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Looking for serious column advice

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by StraightEdge, Aug 28, 2008.

  1. StraightEdge

    StraightEdge Guest

    I am being forced into writing a column. Yep. I know many in this profession live to get a shot at writing columns, but I really don't.

    I don't like sports columns. I don't like sports columnists. I don't like reading stuff with a lot of sentences that start with "I."

    StraightEdge is a straight news guy with a news background who's recently come over to sports. (Always wanted to try it before I get out.) I've never written any type of column before.

    So, what the hell am I supposed to do? Is it just picking a topic and writing an opinion? If so, I'm in trouble. I don't really have an opinion about the things I cover. I just do the job. How is a column that's not an opinion piece different from a feature?
  2. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    Yeah, you gotta have an opinion. If you don't have one, fake it.

    You may just get hugely successful.
  3. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    Nowhere does it say you have to use "I" to write a column.
    Someone just pull you out of their ass to do this? I doubt it. There's a reason you were selected. My guess is you are opinionated.
    Put it into words.
  4. forever_town

    forever_town Well-Known Member

    Everyone has an opinion. Even those who profess not to.

    My recommendation: If you're going to write an opinion piece, be prepared to support it with facts and reporting.
  5. mustangj17

    mustangj17 Active Member

    I agree with Moddy. You can form your own opinion and never use the phrase "I" that goes for any subject, not just sports.
  6. Some Guy

    Some Guy Active Member

    I think you are correct ... ... dammit!
  7. badmoon

    badmoon Member

    "I don't like sports columnists."

    That seems a fairly broad statement. Why do you feel that way?
  8. PeteyPirate

    PeteyPirate Guest

    Maybe the only one he knows is Jay Mariotti.
  9. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member

    Bingo. The best columnists, IMO, don't rely on "I" to make their point. They rely on reporting and legwork, same as always.

    I had a column for a couple years, probably when I was too young to have one but they gave one to me anyway. Tried very, very hard to keep telling good stories and making observations, adding "I" only when absolutely necessary.
  10. txsportsscribe

    txsportsscribe Active Member

    i was always taught there was no reason to have the word "i" in a well-written column.
  11. Tim Sullivan

    Tim Sullivan Member

    Read Red Smith. Read Jim Murray. Read Jimmy Cannon. Read Leigh Montville. And if you still don't like sports columns, read yourself the riot act.
  12. StraightEdge

    StraightEdge Guest

    All I've seen of sports columnists are the loud-mouthed assclowns on TV or on the radio. I can't stand that shit. It's just people screaming half the time. It's worse than political radio talk shows.

    I just don't see why anyone should give a shit about my opinion on something.

    And, if columns aren't always opinions, what makes it any different from a feature?
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