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Columns axed by our publisher

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Clever username, Aug 30, 2006.

  1. Clever username

    Clever username Active Member

    Our publisher and editor (editor-in-chief) decided they want to see different kinds of stories in our section and no longer want any of us in sports to write columns. This is not a temporary thing. We no longer write columns nor will we for the forseeable future.

    Has anyone ever encountered anything like this?

    And for the record, we still have no idea what they mean by "different" kinds of stories. They never really explained that to us.
  2. wickedwritah

    wickedwritah Guest

    Non-controversial ones, apparently.

    Did you guys have any columnists who were stirring up the pot too much, maybe pissing advertisers and readers off?
  3. Clever username

    Clever username Active Member

    No, I wish. We think it has more to do with us not writing enough local columns, but it's a small market and the summer. How much can you write about Legion baseball and Nancy Notalent at field hockey camp?

    And I apologize for the Nancy Notalent fake name. It's been a long day and I'm running out of clever. And, yes, that's clever as a noun.
  4. pallister

    pallister Guest

    You can write a column about anything, and I wish columns would replace gamers in many instances.
  5. HejiraHenry

    HejiraHenry Well-Known Member

    There's your trouble. Too many summer columns about national stuff.
  6. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

    Depending on his motives, I don't necessarily disagree with him. I noticed that when New Times took over the Village Voice chain of alt-weeklies, a New Times co-founder caused an uproar at the Village Voice by saying he wants reporting, not opinion. Now some people saw this as New Times wanting to rid itself of expensive long-timers who wrote from a political point of view or New Times wanting a less strident product, and, who knows, that could be part of it. But it was also my impression that the guy believed, as I do, that when your newspaper has a political bent you are cutting yourself off from a big chunk of the market, and when you stress opinion you are duplicating what can easily be found in great supply online at the expense of something that can't be found in great supply online -- reporting. I would not be at all surprised to see newspapers get out of the opinion game entirely at some point, and I think that will be a good thing for many reasons.

    I do not think, especially on the op-ed pages, that opinion writing educates the public or changes their minds. At least not anymore. I think in the Internet age most people have their minds made up and just tune out what they disagree with. And they have their talk-radio people and political bloggers who can preach to their respective choirs unencumbered by things like facts. This is far more pleasant than having to visit a page that contains opinions of varying beliefs with writing that is governed by basic journalism principles of fairness and decorum.

    I enjoy reading certain sports columnists same as anyone else, but with game coverage becoming increasingly analytical I am seeing less and less point to setting aside a spot specifically for opinion writing. It's rare when there's a serious issue anyway, and when there is, the point is so obvious (Steroids -- Bad!!!) that readers probably don't need our help in arriving at an opinion. What we are left with is schtick, rants and calling for the head of some poor bastard who lost six in a row, which just doesn't do much for me anymore no matter if it's TV, radio or print. Most sports columnists were pretty good reporters at one point, and I think they will be doing a lot more of it someday soon as we cede raving to the Internet where it belongs.
  7. DyePack

    DyePack New Member

    Too many columns these days are unoriginal and not well-written.

    If I were king, I'd slash them, too.
  8. HejiraHenry

    HejiraHenry Well-Known Member

    I agree with the substance of each of the last two posts.
  9. 2underpar

    2underpar Active Member

    I mostly agree with the those previous posts. Good column writing is an art, and too often the column simply becomes a vertical feature instead of opinion.
    There's nothing worse than a forced column -- I know, I've written a ton of them.
    Not sure I'd totally cut them out, though.What happens when you really do need a voice out there?
  10. wickedwritah

    wickedwritah Guest

    When I had to write three columns per week as editor of three weekly sports sections, I found it was the hardest part of my job. Too much was forced, as 2under says, and many times it read like a feature stripped down the side of the page.
  11. Ben_Hecht

    Ben_Hecht Active Member

    Too many columnists are like 4-year-olds with machine guns in hand.

    Exhibit A: Mariotti
  12. Tom Petty

    Tom Petty Guest

    wow, so opinions are wrong, eh?

    there will be no more posting on SportsJournalists.com in the foreseeable future from this point forward.
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