The current CJR has an article called “The Case of the Vanishing Columnist.” It includes these words of wisdom from someone who knows what it means to be a columnist. Or rather, how not to be one:
“Too many are lazy,” says Dave Lieber, an investigative columnist at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and the chairman of this year’s annual meeting of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists. Lieber has a litany of complaints about his peers: “They refuse to, as Breslin says, climb stairs. Don’t engage in new journalism storytelling techniques. Refuse to be innovative, take risks and fail, which is important. Don’t want to get people angry, which is very important. Want to play it safe. Quote their friends. Write feature stories that pretend to be columns. Forget why they got in the business in the first place. Make stupid jokes.”
Does the DMN‘s very own Steve Blow get a mention in the article? You bet:
Not long ago, Steve Blow, a metro columnist for The Dallas Morning News, wrote about the 150th anniversary of the arrival of French settlers. Informative? Sure. Touching or provocative? Nope.
Give ’em heck, Steve.