Opinion L.A.

Observations and provocations
from The Times' Opinion staff

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About Us

April 26, 2006 |  2:52 pm

Hello, everyone, and welcome to the Opinion Section's new daily weblog, Opinion L.A.

Every weekday at this space you will see:
* Links to the day's Opinion Dept. produce.
* Roundups of local opinion journalism from outside sources (alternative weeklies, national political magazines, business and neighborhood weeklies, online publications, city magazines, weblogs, whatever).
Sprinkled throughout the week will be:
* Random only-in-Southern-California stuff, like excerpts from, oh, Mamie Van Doren's weblog.
* A look at people who are bashing (or praising!) this here L.A. Times; and
* So forth.

There will eventually be chances for readers to interrogate various Opinion staffers, some guest-bloggers arguing about this or that, and also a daily version made available through web feed and e-mail.... Plus some other exciting developments we'll be unveiling in the coming week or three. Not least of which is the creation of another new blog -- Borderline, that focuses 100% on immigration politics.

What's the big idea of Opinion L.A.?

There isn't one, beyond wanting to be a one-stop shop for the best in opinion journalism from and about Southern California. Also, to have a bit of fun, and provide a place for readers to debate with us, and with one another.

Who are you?

The ringmaster is Matt Welch, assistant Editorial Pages editor of the L.A. Times, and a blogger in a former life; references available upon request. Many other Opinion Page staffers will be contributing regularly.

What's your policy on comments?

Please, pretty please, and pretty please with sugar on top, use your real name.

What's that all about?

We want to build a better conversation, where people can still freely screech at each other, but without leaning on the cheap courage/crutch of anonymity. Yes, yes, anonymity can be crucial in political discourse, and the most important thing is the quality of the argument, etc. etc. But that's why God invented Blogspot, and there's nothing in our version of the Constitution that says we have a legal or moral duty to host wild-eyed calls to arms from people named "Colin Oscopy." We also might want to use some comments as Letters to the Editor, in which case we'll need much more personal info than your average blog-comment requires.

So -- use a pseudonym, and the barrier to your comment's entry will be raised significantly (basically, if we arbitrarily conclude you're talking smack that you wouldn't dare under your real name). Reveal your identity (which we will never harvest or share with other people), and the only way you'll get blocked is if you advocate violence against individuals or groups, libel someone, make grave accusations against entire categories of humans, or pass yourself off as someone you aren't. Oh yeah -- and we don't work the graveyard shift.

Huh? No comments after midnight?

Unfortunately, for the time being someone here has to approve every comment before it's published. Something to do with a controversial experiment way back when.... That said, we're being as expeditious as possible between around 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. PDT, and are constantly looking to improve our system. Your suggestions welcome, your patience appreciated.

Why don't you link to my blog?

Why don't you ask? Doesn't mean we will -- we're looking for sites from or about Southern California, updated frequently, and with some consistent level of quality.

Consistent level of quality? What about that one guy who I think is terrible and offensive?

Links are not endorsements, nor are all of them 100% PG-13, to say the least. If you are not offended by at least some of these sites, then we're probably not being thorough enough in our selection.

That's all for now; feel free to ask any and all questions in the comments ... and please keep coming back!

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