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A New Milestone for The Information Opinion

This week marks the Infoversary of our Opinion Editor Jillian Goodman. That means that Opinion under Jillian is 1. That's a big deal, and I wanted to take a few moments to look back.

We started Opinion because commentary in large publications had become predictable and boring. Our aim was simple: to "inform not troll." We felt there was room for serious conversation and discussion. And we were right.

Opinion has driven this conversation. Very recently Facebook President of Global Affairs Nick Clegg posted this essay on Medium about data. Hmmm. I've read that before :)

So many important ideas (algorithmic regulation) were first seeded and discussed in our "pages." (Here we covered algorithmic regulation. The New York Times got to it 12 months later.)

Opinion has allowed us to reach into new corners: shedding light on social issues that permeate all of tech and business, the quest to diversify tech and topics often on the minds of employees, like their LinkedIn profiles!

And Opinion has featured a range of diverse writers on a huge array of topics. We have published 81 Opinion pieces by 68 Contributors.

It hasn't always been easy. Smart people are short on time to write and have plenty of other spaces to do so. Our bar is very high and getting writers over it isn't always easy. I have been very impressed with how Jillian—now with help from Scott—continue to experiment and push through, while tuning what makes a great The Information Opinion piece and how we can be a space for intelligent writers to seed and get feedback on ideas. We are just at the beginning of how we can grow this section, and I am excited for what is ahead.

Bigger Picture

On a related note, I am particularly fond of Opinion because of what it represented to The Information back when we launched. Prior to Opinion, The Information had one core news product. Opinion represented a big break for us -- a new section, powered by new writers and independent editors, that could serve subscribers and influence the public conversation in new ways. It was risky. Externally, people told me we would face pressure to pursue content that was clickbaity because that's how opinion "sells." But we took a different approach. And it's worked.

Its momentum inspired me to push ahead and launch Weekend, and in turn push ahead and expand our ambitions in Finance. Our opportunity to deliver the most influential reporting on tech and business continues to grow, powered by our amazing team. Opinion was the first step. Launching it also required us to lay important product groundwork that has helped us serve readers in new ways.

Thank you to everyone who has been part of building the section to date. We can't wait to work together on the next phase.


Jessica Lessin founded The Information in 2013 after reporting on Silicon Valley for eight years for the Wall Street Journal. She regularly writes about all things tech, media and the wild ride both industries are in for. She can be found on Twitter at @jessicalessin.
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