To be a columnist

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Take it from a man who has been a column writer for more than 20 years, writing takes pride and a lot of research and dedication. Not many journalist would take the time out to come to a class and give important tips of trade to eager students. As student we listen to every word they say and listen at their life experiences and dream as we want our dreams come true like theirs.
Dan Ruth a columnist at the St. Pete Times gave some very important advice that we would need to write a successful column. One of the important cardinal rules that stuck out the most was: “don’t go after someone because it’s an easy target.” You must care about consequences. Don’t libel people. Ruth speaks his mind in all the columns that he writes but he makes sure that he can face the person he writes about without having any feelings of guilt or regret. Here is an example of a column that he compared President Bush to pygmies:
In a field of pygmies, bush looks gigantic

The Role and Function of a Columnist in a Newspaper

  • Represent your paper or writing with interesting, fun and proactive facts
  • Create documents that a page turners
  • Have a civic purpose- better inform the readers of what is going on in the area. Maybe give a better informed opinion of the electorate

  • The final words from Ruth about writing columns are:
    Have fun! Make your own words and play with them. The more fun you have writing your column, the more interesting it will be to your readers.
    A good paper comes from a good community.
    Adhere to ethical standards, don’t compromise objectivity by taking gifts from who you write about.
    Here are a few links to some of Ruth’s columns published in the St. Pete Times:
    Profiles in jelly.
    In just weeks, Scott makes state cry uncle.
    Here is his blog: great writing but he hasn’t updated it in a while Ruthington Post.


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