Why professional writers get paid to write

Lots of people know the subject matter you cover better than you, so why are you the one who gets paid to write about it? Plus, the art of the profile, new theories on commas, writing advice from famous authors, and more.

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Also, some writing advice from Colson Whitehead, Susan Sontag, and The New Yorker‘s editor-in-chief.

A Writer’s Credentials. What does it take to be a professional critic for a newspaper? Does the person need to have studied the topic he or she is critiquing, or done it in a professional manner? Should a film critic have a background in film—academic or professional—to write movie reviews. Not necessarily, according to Jonathan Landman, The New York Times‘ culture editor. “The credential that marks a great critic is great criticism,” he wrote this week in response to a reader, who asked that the paper cite the credentials of its critics.

As bloggers, copywriters, and ghostwriters, we’re rarely writing criticism. But in his response, Landman made a point that is bulletin-board worthy for the corporate communications profession.

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