Katie Rohman: Wanted: A few good columnistsPublished 11:27pm Tuesday, March 1, 2011
Readers will notice some major changes in our editorial page in Thursday’s Niles Daily Star. More details to come.
But the one thing I can tell you is that we are seeking local columnists. The Star is no longer using syndicated columnists — authors whose columns appear in multiple online or print publications. We have been utilizing these columnists for too long; we believe they are not focusing on the local issues that pertain to Niles area readers.
Therefore, we are seeking local writers who might be up to the task of penning a column once per month. These are unpaid columns, but offer the unique opportunity to exercise a writing ability by expressing opinions to the public on local issues or state and national issues that affect our readers.
I’m going to be up front about what we are looking for and what we are not looking for:
• Race, gender, religion, education and career experience will not affect who we accept as columnists; however, columnists must be over age 18.
• Columnists must currently reside in the Niles area.
• Writing ability is a requirement, although columnists will not be limited to professional writers.
• Reliability is a must. Columnists must abide by strict deadlines and length and content guidelines, but columns will not be censored, cut or amended solely based on opinion.
• Writers must have strong views on topics. Writing about your cat’s eating habits or your trip to the grocery store isn’t really what we are looking for. What issues are you passionate about? Do you see wrongs that need to be righted? What issues do you believe should be addressed, whether it be in government, education, health care, the environment or other issues?
• This is not to be a dumping ground for gripes. “Ranting” must be backed up by facts, quotes, data or other information to support opinions. Libelous, racist, sexist or other defamatory language or takes on issues won’t be tolerated.
• Are you an expert or professional in a specific area or topic that would be relevant to Niles area readers? Would your qualifications give you an insight to help convey a message? This might be a good outlet for you.
• Not all potential columnists will be a good fit, so don’t be offended if you are not selected.
To learn more, call me at 687-7713; e-mail me at email@example.com; or stop by the Star office at 217 North Fourth St.
Katie Rohman is the managing editor of the Niles Daily Star, Off the Water, Cassopolis Vigilant and Edwardsburg Argus. She can be reached at (269) 687-7713 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.