But can they name a blogger?

But can they name a blogger? Laura Berman, a columnist for the Detroit News, was humbled recently in a college classroom where she was there to lead a class on “writing a newspaper column.”


The scene: A college classroom at the University of Michigan-Dearborn.
The subject: Writing the newspaper column.
The question: “Can any of you name a columnist you read — in a newspaper or magazine or online — on a regular basis?”
In response: Dead silence.

  • lcreekmo

    They also don’t write or think. I have friends who are professors. Their stories REALLY depress me.

  • Hudge

    Hee. In 1978, when I proctored exams and graded papers at UTK’s journalism school, we said the same thing about that year’s crop of freshmen (which is what they were then).

    But the Detroit columnist makes an interesting comment: “Good writers steep themselves in words; they don’t ingest them in tiny bytes.” In my experience, columnists are encouraged to keep it short (I guess that’s why they are called columnists – they’re supposed to fill a column). Good columnists who have steeped themselves in words can say far more in 500 words than most mortals. But columnists have to keep it short – and the pressure today is even greater to condense, for the reasons she explores. So, in essence, her job IS to throw out tiny bytes/bites of words – that column clocked in at under 500 words.