What is Op-Ed?


Wondering what an Op-Ed is?

So were we, so we did some digging. Although an op-ed is an opinion piece, the term “op-ed” refers to “opposite the editorial page” which launched in the New York Times in 1970. However, the term “op-ed” itself was technically around since the 1930s. In concept the op-ed literally was opposite the editorial page but included commentary of various lengths from authors not part of the staff of the paper. The origin of the “op-ed” page is quite storied and the page itself, as adopted by many newspapers, was wildly popular. (Shafer, 2010).

Of the op-ed page, Tumin (2017) says, “The objective is rather to afford greater opportunity for exploration of issues and presentation of new insights and new ideas by writers and thinkers who have no institutional connection with The Times…to create an environment of collegial combat among different points of view dealing with consequential questions.” Most op-ed pages consist of commentary from various perspectives and authors.

SCOPE is a modern op-ed space in that it lives online but fills a gap in between informal social media posts and more formal sources like books and articles. SCOPE is not affiliated with any association, organization, or entity, and those behind it aren’t paid for the work they do for SCOPE. It helps to think about this space as an experiment that can result in any number of outcomes. We’re looking forward to seeing where it goes.


Shafer, J. (2010, September 27). A press scholar explains how the New York Times op-ed page got started. Retrieved July 5, 2019, from Slate Magazine website: https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2010/09/a-press-scholar-explains-how-the-new-york-times-op-ed-page-got-started.html

Tumin, R. (2017, December 3). The op-ed pages, explained. The New York Times. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/03/insider/opinion-op-ed-explainer.html