Opinion: About Blowback: The Opinion section’s online response forum
Got a beef with the L.A. Times? Read something in the paper that really ticked you off, but haven’t got a place to make your opinion heard? Want to write an article about it and get it into The Times?
Blowback is The Times’ forum for full-length responses to our articles, editorials and Op-Eds. It is the missing link between the 150-word letter to the editor and the Op-Ed piece, and you’re invited to participate.
To submit an entry to Blowback, just send your best 700 words or fewer to email@example.com. To get an idea of what we’re looking for, check out previous postings. By submitting a Blowback article, you agree to our terms of service.
Do I need to be the subject of the original article, a recognized expert, a person involved in the issue or a sexy celebrity to post a Blowback?
You don’t need standing, just an interesting response no more than 700 words in length.
I have so many opinions that I really need more than 700 words to make my point. Will you accept longer postings?
No. That’s the usual length of our Op-Eds, so that’s the length of the rebuttal.
If I submit a Blowback, will you definitely post it?
No. It cannot violate our terms of service. We will not post libelous, profane or clearly false statements. The same journalistic rules apply to Blowback as to the rest of the paper, but the point is to get more outside voices into The Times.
Will you edit my Blowback to weaken my argument, make me look stupid or cover up problems in the piece I’m responding to?
No, no and no.
It doesn’t seem fair that you big-shot MSM types run an article in the paper, but put the rebuttal on the web.
As either John F. or Jamie Kennedy said, life is not fair. Print is not an efficient medium for inclusiveness; the web’s a lot better for that. However, we do want Blowback postings to receive as much attention as possible, so we tease these pieces in our print pages frequently, and promote them in the Opinion site and in our newsletter.
Can I reply to anything in the L.A. Times, or just to Op-Eds and editorials?
We’re willing to post Blowback items on both news and opinion pieces, but our focus is on opinion. The idea is to present countering opinions, not to provide a forum for pointing out errors or critiquing bias in the Times’ news coverage. (For the former we have an official corrections policy; for the latter we have an occasional Sunday feature called “Outside the Tent.”)
That sounds pretty nebulous. Do you have a simple guideline for what’s Blowbackable?
We’re looking to create a community forum for a strongly argued point of view, in response to a point of view that was presented in a specific Los Angeles Times article, Op-Ed piece or editorial.
I’ve been looking over that Blowback archive, and there’s some crazy stuff in there!
Some people would say the same of our Op-Eds and editorials. Our ambition is to post stuff because it’s interesting, entertaining and relevant, and to keep a conversation going.
I wrote something I think is interesting, entertaining and relevant but you won’t post it. That’s censorship!
Well, it’s a world-wide web out there. Even if we haven’t posted your Blowback item, we hope that you’ll find a place to make your opinion heard, and we look forward to having you demonstrate the brilliance of your argument.
So what will I be paid for this Blowback thing?
Nothing. This is your forum; we are just providing the technology.
Can I respond to other opinion stuff: blog posts or other Blowback pieces?
Yes to all. You may find the blog comments board a better place to discuss blog posts, and you may have more luck emailing us your thoughts on Opinion Dailies, but Blowback is open to responses to all points of view presented in the L.A. Times Opinion section--in both the print paper and latimes.com.
I have a really great piece, but it’s not actually a response to anything you guys have published. Should I submit it anyway?
You should not submit it as a Blowback, but if your idea is as good as you say, please submit it to firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to seeing it. Remember, Blowback is a forum for responses to specific L.A. Times pieces.
So please join the discussion with your own Blowback, and follow what others are saying by checking out the .
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