Newspaper Editorials

An Editorial is usually written by the editor or one of the writers on his or her behalf and it represents the views of the newspaper.  The newspaper editorials represent a “honest broker in the public policy issues” Burl Osborne (former publisher of Dallas Morning News, chairman of The Associated Press).

Based on the goal they intend to achieve, there are four types of editorials:

1)Editorials of argument and persuasion take a firm stand on a problem or condition. They attempt to persuade the reader to think the same way. This editorial often proposes a solution or advises taking some definite action.
2)Editorials of information and interpretation attempt to explain the meaning or significance of a situation or news event. There is a wide variety of editorials in this category, ranging from those which provide background information to those which identify issues.
3)Editorials of tribute, appreciation or commendation praise a person or an activity.
4)Editorials of entertainment have two categories. One is the short humorous treatment of a light topic. The second is a slightly satirical treatment of a serious subject. (Satire is the use of sarcasm or keen wit to denounce abuses or follies. While it ridicules or makes fun of a subject with the intent of improving it.)
In order to write a strong editorial, you need to go beyond providing answers to the W questions – you need to provide the SEA aspect to your piece:
  • Stimulate (public dialogue, readers thinking in new different ways, readers talk with other people about the issue)
  • Explain (adding new different dimensions to issues, added value beyond what’s in the news)
  • Advocate (persuade reader to move in a different direction, accept new ideas)

Typically, newspaper editorials stay very close to the news and they can take the following aproaches:

  • The day before: The precede editorial (equip your readers to understand an issue)
  • The morning after: The follow editorial (analysis of the events and issues after they happen)
  • Looking backward: The sum-up editorial (analysis of complex issues by providing context)
  • The combo: Look backward, look ahead editorial (tying the editorial to current issues that already happened, but also looking ahead with suggestions to solutions)
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