Columnists


Overview

Columnists

Introduction

Columnists write opinion pieces for publication in newspapers or magazines or on news, general interest, or special interest Web sites. Some columnists work for syndicates, which are organizations that sell articles to many media at once.

Columnists can be generalists who write about whatever strikes them on any topic. Most columnists focus on a specialty, such as government, politics, local issues, health, humor, sports, gossip, or other themes.

Most newspapers employ local columnists or run columns from syndicates. S...

Quick Facts


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Median Salary

$59,290

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Employment Prospects

Poor

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Minimum Education Level

Bachelor's Degree


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Experience

Previous writing experience required


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Skills

Computer


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Personality Traits

Creative

Earnings

Like reporters' salaries, the incomes of columnists vary greatly according to experience, newspaper size and location, and whether the columnist is under a union contract. But generally, columnists earn higher salaries than reporters.

Writers who worked for newspaper, periodical, book, and directory publishers earned mean annual salaries of $59,290 in May 2018, according to the U.S. Depa...

Work Environment

Columnists work mostly indoors in newspaper or magazine offices, although they may occasionally conduct interviews or do research on location out of the office. Some columnists may work as much as 48 to 52 hours a week. Some columnists do the majority of their writing at home or in a private office, and come to the newsroom primarily for meetings and to have their work approved or changed by ed...

Outlook

The U.S. Department of Labor predicts that employment of writers at newspaper, periodical, book, and directory publishers will decline from 2018 to 2028. Competition for newspaper and magazine positions is very strong, and competition for the position of columnist is even stiffer because these are prestigious jobs that are limited in number. Smaller daily and weekly newspapers may be easier pla...

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