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Does your paper REALLY need a columnist

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by boots, Jun 12, 2007.

  1. boots

    boots New Member

    Since many papers are trying to trim more fat from their budget, are columnists really needed in today's world of sports journalism?
  2. WazzuGrad00

    WazzuGrad00 Guest

    They might be necessary now more than ever.
  3. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    More than ever. Way more than ever. Much of the information traditional reporters present is available so many places. Newspapers need to offer more commentary, more color, more insight. A good columnist is a key part of that.

    One newpaper I know very well is strongly considering using columnists as the "lead" story at many events.
  4. In Cold Blood

    In Cold Blood Member

    I'm not your average newspaper reader, but a good columnist is something I'll seek out.
    I'll go to a website or pick up a paper to read a columnist. I'm less likely to seek out a paper's website or their print product to read about an orioles game or the Ohio state football game. I've seen that score twelve different places already.
  5. HejiraHenry

    HejiraHenry Well-Known Member

    Make that two newspapers, at least.

    I think that's where we're headed this fall with our SEC football, and we may just keep going on into basketball season if the response is good.
  6. boots

    boots New Member

    At one time, I thought that you couldn't get by without having a "voice" in sports. Now, I'm not so sure. People are bright enough to formulate their own opinions. They don't need someone with locker room access but never uses it, to tell them that a guy is playing like crap or their team is crap.
  7. Jake_Taylor

    Jake_Taylor Well-Known Member

    Agree with everyone that said more than ever. It's one way newspapers can be sure to offer something different than the competition. I know of one metro that even had beat writers doing "analysis" instead of gamers during basketball season.

    Boots, I think your second post points out the need for more good columnists. And even if people don't need someone else's opinion, they want it. People don't flood message boards or watch PTI because they need to. They do it because it's fun to discuss.
  8. TyWebb

    TyWebb Well-Known Member

    I'm still of the type that goes to a newspaper to read what the columnists think on a certain topic. I read the game coverage out of professional curiousity. But if I were just a reader, I would glaze over the gamers and spend my time on the columnists.

    They spark debate, which is why shows like PTI and Around the Horn are still around. Even if the reader is just yelling at the columnists mug on the paper, they feel like they are part of the debate.
  9. Fran Curci

    Fran Curci Well-Known Member

    Using a columnist as the "lead" story is a good idea but not all that new.

    Certainly it was common in PM papers ......... some of the good Knight-Ridder papers did it back in the day, too. (By back in the day, I mean, like, 2001.)
  10. boots

    boots New Member

    It's a concept that's older than that. In order for it to work, a paper has to have a columnist that people actually buy the paper to read.
    I hate to admit it but you don't hear people buying a paper just to read what a certain columnist thinks nowadays.
  11. Columnists are not only the voice of the paper but they're the face of the paper. A lot like anchors are to TV. It humanizes the medium.
  12. In Cold Blood

    In Cold Blood Member

    I don't know boots.... I grew up in Cincinnati. My parents have never subscribed to the paper, but whenever either of them mentions an article in the paper, its always Paul Daugherty (Enquirer columnist). It's never to tell me about what Tom Groeschen wrote about my high school's football game.

    My dad has even said that Doc's columns are one of the reasons he picks up the paper on the way home from work.
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