American OpEd pages do not feature leaders of the future

Eric Garland Generational Conflict 3 Comments

The Op-Ed columns of our newspapers are, theoretically, supposed to reflect the highest form of qualitative analytical insight about the world around us. Many people are questioning this particular pretense since the New York Times featured David Brooks’ searing insight, “Boy, I think marijuana is bad” and Richard Cohen’s epic, “Eww, interracial marriage is, like, eww.”

Gawker put together this chart detailing the ages and genders of the columnists at the biggest publications and the syndicated publishing services. Most are men, almost all are from the Boom generation or older. Barely a handful come from Generation X or Y, a group which represents over 80 million Americans.

Average Age of OpEd Columnists

I find it bewildering that an industry based supposedly on advertising revenue would shun my generation of 35 million Americans, a group which is currently raising children, establishing households and entering its prime income generating years.

Moreover, if you’re wondering why you don’t get an enriching sense of the future in traditional media, perhaps it is because none of the future generations of leaders are represented in those outlets.

If you wonder where to find me, I’ll be hanging out on Twitter and Facebook.