The New York Times is to undertake a "reinvention" of its Week in Review, a memo to staff explained. It will be the "creation of an entirely new section," rather than just a new look or new layout for the paper's well-known Sunday analysis and opinion section, the memo from executive editor Bill Keller and editorial page editor Andy Rosenthal.
The planned overhauled section was described by the memo as, "a Sunday commentary section that will feature the rich menu of the best Op-Ed columnists around; our Editorials; some fine analysis and observation from our best writers in the newsroom; the best outside opinion writing (more like the classical Op-Ed pieces); a much expanded and enhanced readers' section (Letters to the Editor on steroids in the 21st century), as well as new kinds of features and new voices and ideas."
The project will involve staff from both the newsroom and the editorial department, but the memo stressed that the new section will not "relax the important distinction between news and opinion." Some reporters and correspondents will write rich analytical pieces on their beats, but these pieces will not be confused with pure opinion articles.
A small group of staff have been assembled, led by op-ed editor Trish Hall, to design the section and come up with prototypes. Hall will be the overall editor of the new section. The staff who work on it will sit mainly in the editorial department.
It may or may not keep the same "Week in Review" name, according to Yahoo!'s The Cutline.
The New York Times is also planning to expand its online Opinion section, which will involve "even more voices, video, graphics, art and illustration, more social interaction. More everything." The memo noted a hope that the expansion of Opinion will "test out our efforts to expand and enhance our readers' involvement in our work."
As Gawker noted, the memo's description does not make the new section sound particularly unlike the current product, except that it will have more input from readers. How exactly will the section be different?
As newspapers' competition for breaking news increases online, one of the areas in which they should be able to uphold their lead is in opinion and analysis. Is this something they should thus be focusing their attention on? Does it make sense to include this in a weekly Sunday section, or throughout the week?