The Online Writer and the Columnist
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The Online Writer and the Columnist

The Online Writer and the Columnist, online wriet and newswriter

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               Writing articles online had been a growing trend in the recent years and each one of us maybe wondering how could the newspapers and magazines still appeal to the general public in the newsstands. Of course, the newspapers still bear with it the tradition of bringing to the people’s attention the events of the other day or the past weeks ranging from road accidents, crime, celebrity gossips, scandals, deaths, economic status, political situation and whatever exposé expected to appeal to every passerby but after a 24 hour duration, the unsold copies either go back to the publisher to be recycled or just right straight into the bin.

               Before online writing had been accessible to almost everyone around the world (excluding those in far out areas without broadband signal or electricity) the columnists writing for newspapers and magazines have everything there is to say and people like you and me have to be contented reading whatever they have to fill into the pages of the tabloids and magazines we buy. In those days, there seemed to be a monopoly of ideas wherein the majority of us were merely there to read and appreciate what had been readily written and published before us. Some of us maybe lured to join that fold of privileged individuals who were able to have their names printed on the hot and precious pages of reading materials after a catching article as columnists but were dismayed as there seemed to be a discrimination as to who will be writing who. Well, not unless someone could have the time of his life and meet his creator in an unlikely accident that he merits a headline or a few will be confined to do something illegal that he will be placed on the wanted list or that anybody will meet a natural end that his relatives will pay for a slot on the news page reserved for the obituaries that their names could be printed in a highly, unlikely way as part of the subject not as the writer. 

                The issue of writing online has become a craze for the privileged few and appears like a strange hobby for the majority who were simply busy using their time browsing the world wide web just to update their facebook account or connect with friends through whatever social network available. The positive side of it however opens the age-old monopoly to everyone to light that spark of restlessness yearning to find a forum to be heard and appreciated. The newspapers and magazines still fill up the newsstands but the usual glamour of having one’s name printed on the pages as the writer or columnist has partly lost its appeal. Columnists themselves have blended with the online community of writers and probably struggled to have their written words saved and reconsidered for each day onwards to be read, not just a day or weeks to grace the papers and get binned. So if you are losing the drive to write articles online with a few earnings think again, just face the world with face up high like a columnist for in the good old days they probably didn’t get much pay as we do. It’s just the glamour of writing and having one’s articles and ideas printed but the better end of today is that everyone’s submissions get an indefinite life on a webpage. There are no deadlines and anyone could get published in his own time and if you are still dreaming of getting rich doing it you just have to ask yourself why a former columnist writes as you do.

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Comments (17)

I started as a columnist for a newspaper - in regards to pets. Now I am only online and yes.. it is different.

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No offense meant to your being a former columnist Brenda but what I mean to tell is the writer be it he/she doing it online or as a columnist has extended the life of his/her writings with the present trend and the possibility of reaching readers far out in the world. Isn't it amazing?

Actually, columnists have always made quite a good living--better than I do now--with far less work. Many columnists have become world-renown, their collected works becoming best-sellers. Also, if you succeed as a columnist (as shown by your loyal readers), not only do you reap the benefits of fame and popularity, you make increasingly more money. There are columnists in America making six-figure incomes. These are things you'll never accomplish in a field such as this where most “writers” are not actual writers at all, and you’re never certain if it’s your content or you personally that gets the click. The fact that online writing is a "craze" will always keep the rewards low.

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Of course making a name before online writing even came to being is already an added credential that could earn a columnist a better income aside from just writing on news columns, James. Connections could earn investments but a stereotypical columnist couldn't probably do that. It's the same fact that present day online writers and columnists alike do it. The stereotypical ones confined in the writing as a mere venue to impart ideas may not earn much from it but those who use it to connect to people to earn more views and employ SEO tactics gets rewarded. We are standing on different sides of a single coin called online writing and of course we may have conflicts of opinion. As of the "craze" thing, I could agree with you as the drive to publish too much in short time may tend to affect the quality of the content and the rewards that follow.


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Hmmmnnn. That's what it's all about.

Many thanks for sharing

Writing online has become a trend but it is not a stable income due to an unexpected change at the writing sites.

Great issue Will, thank you.

I must agree with James. But I'll certainly vote just for the banter. Much appreciated.

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I must be influenced by the Philippine situation where many journalists are killed in the cause of responsible journalism (newscasters,reporters,columnists alike) that rarely anyone got rich out of the profession unless he gets a bankable sponsor. Perhaps I failed to consider that in other countries (especially the US), social, economic and political situations maybe all too perfect that journalists (to include columnists) have to confine themselves with constructive criticisms when doing their work for there are no "loose ends" to be exposed and considering the higher pay rate many did succeed to make a fortune out of their work and their status doesn't mean they have to give up writing as they do here.

Gentleman (James and Will), this is the most fascinating exchange I've seen on Factoidz. Better than the article itself, perhaps. It proves to me that our respective geographies and cultural diversities can bring us together to learn more. I am fortunate to see both your points from the middle. But in the end, Will, I am glad to reside in the Eastern US. You'd really enjoy visiting here if you haven't already.

You are one in a million, Ileen.

Thank god for the online option available to writers today! or maybe we should thank the creators of the internet instead?!

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This is quite a discussion really. Thanks for all your reactions everyone. I failed to consider the scenario, if in factoidz a writer could earn 3 figures monthly by doing site reviews and assigned subjects, in the real world (like in the US) a columnist writing on economic, political or defense issues could be well paid by doing just writing columns. If a defense budget could be approved for the procurement of state of the art weapons or aircraft, a prolific columnist doing just the right reviews could be earning so well even before his compiled works become bestsellers. Tom Clancy is a great writer.

I feel these are still early days as far as online writing is concerned. I don't think online writing is going to become profitable very soon, but in due course (don't know whether that will be in out life time or not) their will a large enough space for online writers and some who are able to establish their credentials will be compensated in a much better manner. Thanks for a very lively and interesting discussion.

Excellent and useful work. Thanks