paper trail

Danielle Evans wins the Joyce Carol Oates Prize; the “New York Times” retires the term “op-ed”

Danielle Evans. Photo: Beowulf Sheehan.

Danielle Evans, author of The Office of Historical Corrections and Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self, has won the New Literary Project’s Joyce Carol Oates Prize. Oates said of the author: “She has a wickedly sharp eye and ear for hypocrisy and is very funny about pretentiousness in private life as in public life.”

The New York Times has announced that it is retiring the term “Op-Ed,” introducing new design elements meant to help differentiate between opinion journalism and news, and has hired sixteen contributing writers to the Opinion section. Opinion editor Kathleen Kingsbury explains why the “anachronistic” phrase will no longer be used: “Terms like ‘Op-Ed’ are, by their nature, clubby newspaper jargon; we are striving to be far more inclusive in explaining how and why we do our work.”

At Columbia Journalism Review, Jon Allsop considers the limits of the news peg: “Day-to-day news coverage has to be organized somehow; without any pegs at all, it would collapse into a shapeless mass of stuff. But we must collectively examine what we consider to be a compelling peg; often, assessments of what readers care about project what journalists care about, and who they are.”

Brandy Jensen has announced that she’ll be a features editor at the new Gawker. The site is set to relaunch soon, with Leah Finnegan as editor in chief.

In a preview of their new issue, The Drift has posted Mitchell Johnson’s longform piece on Chloé Zhao’s Nomadland, the Oscar winner for best picture. Johnson writes about his mother’s experiences as a nomad and the film’s perspective on the community: “For both of us, it felt rare, and special, that there was a mainstream representation of her life. But to her, the movie wallowed too much in the sad parts of nomadism and included little of the joy she’s encountered on the road.”