SACRAMENTO, Calif., USA - Sacramento Bee columnist Marcos Breton told a class full of aspiring columnists Wednesday that they need to do plenty of reporting before they write their columns - and not just offer up opinions.
Breton, who writes about city issues and occasionally sports, told the students that he came to The Sacramento Bee 20 years ago, and was planning to stick around for just two. He wrote sports and a sports column before moving over full time to the news department of the paper.
He said the Sacramento market is somewhat unusual in that his news column gets better readership than sports columns, a situation that is reversed in most major media markets.
Breton said he believes that if he hasn't made readers think with his column - or cry or laugh or get mad - he hasn't done his job very well.
And he encouraged the students to write about the things that people are not talking about, but of which they are certainly aware.