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Columns axed by our publisher

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

  1. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member

    Yeah, well, that was 50 years ago. And Dick Young reached pinnacles of Olympian assholery that only Mariotti, in today's generation, can even challenge.
  2. huntsie

    huntsie Active Member

    Local columns can be a selling point for a small newspaper. Like local scores, readers can't get them anywhere else. So you should strive to keep your column local, even if it is about Nancy Notalent.
    Everybody in a small market faces the summer doldrums, but there are stories/columns there.
  3. Clever username

    Clever username Active Member

    My "I despise the NFL" thread was merely an attempt at humor on the sports board. That has nothing to do with journalism. I was trying to stir the pot, see what kind of reponses I'd get. I enjoyed the one-word "communist" response.
  4. Clever username

    Clever username Active Member

    I considered all that, but if they figure me out, so be it. I'm not one to hide my opinions.

    I didn't post it to complain, I posted it to start a discussion and see what everyone else had to say about the matter. I certainly don't mind not having to force columns any longer. I did those much too often. What I would like to do, though, is have the option to write one if I have a strong idea or something I feel needs to be written.

    I agree too many national columns, especially at a small paper, are not a good idea.
  5. huntsie

    huntsie Active Member

    You can't jump in and out when you feel like it. A column is a commitment, and it's something readers tend to look for and count on -- particularly if its good and thought provoking. You can't just wade in when an issue demands it.
  6. Claws for Concern

    Claws for Concern Active Member

    Gee, how about writing columns that utilize the national issue/athlete, etc. and localize it. News reporters on the other side of the building do that ALL THE TIME.

    For instance ... Barry Bonds/Steroids. What do the local high schools/college/minor league team think about it? Write a column that allows you to explore the big-time issue, but put it in context with what the locals think about it.

    I, too, never liked it, even at my college paper years back when someone would write about the NFL when there wasn't a team nearby. There was, however, the college's football team losing space because of a sports editor's wish to see his name in print talking about the NFL.
  7. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

    Claws, no offense because we've all had to localize stories. I know I did; I remember going to sports bars during the 1981 baseball strike in a futile attempt to find people who didn't slur their words. But does this really do anything for the readers? You have a major news story -- are our readers so stupid and parochial that we need to insert yokels in it in order for them to be interested? Wouldn't it be better to have reporters spend the time finding better local stories than wasting their time grabbing people on downtown sidewalks to get their opinions so we can insert a few meaningless quotes into wire stories?
  8. awriter

    awriter Active Member

    I don't think that's what claws was suggesting. When the McGwire/andro controversy was raging, I got a decent column by talking to local high schoolers about it. A lot of them said kids were using it because of what they saw McGwire doing. Again, it wasn't a Pulitzer by any stretch, but it was a decent read.
  9. dog428

    dog428 Active Member

    I would almost guarantee you that if you put a fan of Bumbledick U in a room with a single news page that contained a story and a column on BU's latest game, the fan/reader would make it about five grafs into the gamer and read the column from start to finish.

    People don't give a shit about informative stories. They want to get the important facts real quick and then they want to be entertained. And columns are a form of entertainment.

    I hate to be the one to draw a link between the two, but let's face it, columns are not a whole helluva lot different than your average blog (yeah, I know, BLOGS!!!). There's a reason blogs are rather popular. The average person wants to connect with a writer. They like that personal touch. They want an opinion, one way or the other, so they can agree or disagree.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying any of this is particularly right or wrong. It's just the way it is.

    Certainly, some columns are better than others. You know them when you see them, and you know them when you're writing them. Saying some weekly guy shouldn't be writing a column on a national story is stupid. That guy knows what's going on in his town. If the national story is the one he thinks his readers will enjoy most, write it. Yeah, localizing it wouldn't hurt, but it's also not a must. If it's well written and leaves the reader with something to think about, the guy's done his job.

    And saying no one should write a column about any event they don't cover is idiotic. A column is an opinion, and last I checked, you didn't have to attend a particular event to form an opinion. You're not providing an official account of the event. You're providing readers with your thoughts on what took place. Will your column be better if you are there? Probably. But I don't think you have to be in order to write one.
  10. DyePack

    DyePack New Member

    I would agree with the previous post if more columns actually were entertaining.

    Too many of them are simply layers of shit or bullshit.
  11. scalper

    scalper Member

    Most decisions made at newspapers come back to one thing: They think they've found a way to save money. Ten years from now this will all be true: fewer columnists, fewer writers overall, many large papers not staffing every road game of the pro and college teams, and circulation numbers and ad revenues that are much smaller than today.

    We are all in a game that ends badly. These changes are part of the process, sad to say. End of story.
  12. Tom Petty

    Tom Petty Guest

    dog, best post on this topic yet.
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