A column is a regular piece or an article in a newspaper, magazine or any publication. Sometimes it is published daily or it appears weekly. This piece of writing contains the writer’s opinion or point of view. A spot is allocated to the writer in the editorial page and often it is also named ‘Opinion’ where his or her write-up containing his or her opinions or views on a particular topic or subject appears. The person who writes the column is called ‘columnist’. The column endows the writer with an opportunity to give his or her opinion freely. There is no restriction involved in column writing whatever the observation, experience and knowledge the writer has about the specific topic or subject, the same can be conveyed in the column. Even the liking and disliking too often are witnessed in the columns.
It is published with a byline (columnist’s name), column’s title and the columnist’s picture. Besides it is also seen that the column has another title in addition to column’s usual one, which changes with every new column by the writer and it is called the topic or story’s title. The person who writes the column is always equipped with handsome amount of experience and highly skilled. A column showcases the in-depth knowledge of the subject the writer possesses. In order to extract the information about the topic a columnist is going to write a column on, he or she uses his contacts in the field or community. A column is a voice or a viewpoint of a columnist not the newspaper and it is generally written using first person singular or third person singular. It speaks about the hot issues in society or politics or even displays the experiences of the writer about a specific subject. The reader is free to agree or disagree with the opinions of the columnist.
A column plays a very significant role in journalism. If we say the print media heavily relies on the columns, it will be a correct statement in many ways. Since the columnists are highly experienced, skilled, knowledgeable and have good sources, their opinions are respected and register the impacts on the minds of the readers. So, when a celebrated columnist associates with a newspaper or publication, the circulation is bound to increase.
The columnists convey many the facts, which the typical journalism or the news stories cannot do, to the readers using their sources. Since news are bound to showcase the facts and they cannot go deep in a manner where a columnist reaches with the power of his or her opinion. The hidden realities, which the reader often witnesses in the columns, sometimes turn out to be false, but it happens since the sources are involved to bring the information. Or sometimes, a columnist makes the opinion on the basis of experience, which too can go wrong. But it is the part of the game of column writing.
The columnists can make or break anything. Most of the time, their experiences go in a right direction and their sources bring up the correct information, which reveals the hidden facts. They are normally highly paid because of their rich experience, knowledge and the vast information they are laced with all the time. In today’s world of digital media, their role has surpassed the print media and they are now often seen in anchoring the talk shows, delivering their opinions on news channels and they are also seen running their own blogs. Their role is not only big in journalism but also mammoth in society.