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What makes Sally Jenkins a good columnist?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by WaylonJennings, Apr 1, 2008.

  1. We did JoPo a week or two ago and had some pretty good thoughts.

    How about we try someone else.

    Here's her latest, on the Beijing Olympics ticking time bomb:

    Jenkins' trademarks, to me - loooooong paragraphs. So the blogosphere can't throw that one at her.

    Erudite writing without being unintelligble and overly professorly.

    Educated POVs. I don't think she simply sits down and jackhammers out a column.

    Thoughts from her regular readers?
  2. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    Talent, and good genes.

    End of thread.
  3. PeteyPirate

    PeteyPirate Guest

    Research. Supporting her arguments with facts. She has the advantage of writing only once or twice a month, too.
  4. cranberry

    cranberry Well-Known Member

    She thinks, she researches, she asks smart questions, thinks some more ... then she writes. As opposed to a "Shooting from the Lip" type column written by someone who believes he already knows everything about everything and need only announce his uninformed opinion for the world to behold.
  5. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    Sally didn't exactly suck when she was writing four times a week...
  6. Elliotte Friedman

    Elliotte Friedman Moderator Staff Member

    I always admired the fact that when the Jordan/Pollin relationship blew up in Washington, she took the extremely unpopular (Pollin) side. But not just for the hell of it. She made very convincing arguments.

    Leahy's book -- perhaps the best I've ever read -- made me believe she was right.
  7. fishwrapper

    fishwrapper Active Member

    Sally is one of the few left that will report the hell out of a column.
    She will always have a support line after statement or opinion. She's not reactionary and she's not afraid to be unpopular or contrarian.
    A Jenkins piece -- when I find the subject interesting -- is a joy.
  8. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    Her Kwame Brown piece a few years back was amazing...
  9. Ben_Hecht

    Ben_Hecht Active Member

    Even better, she makes no references to Imus.
  10. Monroe Stahr

    Monroe Stahr Member

    Sally's columns sparkle, no question. But here's the thing: She's really more of a magazine columnist now than a newspaper columnist. She writes once a week, usually, rarely against a crushing deadline. She "thinks" because she has an inordinate amount of time to think. She "asks questions" because she has an inordinate amount of time to ask questions -- and to wait for people to call her back. Hers are the kind of columns that should be running on the back page of SI (and they probably would be if there wasn't bad blood between her father and the magazine). Talented? Sure, she's terrific. But she's able to maximize that talent because she has the World's Greatest Working Conditions. There are few things in our business that have a greater impact on quality than TIME.
    And Mizzou, I'm at a loss for when Sally ever wrote four columns a week -- except maybe when she was covering an event like the Olympics. Never been a high volume writer.
  11. Joe Williams

    Joe Williams Well-Known Member

    She writes once a week but is considered full-time and gets a full-time paycheck?

    Nice, if you can get it. Guess that boosts her into the top echelon of all those columnists whose pay was being debated on another thread. One column a week for $150K (or whatever) is like four columns a week for $600K, no?
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