Nothing like Opine Season exists anywhere. Envision the opinion pages you’d find on the web sites of the New York Times or Washington Post but, instead of journalists, Opine Season will spotlight activists, artists, educators, students and millennials, public advocates and experts in law, healthcare, urban economics and development—all recruited for their smart, strong, provocative voices of conviction. Right out of the gate, when we formally launch in September 2015, we will be the most prolific opinion page in Cincinnati.
The columns you see now on Opine Season are a sample of the work you’ll see from these writers and others once we launch with fulltime publication. Opine Season will feature a core of 10 columnists living in and around Cincinnati, each writing weekly and paid for their contributions. Alone, these voices might be bloggers lost in the din of today’s media landscape. As a collective pooled onto a central opinion page, our columnists will win audiences they couldn’t reach alone and attain a critical mass local mainstream media and policymakers can’t ignore.
Opine Season’s founding executive director and editor is Matt Peiken, whose career spans broadcast, print, online and entrepreneurial journalism.
In 2013, Peiken developed the first, all-volunteer version of Opine Season, in Minnesota’s Twin Cities. The site attracted more than 250,000 page views, sparked numerous comment thread conversations and compelled other local media to take notice—all in just the four months of operation before Peiken moved to Cincinnati to join the digital reporting staff of WCPO-TV. Peiken is rebuilding Opine Season in Cincinnati under a nonprofit business model.