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COLUMN, Definition, Types of Column & Writing

October 25, 2011 1 Comment


What is the column? How to define column and explain? Here in the following trying to
answer the above questions of Column definition in explanation of the column in details.

It is the personal opinion of the column writer that would not be tolerated in any other kind of
story. The columnist can pass judgments, make recommendations, talk about himself or
herself and otherwise violate most of the accepted tenets of news writing.

The style and approach in writing columns are neither serious nor deductive. Columns can
be humorous, can report on local life and people or can deal with some specialty such as
finance. Probably the most popular topic for columns is politics and government.

The feature, the column and the editorial are sometimes hard to distinguish; qualities of
each cross over and intermingle. But columns offer an opportunity for variety in content that
no feature or editorial can approach.

The column always carries the writer’s by-line 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 in hobbies or crafts Or the columns can be a reflection of the writer’s personality,
offering humor, opinion, anecdotes.

Unlike feature, or editorial, which usually require considerable background and experience,
columns can be written by the newest member of the stall

How many types of columns are written in Print media like a newspaper in Urdu or English
language. Columns, like news stories, may fit into several pigeonholes at the same time. For
what it may be worth, let us try to set up some classification for column writings.

Major Types of columns can be divided into the following:

(a) Reporting in Depth Columns:

To this type of column background, perspective, and interpretation are given to
various happenings, usually already presented in hard news. In this kind of column current
news events are related to the past and also to the future.

(b) ” I Think” or Opinionated Columns

The columnists, either because of extensive training, long time observations, or sheer lack
of modesty, set themselves up as experts and then expound their opinions for the general
public. The self-opinionated experts try to compensate in the heat for what they cannot
provide in light.
(c) Gossip Columns
Practically everybody likes to learn a juicy bit of gossip; one whole field of column writing is
built on these characteristics. While column contains little except its titillating value, this
need not be the writer” s exclusive domain. The uncovering of a government scandal may
have profound (and beneficial) ramifications, for instance.
(d) Humorous Columns
In this type the columnist tries to find the humorous aspect in life and write an article that will
amuse readers. Sometimes these humorous columns spotlight an event more clearly than
thousands of words of expounding and explaining.

How to write columns? Or How to write a column in the print media or newspaper? Here are
few steps to follow for a good or Best Column writing.

 Structure

Pointing out different structures of columns may seem a useless exercise, since column
writing is so individual. However, the following Structures are more common

 Q&A

The questions come from readers and the answers are supplied by the columnist.

 Grab bag

Some columns are a collection of events coming up, awards handed out, gossip and
anything else too small for a headline. However, more newspapers are abandoning these
for a thematic grab bag.

 Anecdote

Columns built around a single anecdote take on the character of a mini-feature.

 Feature
A feature, usually a profile, is a common column format. The difference between this and a
regular feature is the greater length of the regular feature, and, sometimes, personal
involvement of the columnist indicated by use if personal pronoun.

 Instructive

Informal style. The directions are always carefully written to eliminate ambiguity and writers
often give the material an “idiot run” to be sure there are no steps missing.


The successful columnist is one who has developed a personal style, but there are some
general principles that can be followed. They are given below:

 Use Humour

Humorous touch in style creates interest and communicates very complex message in a
light way.

 Express private thoughts

Let the public know that you share their concerns, pleasures and fears.

 Personalize vour column

Use specific names, places, events. Let readers identify with you as you wander through
the community. Share ideas that you have picked during golf matches or card games.

 Be creative

Experiment with words and their meanings. Play with sentences and paragraph structure.
Build images. Be descriptive.

 Use dramatic elements

Study good storytellers. Learn how to build suspense to a climax.

 Borrow techniques from fiction

Description and dialogue can recreate scenes and sharpen story lines.

 Sharpen vour vocabulary

Search for precise words. Don’t be content with coming closer to the meaning of a word or
sentence. Take the extra time with your writing to be exact.

 Learn to listen U others

Careful innovation and keen perception result in evocative writing. Ask questions and probe
other’s interests.

 Write for others

Though the subjects you choose are your own, your responsibility is to please your

Fakhar Naveed is author of Mass Communication Talk blog, He has done MPhil in Mass Communication
& Media from University of Gujrat, Pakistan. He is certified in Media Ethics and Governance from
University of Amsterdam, Netherlands.

He has an Urdu language technology blog

Working as freelancer on Upwork as Website Developer, Webhosting Server Management & Search
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