QUALITIES OF A COLUMNISTKeeping in view the fact that a columnist enjoys a prominent position in the society and that he may exercise his influence on public opinion, most of the sub-editors and reporters chuckle a desire to become a columnist. Column writing, however, is not an easy task. A number of journalists look forward towards becoming columnists. They wish that they should be allotted a permanent space in the newspaper where they should have the freedom to express their views.
According to an American journalist, it is meaningless to procure a column in the newspaper for a writer when he does not have the ability to form ideas in his mind and reduce them into writing. Yet column writing is not so difficult that one cannot make any strides towards writing it. If one has the ability and determination to write, one can achieve the desired proficiency in this field.
1. Awareness :
By educating the readers, by informing them and by their training, column writer makes them to be aware of current situation of the country and their problems.
2. Educating and Training :
Every word of the newspaper keeps some specific objective and importance like wise column writing also has certain objectives and importance, from which the first and foremost important objective is to educate the people and train them. For example, a column writer tries to explain the problem or any specific issue in his column with complete in depth research in an easy and simple way for informing the people, make them well informed and let them to decide the right way for the solution of the problem.
3. Frankness or Informality :
A column writer tries to follow the informal pattern while writing. The columnist so, by creating the friendly atmosphere in his column, develops friendly and frank relationship with his readers.
4. Personal Expressions :
In column writing, columnists present their own views, thoughts, ideas, feelings, expressions on any topic or current domestic, national or international issues. So we find personal expressions of the column writer in the column many times. Column is the only piece of writing of newspaper in which column writer expresses his personal views and feelings.
5. To Promote the Supreme Values :
In the column, the columnist tries to promote the supreme values of the society and makes them to follow the supreme ethical values, and become the civilized citizen of the country.
6. Entertainment :
Entertainment is the element which is very much found in the columns of our everyday life. Especially in the humorous columns, element of entertainment is very prominent.
7. Identification of the Newspapers :
Columns usually become the identification of the newspapers as many newspapers are recognized by their columns or column writers. So sometimes columns become the identity of the newspaper. And readers buy that particular newspaper for its columns.
8. Variety of Topics :
Columns cover the full stretch of journalistic activity, sports, society, finance, business, economics, politics and just explain personalities. In each division, there are as many sub-divisions as there are columnists.
9. Literary Touch :
Column writing is the only writing of the newspaper which has literary touch while others like news, editorial, features do not consist this element.
10. Promotion of Democratic Values :
Column is an important source of democratic values promotion because it provides the political platform to the people and let them know their political rights as it is their political right to live in a democratic society and run their state themselves and become the part of their government.
11. Public Opinion :
Through column writing, a columnist informs the people, develops the sense of responsibility among the citizens of the nation and makes them to think about their current national, political and social problems and find collectively the solutions of these problems. By this way, columns make the public opinion in a specific way.
12. Representative of the People :
Many times columnists discuss the general problems of the people including their social, educational, religious and political problems. On the other side, they discuss the people’s attitude towards government’s new projects or programmes and inform the government‘ about the people’s views and thoughts.
13. Analysis :
In the columns, columnists analyse the current national or international issues with the full details of facts and figures and then finally draw the conclusion.
14. Accountability :
By analyzing the issue and discussing the current national problems, in fact a columnist is performing his duty to point. out the factors, persons and the conditions which can be harmful for the government on one side and for the people on the other, either these factors belong to the government or to the people.
15. Solutions of the Problems :
A columnist presents the solutions of the problems which are being discussed in his column. On the other side he provides the proper guide line to people for the solutions of their problems.