opinions on how he might reinvent his product. I would base my advice to Tom on my opinion that there are three roles for which major market daily newspapers are uniquely qualified: In-depth, local investigative stories (come back, Kwame! Come back!), statehouse coverage and opinions and analysis.
The opinion section is not going away. There you’ll typically find the newspaper’s editorial opinions on one side of a two-page spread with lay people’s opinions on the facing – or op-ed – page. It’s the latter role that continues to offer opportunities for my clients. If your products or subject matter lend themselves to high-level policy, cultural or economic discussions, or if your CEO is an expert in an industry that’s in the news, we’d work to place an op-ed column or perhaps a letter to the editor.
Here’s a thoughtful essay on editorial and op-ed writing by one of my PR peers at an Atlanta firm.