An editorial is a journalistic essay which either attempts (1) to inform or explain, (2) to persuade or convince, or (3) to stimulate insight on an entertaining or humorous manner. As an essay the editorial may be having an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. In terms of various forms of composition, it may employ exposition, narration, description, or argumentation. Many of the definitions examined below have many characteristics attributed to essays.
Generally speaking, an editorial is an expression of opinion based upon a selection of facts which present a truth in a new light-something that everyone knows which no one before ever thought of (William Allen White).
An editorial may also be defined as a presentation of facts and opinion in concise, logical, pleasing order for the sake of entertaining, of influencing opinion, or of interpreting significant news in such a way that its importance to the average reader will .be clear (M. Lyle Spencer).
, The following points are common in most of the definitions:-
1. Editorial is the official opinion of the newspaper.
2. Though, editorial is the opinion of the newspaper but it is based on
3. Editorial explains an event in such a way that a general reader is able to understand the facts easily.
4. Editorial is written to influence the opinion of the reader. It persuades the reader for or against an issue.
5. Some editorials give humorous touch to the events or facts and figures to entertain the reader.
The editorial “We”
Because an editorial presumably reflects the policy of the management, in the editorial “We” is used. The assumption is that the audience recognizes the anonymous first-person plural as representing the medium, not the individual who
wrote the copy.
This type of editorial drags the readers into the editorial himself. Following is the example of a direct address editorial:
If any of us were to walk into a railway station and see five of our fellow citizens being slugged and kicked, we would depending on our degree of courage either take it upon ourselves to save those being beaten and punish those doing the beating, or we would
shout to high heaven until somebody else did the job.
We would, in short, not tolerate in our city such violence and such brutal disregard of humanity.
The question lead
Few news or feature writers are able to figure out ways of using a question lead effectively. It is easier for an editorial writer to do so for a serious as well as a feature topic.
It is that form of composition which tries to tell what somethir ^ is all about. Often the editorial writer can make his point best by straightening readers out as regards the intricacies of some situation. He may let the facts, “speak for themselves.” Usually, however, in a good editorial, there must be interpretation and advocacy based on factual explanation.
If the editorials have, in recent years, suffered a decline the editorial page, as a whole, has gained in popularity. This is largely owing to the attempt made by ingenious make-up men to draw the reader’s attention to the editorial page through arrangement of interesting features and typographical display. Now-a-day reader has no time to read the entire newspaper. Therefore if his attention is to be captured and held by the editorial page, that page must be unusually attractive physically.
Contents of Editorial:
Editorial is considered opinion of a newspaper reflected by its owner, as represented by the publisher or editor. They daily appear on the editorial or opinion page to differentiate them from news stories. Editorial comments on material previously presented fairly or objectively in the news columns. Weighing and
presenting various arguments, as editorial reaches a conclusion and makes a recommendation regarding an issue.
Individual opinions and expressions, so important in the world, can be presented effectively in columns on the editorial page. Columns run at regular intervals, daily, weekly, or monthly and can cover a wide range of issues ranging from politics to hobbies. They are the opinions of the author, whose by-lines appear at the top of each instalment. While many writers use the third person in column, most prefer the more personal first person singular: “I” or “my”. Some writers use the collective “we” or “our” in a figurative sense to create variety even though the column has only one writer.
6. Editorial Cartoon:
Cartoons are an important part of the editorial or opinion page. They can graphically and humorously give new dimensions and perspective to the news. Large newspapers so often have one or more cartoonists on their staff. In Urdu newspapers, cartoons usually appear on front or back page but in English newspapers, they usually appear on editorial page.
IV. Letters to the Editor:
Another integral part of editorial page is letters to the editor. Readers have the opportunity to reply to editorials or comment on new situations in the letters to the editor column, usually found on the editorial or opinion page. Unlike editorials letters frequently comment on issues that have not been presented in news columns.