All news emerges from a dialectical process in which the subjective confrontsthe objective. Its subjective element is particularly evident in the complexprocess of selection. Personal columns make this subjectivity overt. The ‘I’ speaks loud and clear. Personal columns ‘work’ when the voice speaks in particularly original tones. They may be witty, controversial, no-nonsense, hard-hitting, culturally eclectic, conversational, quirky, bitchy, whimsical, confessional, authoritative, subversive, irritating. At their worst they combine crude ranting with personal abuse. But the writer’s personality should always shine through the copy.