COLUMNThe meaning of column is a supporting arch, vertical division of a page for figures etc, or to reduce length of lines in newspapers. In journalism, columns are writings devoted to special subjects.
The word column is also used .for the purpose of headlines, e.g., single column headline, double column headline or seven column lead story, etc.
Walter Limpman :
An American columnist says about column: “I began my career as an editorial writer. I always think that columnist is one who writes editorial with his name.”
Community Journalism :
In “Community Journalism” column is defined as:
“Column cannot be exemplified by a single writing. Different columns are written in different styles. Moreover, they are also different insofar as their topics and subject-matters are concerned.”
Z.A. Sulehri :
“Column is a piece of writing of any well-informed person who has something to say can write.”
Diet E. Sergeant :
“Columns are those pieces of writing which appear on the editorial page and which carry reviews, cements and illustrations.”
Characteristics of Columns :Columns offer an opportunity for variety in content that no feature or editorial can approach. Columns can range from the philosophical to the whimsical.
The column always carries the writer’s byline and in some cases, the writer’s photograph. Columns appear at regular intervals and usually in the same location in the publication, so loyal readers will know where to find them. Columns may be subject-oriented, such as those on hobbies or crafts. Or the columns can be a reflection of the writer’s personality, offering humour, opinion, anecdotes.
Variety of Writings :
Columns give readers a variety of writing styles rarely found in features and editorials. Columnists can and do use the language any way they want to. Sometimes, in fact, the unconventional style they use becomes a signature, an identifying characteristic.
Timely Topics :
Columnists are not intended to be “news” in the traditional sense. Political columnists do write about finely topics, but they are generally read for their personal presentation, rather than for the factual content.
Types of Columns :
There are as many types of columns as there are different aspects of life, so, we can’t classify the column into any particular type. The approach of one columnist towards writing a column differs from the other columnists. But in general, we can classify the column writing into the following categories:
1. City Letters
2. Humorous Column
3. Personal Column-like Editorial
4. Specialized Column
Among the different types of columns humorous columns are considered to be the most popular type. But it is difficult to write humorous columns. Unless the writer has the command over the language and he knows the art of playing with the jugglery of words. It is also essential to provide interesting and entertaining material in these columns.