Journalism Camp: Longtime Columnist Retires

by Desmond Schiff

Columnist Sean Kirst will soon write his final column for The Buffalo News.

Kirst, who wrote many heartbreaking stories during his long career, was valued by many readers for his ability to evoke emotion in their hearts.

He had to write about heart breaking things like people with cancer and knew the exact way to put it so it would hit the sweet spot of emotion.

Kirst said he has always found writing to be a helpful tool in understanding difficult situations.

“To me, what writing has been, since I’ve been a kid is that the idea that you can stick a stick in it,” he said. “When you’re upset, when things don’t make sense you can stick something in your gut, and you can put it on paper and you can sort it out. That’s how writing really changed my life.”                          

Kirst said he has always appreciated the freedom that opinion writing has offered to him.

“I’m writing a column about it, I can say oh it’s the most beautiful banner in the world,” pointing to a Buffalo News banner outside the paper’s downtown offices to explain the difference between news writing and opinion writing. Kirst spent 27 years as a columnist at the Syracuse Post-Standard before joining The Buffalo News in 2017.After his retirement he will be teaching journalism at Le Moyne College in Syracuse.

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