Columnist Job Description
A columnist is someone who writes a regular column for a newspaper, magazine or website. A columnist may be an expert in the field they write about or just someone who uses their personal feelings or information obtained through research to write articles. The main difference between them and an ordinary news reporter is that they have more freedom to express their personal opinion when talking over an issue.
A columnist should be enthusiastic, perceptive, methodical, persistent, determined and approachable, and have the ability to motivate, stay current and generate a steady stream of new ideas. They should be able to communicate effectively and very knowledgeable on the subjects they write about to charm their readers and keep them coming back for more.
What does a Columnist do?
Columnists may do some or all of the following:
- research and obtain information on a subject
- interview people
- write articles that express their opinion on the subject
- respond to comments from their audience
Where does a Columnist work?
Columnists may work long or irregular hours to meet deadlines. Some columnists work on a freelance basis, writing articles for whoever pays them.
What is Required to Become a Columnist ?
To become a columnist, a degree in language, journalism or a related discipline is helpful. Getting a job in this field as a fresh graduate may be a little bit difficult, as most media houses would prefer working with experienced columnists.
Knowledge, Skills and Attributes
Columnists need to have:
- self dicipline
- self confidence and courage
- adaptability and versatility
- determination and resilience
- good attention to detail
- good writing skills
- good judgment and decision making skills
- time management and organizational skills
- analytical and problem solving skills
- networking and interviewing skills
- leadership and presentation skills
- computer skills
- news researching skills and the ability to recognize information that will interest their audience
- the ability to teach
- the ability to make people answer tough questions
- the ability to visualize a story
- the ability to enjoy reading fictions, plays and poetry
- the ability to relate to a wide variety of people
- the ability to work well under pressure and manage stress
- the ability to accept and respond well to criticism
- knowledge of the subject they’re writing about
- knowledge of a wide range of local and global issues
- knowledge of journalism laws and ethics
Should I be a Columnist ?
Take our career test to find out if this career is ideal for you!
- News Reporter
- News Editor
If this is your profession and you would like to add to or amend any of the information on this page, then please get in touch with us at mail[at]careersome[dot]com