n. A short documentary, particularly one with an opinionated take on current or historical events or modern life.
It was amidst an early morning miasma of jet lag, lying in bed, idly surfing the web that I first ran into an Op-Doc.
—Craig Mod, “Far Beyond Snow Fall,” Medium, May 21, 2014
This short video relates the story of a "lost boy," Zachariah Char, who returned to South Sudan in December to build a medical clinic honoring his father and mother. Two days before he was to travel to his home village, violence broke out in Juba. On December 18, he was evacuated from South Sudan by the U.S. government. In this brief Op-Doc, Zachariah speaks movingly as to how these events have preempted the realization of his "dream."
—Mark Barger Elliot, “Lost Boy Home and the South Sudan Conflict,” The Huffington Post, January 09, 2014
2011 (earliest)
As part of its digital expansion, the opinion department introduces Op-Docs, a forum for short, opinionated documentaries, produced with wide creative latitude and a range of artistic styles, about current affairs, contemporary life and historical subjects.
—“Note to Readers,” The New York Times, November 02, 2011
The "op" in op-doc is short for "opinionated", but the phrase is clearly a nod to op-ed (which first appeared around 1931), where the "op" is short for "opposite", meaning such articles appeared on the "opposite editorial" page (that is, the page facing the paper's editorials).
Filed Under