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Opinionators, Reveal Thyselves

(CBS/PHOTODISC)
Hooray for transparency! That's what the Los Angeles Times is screaming today in celebration of the relocation of its opinion page to the first section of the paper. So today's opinion page is one big explainer-o-rama. Wondered about those people who write the paper's editorials? You can check out the bios of the editorial board's nine writers and three editors here. And how do they choose what to write about? "We go wherever our interests lead us - skid row, Sacramento, Shanghai - but we're not entirely free to write whatever we want. The editorial board imposes a few institutional constraints, by design," writes the Times. Those constraints include the paper's past positions on any given topic, and the writing is "a team effort…A member of the board (editors included) can't write an editorial endorsing a position in the absence of consensus among the group." Of course, "Editor Andres Martinez and Deputy Editor Michael Newman have a bigger say, especially in wielding a veto, and both report directly to the publisher, who has an even bigger say."

Want some more explaining? Editors of the Op-ed page and Letters to the Editor offer some insight into the machinations behind their respective charges. And in case you wondered what Joel Stein is thinking (aren't we all?) check out the philosophy behind his column—and those of the other Op-ed writers for the Times here.

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