Monday, April 25, 2016

“Authoritative, provocative, opinionated, sarcastic, entertaining, frank, well-informed” – let’s hear it for the columnists

JUST when you think life can’t get any better I was offered the chance to help judge the ‘Columnist’ category in the Regional Press Awards.
The finalists were announced today but if you’re not sure what a local paper columnist is up to these days below is a summary of their activities provided from their own citations on the entries, which are in italics.

Authoritative and provocative she takes a light-hearted look at unusual events and writes with warmth and wit.
Provocative and opinionated he entertains and provokes in equal measure tackling observational slice-of-life issues with a dry, often sarcastic but always entertaining take.
A mix of hard-hitting material and a bit of tongue-in-cheek humour pulls no punches and asks no favours in a frank, well-informed and satirical soundbites of commentary on life.
Expressly intended to make the reader smile he has the uncanny ability to hit readers directly on the funny bone, taking a wry look at the what’s been making the news.
Someone who has his finger on the pulse of the city, a columnist who is light, amusing and yet makes you think. His modus operandi is to entertain through humour yet there is usually a serious purpose behind that humour.

As columnists from Addington to Zanesville will attest I am a tough crowd to please. “No more columns on your wonderful mother/father/grandparents/children/cat/dog/war veteran neighbour/helpful shopkeeper/etc etc please,” I would advise from the comfort of the editor’s chair. “In fact, no more columns at all would be best.”

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