John Avlon for The Daily Beast: The Best Columns of the Year

December 31st, 2013

The Daily Beast
by John Avlon
December 31, 2013

I’m a fan of the American art form once known as the newspaper column. That’s why I co-edited two Deadline Artists anthologies with my friends Errol Louis and Jesse Angelo—to honor and archive the best of the past.

But the digital era is disrupting not just the newspaper business but the form itself, though I believe the reported column is particularly well suited to the Internet era.

On the positive side of the ledger, as the barriers to entry have been reduced, more opinions are available than ever before. On the negative side, the sheer tonnage of opinions can overwhelm and cause a degree of amnesia. The emphasis on the quick opinion undercuts ambitions of artistry, and great individual columns can be lost in the wall of sound.

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