As an extension of my last post, let me start the nominations for online writers that you feel like could serve as better columnists for the New York Times than most of the current group. Basic things to consider: reasonably good writers in stylistic terms, evidence that they could handle writing regularly and could write within the space constraints, evidence of the ability to surprise either in their take on issues or in the way that they choose to write about issues, evidence of a wider or different range of concerns than the Usual Suspects.
Make no more than three nominations so that this doesn’t turn into a huge loves-and-kisses to all your blogging buddies.
Here’s my starter list, people I think combine a distinctive style and range, a demonstrated ability to think on their feet in short-form writing, and a fresh angle on things.
1. Scott McLemee
2. Belle Waring
3. Michael Bowen
I could list another twenty people who primarily write online without breaking a sweat who I think would all be interesting, superior additions to the NY Times’ roster of columnists. Another one hundred, probably, if we’re talking about who might be more interesting than Bill Kristol. I can also think of many mainstream nonfiction writers and essayists who I’d love to see take a stab at a regular column.