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Discussion in 'Writers' Workshop' started by school of old, Oct 10, 2006.

  1. school of old

    school of old New Member

    My editor has been getting on me about writing a weekly column, but I'm not entirely sure how to handle a column at my paper. I'm a one-person sports staff with a part-timer at a small newspaper in a small town. I worry about the conflict of interest aspect of this. I'm pretty much the only provider of concent on local sports around here, so is it ethical to be writing opinionate stories as well?

    Is there an alternative? Has anyone else run in to this? Is there a good way to handle it?

    I look forward to your suggestions.
  2. jgmacg

    jgmacg Guest

    SoD -

    My first thought is that you repost this over on the bigger journalism board. You'll get a lot more traffic that way, and more, if not necessarily better, suggestions.

    That said, opinion writing in a small town can be a challenge, given the frustrating intimacy of the place. But it can also be a terrific opportunity to broaden your portfolio.
  3. WriterWrong

    WriterWrong New Member

    Sounds like you're overthinking this, or perhaps trying to get out of something you don't want to do. Especially at a small local paper, your stories should be character-focused — more than just gamers and predictable coach quotes. As an editor at a pretty good local newspaper myself, I push all of our writers, sports included, to find the real story by talking to and featuring real people. A couple suggestions: do not use the "I" word in your columns. Doing so will force you to make someone else the focus of your column, and show, with some color and appropriate slant, a different side of a sports story. Get out of your own way and open my reader eyes to a new topic I may not have before considerd by doing what too few "columnists" dare to do — shine the spotlight on someone other than themselves.
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