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From beat guy to columnist guy

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Toooverpar, Mar 25, 2008.

  1. Toooverpar

    Toooverpar New Member

    Hello everyone, longtime lurker here. Love the site. It's filled with great people and great stories.

    I'm posting with a question. I'm the college beat guy at the hometown rag of a BCS school. Been at it a few years now, still in my late 20s, and enjoy it immensely, but aspire to become a columnist someday. I'm not expecting this to happen tomorrow, or even 8-10 years from now, but I want to know what to do now to be ready when that day arrives. My current paper is small enough that sometimes I get to or have to put on the columnist hat, and though I am often uncomfortable about the ethics of performing both roles in a two-day or three-day span, I can tell already it's the kind of writing/reporting I'd like to do on a full-time basis.

    So here is my question, in two parts.

    For you columnists out there: What was your transition (from beat reporting or from somewhere else) like? How did it happen? What did you do to make it happen?

    For the editors out there: What do you need to see out of someone who has only previous beat experience for you to hire him/her as a columnist?

    Thanks in advance for anything you'd like to offer.
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