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What Makes a Good Sports Columnist?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Evil Bastard (aka Chris_L), Dec 22, 2013.

  1. Good take by Michael Gee

  2. Matt Stephens

    Matt Stephens Well-Known Member

    Agreed. Great post.
  3. Mark2010

    Mark2010 Active Member

    I agree.

    I always felt as a columnist, I needed to do three things: (1) take a side/opinion on an issue, (2) support that opinion with facts and (3) offer whatever seemed like a viable solution. I never assumed that my view was the only one, but I at least tried to let readers know why I felt the way I did. I never started a piece with "I think that....."
  4. HejiraHenry

    HejiraHenry Well-Known Member

    Like a good closer, you need more than one pitch - unless you're Mariano Rivera.
  5. Drip

    Drip Active Member

    A good columnist never uses "I."
  6. MileHigh

    MileHigh Moderator Staff Member

    Good post. I wonder if he posts here.
  7. jr/shotglass

    jr/shotglass Well-Known Member

    He must be a good tweeter.
  8. LanceyHoward

    LanceyHoward Well-Known Member

    I don't know. I remember reading Roger Ebert, who admittedly was not a columnist but perhaps the greatest movie reviewer ever, saying that one of the keys to his success was to not be afraid to use the first person.
  9. Jake_Taylor

    Jake_Taylor Well-Known Member

    First person can certainly be a crutch, but are there any columnists who "never" use it?

    Sometimes it really works.
  10. Drip

    Drip Active Member

    There are, and have been, many who don't use first person. I've been taught that it's a crutch and to avoid it like one-source stories.
  11. Jake_Taylor

    Jake_Taylor Well-Known Member

    Who are some of the great ones who never use first person? I agree that a lot of the columnists I enjoy most do it sparingly, but saying a good columnist never does it is extreme.
  12. Drip

    Drip Active Member

    I can't definitively think of any columnist who has never used the first person. I'm sure if I throw out a name, someone will come up with a first-person column done by that columnist. But I will stand by my statement that a good columnist never uses "I."
    There are some Jake who can write extremely well in the first person. I'm just not a fan of those type of columns. Again, that's my opinion. I'm sure others feel differently.
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