Friday, July 20, 2007

MSM Newspaper Columnists: 3rd-rate Bloggers?



I won't even bother posting a snapshot of the other paper as they have only 4 pathetic articles for this whole week. And most of them are by SILs bragging about iPhones.

For your weekend reading pleasure, C&P from Malaysiakini letters:

Pity the newspaper columnists
MBP

Jul 20, 07 5:23pm

Can all the newspaper columnists who write regularly for the newspapers and magazines in the country be described as ‘bloggers’ too? I should think so. The only difference between them and the ordinary and professional blogger who slogs it out to get his blogs posted in the Internet is that these columnists have the easy way out. They stick their views in the newspapers and other publications that they work for, on top of which they are paid.

Most of them, however, hold senior positions in the publications they are supposed to serve. There are some relatively unknown writers especially those that we often see in the New Straits Times (NST). One wonders how did they get a column to write for these papers? Most of what they write often goes unnoticed and their views not swallowed by anyone.

If they walk in public, no one notices them, let alone want to shake their hands or pose for photos with them and get their autographs. I have noticed over the years that the columnists for the newspapers really do not write much. They are wordsmiths, no doubt, but they do not have anything exceptional or interesting at all to say.

Most of them are not specialised in any area of study, so they write on everything. They also have not lived or studied in America, so they try to show their penchant for things American by often writing and referring to what is happening in that country just to show to their readers and the public that they, too, are into things American, which to them, the trendy thing to do at the moment.

Who is the 'best' and 'worst' columnist in the English language newspapers? What I mean here, is the who is the 'best-worse' columnist! There are a few of them, actually. What are they saying most of the time? Who reads their columns? What influence do they have on the policymakers and general public? Are their columns only suitable to wrap 'nasi lemak' in?

Yes, these columnists also publish their email addresses at the end of their columns. But what are they for? None of their publications have published any feedback they’ve got. But lately, some of the recognisable columnists with the NST and The Star did not include their email addresses.

I suspect that they have got more intelligent feedback from ordinary readers who taught them a few things on what they had earlier written. And because of that they have decided not to post their email addresses and get more feedback.

These columnists only want to express their views on many things, but they are not willing to listen. Personally, I feel sorry for them. They have the valuable space in their publications to publish their personal and unsolicited views on many things that catch their fancy. And they also get to publish their photos. But what have they managed to achieve from being able to do all this?

None of them have become recognisable 'public figures' who are often invited to speak at public and private functions. The reason being they have not used their space to write intelligently. All of them will disappear once they stop working for their newspapers and go elsewhere.

I truly feel sorry for some of these newspaper columnists. They are merely wordsmiths who do not have any real opinion or view on anything. They are merely third-rate bloggers.


MBP, perhaps you could check out Nades and Jacky? It's free! And the former replies to mails also.

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