Monday, October 25, 2010

Sacramento Bee's Bob Shallit to speak in column-writing class

SACRAMENTO, Calif., USA - Sacramento Bee columnist and business writer Bob Shallit will be speaking in the column-writing class at CSU, Sacramento Monday.

Shallit's appearance comes two weeks after Bee colleague Claudia Buck spoke to the class, detailing out her work as a personal finance columnist.

Shallit's columns usually include several different business-related items, reminiscent of the three-dot journalism of the San Francisco Chronicle's late columnist, Herb Caen.

At times, Shallit also writes longer pieces on business and business trends.

Here is a link to his columns: Bob Shallit's columns in The Sacramento Bee

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

First columnist presentations set a high bar for balance of class

SACRAMENTO, Calif., USA - The first three presentations in the column-writing class at CSU, Sacramento today set a high standard for the balance of the students to reach.

Laural Kolar, Leia Osterman and Ronnie Nurss profiled Dave Barry, Heather Armstrong and Rolf Potts, respectively, all offering interesting insights into the writers and the way they go about their very different styles of using media. The students also fielded questions quite handily that came from classmates.

Dave Barry
In the presentation on Dave Barry, one video showed Barry's response to Marquette University censoring a quote of his that was hanging on the doorway of Marquette PhD student: "As Americans we must always remember that we all have a common enemy, an enemy that is dangerous, powerful, and relentless. I refer, of course, to the federal government."

That bit of humor, in 2006, sparked a firestorm of criticism against the university for its actions. Barry's responses in the video were as funny as his column.

In the presentation on columnist/blogger Heather Armstrong, the students learned that this stay-at-home mom, through her very successful blog, gets many thousands of hits per day and continually updates her work.
Heather B. Armstrong

She also has video featurettes and advertising which pay for most of her costs. Part of her particular schtick has to do with being really outrageous - something her readers have come to want from her work.

Rolf Potts, a world traveler, provided a third columnist model, not just for writing, but for a vagabond lifestyle that most people can only dream of. There were more than a few sighs in class as he described his life, one that has always been non-traditional.

Rolf Potts
Perhaps the most amusing part of that presentation was a video - and discussion of Potts' 'No Baggage Challenge' in which he travels internationally sans luggage.

His cargo pants were filled to overflowing though.

The class presentations continue on Monday with presentations on columnists  Jayson Stark, Dan Walters, Laura Snyder and Seth Kugel.

Next Wednesday, Sacramento Bee columnist Bob Shallit will speak in class. This past Monday, former Bee writer Dan Weintraub spoke about his new venture, HealthyCal. Weintraub was preceded by Bee finance columnist Claudia Buck.

Here are links to the work of Barry, Armstrong and Potts.
Dave Barry
Heather B. Armstrong
Rolf Potts

Monday, October 04, 2010

Sacramento Bee columnist Jon Ortiz to speak at CSU, Sacramento

SACRAMENTO, Calif., USA - Sacramento Bee columnist Jon Ortiz is slated to speak to the CSU, Sacramento Column Writing class Wednesday at noon.

Ortiz will be focusing on two columns he wrote in the past six months, with the column-writing students expected to compare  content and style - as well as analyze how successful the articles were at making their respective points.

Both columns are part of the popular State Worker series written by Ortiz.

His visit to class comes one week after the class talked with Marcos Breton, Metro columnist for The Bee.

Breton talked about politics, his years as a student journalist at San Jose State and how he landed his current position with The Bee.