When columnist William Raspberry retired last week, many readers no doubt felt like they were losing a friend.
The longtime Washington Post columnist, whose work had appeared on these pages for years, was a Monday fixture who brought a hard-to-predict but level-headed perspective to a wide range of public policy and cultural issues. Even if you didn’t agree with him, he gave you something new to think about.
That’s the proper role of newspaper opinion pages. Good ones offer a variety of opinions on a range of issues, including those of their readers. In any given week, this page strives to present a smorgasbord of ideas, a buffet of food for thought. The goal is not necessarily to convince, but to raise important points for people in a self-governing society to consider.
Although Raspberry will be missed, his retirement creates an opportunity to introduce a new voice onto this page. Eugene Robinson, whose 25 years at The Washington Post have included work as a reporter and editor in Brazil and London as well as the nation’s capital, will appear here each Tuesday. According to the Post, Robinson uses his column “to pick American society apart and then put it back together again in unexpected, and revelatory, new ways. To do this job of demolition and reassembly, Robinson relies on a large and varied tool kit: energy, curiosity, elegant writing, and the wide-ranging experience of a life that took him from childhood in the segregated South – on what they called the “colored” side of the tracks – to the heights of American journalism.”
Because Robinson writes on Mondays for Tuesday publication, we’re moving popular local writer Larry Simoneaux, whose column has appeared here on Tuesdays for the past two years, to Mondays. We’ll continue to run other columnists you’ve come to know, like David Broder, Froma Harrop, Charles Krauthammer, Rick Horowitz, Ellen Goodman, Mona Charen, Jim Hoagland, Bill O’Reilly and George Will.
Readers are encouraged to join the discussion on these pages by writing a letter to the editor. In order to fit the maximum number of letters onto the page, we ask that they be kept to 300 words or less. A box detailing where to send letters appears on the page each day.
We’d love to answer your questions about this page, and suggestions for how we can improve it. Editorial Page Editor Bob Bolerjack can be reached at email@example.com or 425-339-3466. For questions about letters to the editor, contact Carol MacPherson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 425-339-3472.