Magazine article St. Louis Journalism Review

Meet the New Kids on the Page

Magazine article St. Louis Journalism Review

Meet the New Kids on the Page

Article excerpt

On Jan. 29, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch announced its welcome to 12 new guest contributors and printed their profiles in the opinion section. The contributors are all Post readers and local citizens who responded to the paper's 2006 call for applicants to the unpaid commentator positions. Every six weeks or so, each contributor will write a column on a topic of his or her choice. The columns will appear, two per week, as space is available.

Post op-ed editor Eric Mink spearheaded the project and chose the contributors from among nearly 200 local respondents. Those who applied were asked to "provide a few samples of their writing and a little bit about themselves," Mink said. "Then I read through all of those and picked out 12 who wrote well and who I thought would have interesting things to say."

Among those chosen were a 16-year old high school sophomore who writes for her school news paper, a national program director for 100 Black Men of America, a grandmother who's a docent at the St. Louis Holocaust Museum, a Belleville native and recent college graduate who plays piano for a Chicago-based jazz band, and a former director of Laity and Family Life for the Archdiocese of St. Louis. There are seven men and five women, six people over the age of 40 and six under. All but one of the contributors are college graduates.

The effort to represent a diverse cross-section obviously comes through. It might be fair to ask whether the effort seems a little forced at times (only one nonwhite contributor? …

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