Feature and Column Writing MCM 514
ENGLISH AND URDU COLUMNISTS
There are certain differences between Urdu and English columns and columnists.
Urdu as a popular readership
Urdu columnists are addressing the popular readership, as the Urdu newspapers reach every literate reader
of the country. Besides this mass appeal, these dailies are also read by the elite also. Hence their
readership varies from the local vendor to the decision makers of the country. With this, wide range of
readers; it becomes easy for the columnists to choose subjects of their choice because every subject will
be read across the country, which makes the Urdu columnists more popular among the masses.
The Urdu columnists are always coming up with popular ideas, as they find readership of varied senses
and tastes. However, they try to discuss the popular ideas, that is, what is being discussed or considered to
be a hot subject.
Secondly, they are treating these subjects as popular themes because these are liked by large number of
On the other hand, the English columnists are meant for selected class of readers, as English is still a
language, which is read, written and understood by a few literate of the society. Hence the English
columnists are addressing a selected readership, who is reading the columns to apprise themselves with
new ideas, as they are already familiar with the problems and issues related to them.
If the English columnists are treating popular ideas, but they are always doing differently through
comparisons, contrasts and arguments. Pragmatism is the basic line, which they following all the time.
Meeting requirements of readers
Urdu columnists are addressing those issues, which their readers want to be discussed, which also add to
the popularity of the columnists. So the Urdu columnists are writing on those subjects, which are
concerns of their readers. However, they are always following editorial policy of the particular newspaper
for which they are writing.
On the other hand, the English columnists are telling readers to think in a particular way, while discussing
a subject. They write in a way, which they deem is good for their readers. Hence they are always trying to
be more pragmatic rather than appeal to emotionalism or popular sentiment.
More of anecdotal
Urdu columnists take due advantage of repeating events, bringing in more anecdotes and discussing them
from their own perspectives. Most of the Urdu columnists do share their personal experiences or others to
make their columns interesting.
Moreover, using letters written to these columnists is also popular with them, as this quoting of letters
fetches more readerships as well.
For English columnists, it is a case of more of analysis of the situation, less of anecdotes, and less of the
personal perspective or quoting of incidents. They stick to objectivity sans any ingredient of
More of popular appeal
It is thought that the Urdu columnists are playing up to the gallery, as they are writing what Urdu readers
want to read. Secondly, they are in certain cases playing up the emotions, and it is rarely avoided because
it is considered that an Urdu is more emotional in comparison to an English one as he attaches more
pragmatism to his thought than emotionalism. Nevertheless, the Urdu columnists are giving pieces of
advice to their readers, and imparting awareness to them simultaneously.
On the other hand, the English columnists remain docile on emotional front, as they try to make their
readers think and believe in them. Secondly, they are rarely giving hype to popular expression.
Feature and Column Writing MCM 514
Meant for a widespread readership
The Urdu columnists have stupendous number of readers, who follow them continuously, and the writers
are making moves to keep their readership intact.
Whereas the English columnists have limited readership in comparison to Urdu journalism, and have
limited following, but this is pretty well-read, and these readers are expecting their columnists to remain
Using column as a popularity tool
Urdu columnists are using their columns as a popularity tool, and they are gaining popularity among the
readers. On the other hand, the English columnists are bent upon `teaching' their readers with an obvious
advantage of being popular among them. Hence the latter writers are using less of an appeal to the
emotions, and stick to arguments.
English--meant for a selected readership
Few might disagree but the fact remains that English columns are meant for selected readers whereas the
Urdu columns are for all and sundry. Hence, this makes columnists change their subjects and Treatment
of the subject considering their readership. Simultaneously, it has also given rise to the fact that a few
writers are taking their readers for granted in contrast to those who are putting an effort to making the
Difference in treatment of subject
What is popular today is the subject for Urdu columnists. They are following how people are thinking,
and they think the same and bringing minor changes in the thought process to achieve the ultimate
objective. Moreover, the Urdu columnists are mostly concentrating on politics; however, variance in
subject is there, but it is less.
On the other hand, the English columnists try to be unique in approach and subject, and their effort is to
communicate what is different, and through varied arguments.
More of didacticism, less of chat
Columnists teach besides entertaining the reader. The Urdu columnists might find it to make columns
`chatty', but English columnists resists this trend as the Chatty columns find places in less serious spaces.
Whereas it has more of English magazines stuff. It is a fact that serious columnists of both languages
resist being chatty.
Letting readers know
Both types of columnists try to let readers know what is happening. However, their styles can vary from
one to another. However, both of them know this thing very well that the readers should be informed,
taught and entertained, and never make them learn wrong things. Moreover, they are providing them
room to observe and reach a conclusion. However, conclusion is also given for less brainy.
Using less devious ways
The regular columns are facing different problems like that of less material. Secondly, they are
constrained to write run-of-the-mill ideas. In certain cases, slackness hits then and they are found
occasionally wondering what to do now.
However, one thing must be kept in mind that serious readers can never be cheated rather know when the
writer is being `very serious' or just `serious' for the sake of it.
However, the columnists' fear of losing their readers is always in their minds like a hanging sword, and
this keeps them charged-up for every issue. Moreover, they are looking for more and more subjects, and
then making an effort to discuss them from different angles.
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