Category: You, the Columnist

Columnist tips from Dave Lieber

A Thank You Like No Other

By Dave Lieber Dallas Morning News columnist If you’re reading this, you, the columnist, already believe you have strong messages, insights, and opinions to share in your writing. Nobody without that kind of self-confidence could ever be reading this columnists’ newsletter, right? But how did you get here? Chances are you were helped by a…

Do You Suck?

By Dave Lieber Dallas Morning News columnist  Are you an awful columnist? Writer Hamilton Nolan says you are. He’s sure of it. In a piece on Fusion called “It is humanly impossible to be a good newspaper columnist,”, he writes that being a regular columnist “is one of the cushiest and most coveted jobs in…

Did Breslin Do This?

By Dave Lieber Dallas Morning News columnist     First, I write the column. This is about what’s next. Did Breslin do this? * I write the headline. If I fail on this and nobody likes my headline, all the work I did for a 900-word column goes to the crapper. I know this from…

We’re In Big Trouble

By Dave Lieber Dallas Morning News columnist Now for the first time, I really feel it. I can touch it. It’s happening all around.   The death of a competent, successful free press. The spiral downward for newspapers and TV news.   We are going down and going down fast.   It’s a combination: the smartphone, our own…

Here, I’m a Walter Winchell Wanna-be

You, The Columnist By Dave Lieber Dallas Morning News columnist Imagine if this column about columnists was a 1940s-style rat-tat-tat column. Let’s be Walter Winchell for a day.   *   Good evening, Mr. and Ms. NSNC members; put down your phones and pay attention.   Banner Day for our own beloved W. Bruce Cameron. We now know…

The Interview, R.I.P.

by Dave Lieber Dallas Morning News columnist Like you, I have many books on my shelf about writing. One that I loved when I was starting out 40 years ago is about the art of the interview. It’s a dying art. These days, I don’t get to do many interviews. My sources usually don’t want…

Take a Break. Clear Your Head.

Karen and Dave Lieber enjoy a whale-watching excursion during a Hawaiian vacation.

you, the columnist By Dave Lieber Dallas Morning News columnist One hard rule I always follow — until now — is that I never tell readers of my column anything about myself that would seem to put me above them. I don’t ever want to brag — or come off that way. Once I heard…

What’s Your Thang?

Hedda Hopper

you, the columnist By Dave Lieber Dallas Morning News columnist What’s your thang? Do you have something that you’re known for? What kind of writer are you? How do you explain what you do at parties? This comes up because decades after her death, columnist Hedda Hopper came back to life as actress Helen Mirren…

10 Reasons You Need to Buy the New Ernie Pyle Book

you, the columnist By Dave Lieber Dallas Morning News columnist I own almost every book by and about Ernie Pyle. I also own a scrapbook of his World War II columns kept by a family during that time. I bought it at an NSNC Education Foundation auction more than a decade ago. My collection expanded…

What’s Your Digital IQ Score?

you, the columnist By Dave Lieber Dallas Morning News columnist Take this quick digital skills test and see how well prepared you, the columnist, are to serve your audience as a digital journalist in the 21st century. Ready to begin? Give yourself two points for every YES answer. Do you have your own website? Do…

How’s Your Website?

you, the columnist By Dave Lieber Dallas Morning News columnist As a columnist — a creative entrepreneur who communicates to the public on a regular basis — how is your personal website doing? I mean the one you operate, not the one where your column runs as part of your media company’s website. Everyone should…

History of NSNC Through My T-Shirts

you, the columnist By Dave Lieber Dallas Morning News columnist I’m so excited about seeing everybody at the 2015 Indianapolis National Society of Newspaper Columnists conference that I started going through my wardrobe. What to wear? So many NSNC related T-shirts. Then I realized, I could tell the story of our group through my T-shirts. (Hey,…

What’s Your #AdviceforYoungJournalists?

Official Twitter logo

you, the columnist By Dave Lieber Dallas Morning News columnist Did you catch any of the wonderful snippets of advice on Twitter recently tied to the hashtag #AdviceforYoungJournalists? Hundreds of folks participated from around the world. Some responses were annoying such as one posted by anti-newspaper dolt @jeffjarvis (“Don’t get old.”) Others were quite wonderful:…

Resolved: Batter Up

you, the columnist By Dave Lieber Dallas Morning News columnist It’s New Year’s Eve. I’m feeling good. Not because of the spirits but because I’ve had a wonderful year. One of my best ever at a newspaper. Hey, that last column I wrote. Wow. Loved it. Who wouldn’t? I wonder if it got any public…

Get Your Pulitzer Entry ready

Pulitzer Prizes logo

you, the columnist By Dave Lieber Dallas Morning News columnist Are you getting your Pulitzer contest entry ready for 2014? I’m not kidding. I just looked at the winners for commentary going back to 1970. No active NSNC member has ever won. Sure, plenty of Pulitzer winners have attended our conferences as special guests when…

Ready for Life in the Small Screen World?

Old rotary phone with notebook

you, the columnist By Dave Lieber Dallas Morning News columnist I’m taking the long view with you, the columnist, about the future of journalism and column writing. The long view now is 18 months away. Remember when it was five years? In this briefest of essays, I was prepared to argue that all the efforts…

Deeply Personal, Tammeus’ New Book Hits Home

you, the columnist By Dave Lieber Columnist, The Dallas Morning News In his typical Midwestern self-effacing manner, former NSNC President Bill Tammeus hides his autobiography inside a grander study of modern America based on its early baby boomer years. His new book centers mostly in the 1950s, when middle Americans such as Tammeus developed a…