We told you last week about reports the Inquirer will but slashing its op-ed section starting Sept. 9. Now NewsWorks reports that Harold Jackson, the paper’s editorial page editor, has sent out an email to contributors, sounding the alarm about the cut and asking them to email the Inky’s owners to change their minds.
Jackson, writing to people whose work has appeared on the Inquirer oped page over the year, urged recipients of the email to protest the decision to the papers’ owners. He listed several owners’ emails.
His email said the reduction “not only does a disservice to the greater Philadelphia community, but represents a reduction in the status of one of America’s largest cities.”
In a written statement, the papers’ parent company, Interstate General Media said “editorial decisions made by The Philadelphia Inquirer are only at the discretion and direction of the Publisher Bob Hall and/or Editor Bill Marimow.“
The statement went to say that “the Publisher and Editor consider the interest of readers, first and foremost, in their mission to best preserve the integrity of The Inquirer and its responsibility in serving the citizens of our region.”
So the question is: Will the loss of op-ed space produce a backlash from readers? If it’s just contributors sending angry missives to George Norcross, we doubt he’ll be much impressed. He’ll have to see that the op-ed pages are actually valuable to the Inquirer’s readership at large; frankly, we’re not sure that the change will produce as much reaction as dropping Beetle Bailey from the daily comic roster. But we’d be happy to be proven wrong on that count.