OLD Media Moves

“Best of the Web” columnist moves to WSJ editorial page

January 4, 2017

Posted by Chris Roush

James Taranto
James Taranto

James Taranto, the writer of the “Best of the Web” column at The Wall Street Journal, has been named editorial features editor for the paper.

Taranto writes, “It was not an easy decision to leave one of the best jobs in journalism; we are doing so only because we were offered another one of them. The new job is a return to our editing roots. We spent most of the early 1990s as an editor at the Manhattan Institute’s City Journal. When The Wall Street Journal hired us in 1996 it was as an assistant editorial feature editor. The following year we were promoted to deputy.

“In 2000 we were tapped to edit OpinionJournal.com, the editorial page website. It launched on July 28 of that year, along with Best of the Web, an unsigned blog then written by Ira Stoll of SmarterTimes.com. As the months progressed we began contributing our own commentary on the 2000 election and other news. By the spring of 2001 we had found a distinctive voice, and the column began carrying our byline. In 2008 OpinionJournal was incorporated into the Journal’s primary website, WSJ.com. Best of the Web moved with it, and we continued writing the column, five days a week, for another nine years.

“What made Best of the Web even more distinctive—and still does—is an innovation we stumbled upon early in 2001. We noticed that readers were replying to the column’s email newsletter with suggestions of stories we should write about. We used many of these tips and began soliciting them at the bottom of each day’s column.”

Read more here.

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