DEFINITION OF EDITORIAL
“Usually a brief article written by an editor that
expresses a newspaper's or
publishing house's own views and policies on
a current issue.”
HISTORY OF THE EDITORIAL
The origin of editorial can be traced as far
back as 1830. (Yaasa, 1996:9) This was the
period in which the term editorial was used as a
label to designate a statement of the editor’s
opinion. The word editorial was used then to
refer to an article written by the editor. However,
in 20th century, the coast of editorial became
enlarged. This was so, because around this
period, Newspaper across the world had
designated a separate editorial page for editorials
and letters to the editor. Also around this period,
some newspapers started placing editorial in a
left hand page, usually in front of the section.
It is inspiring to note that modern newspapers
have expanded, dignified and enriched the
editorial page to the extent that it is been used to
face lengthier opinions by columnists and guest
writers. This trademark is known as op-ed,
meaning opposite the editorial page.
Opinion piece written by senior editorial staff
Reflects opinion of periodical
Evaluates important issues
Published on special page
Op-ed page is “Opposite to Editorial” page
Op-ed page contains opinion pieces by writers not
directly affiliated to the publication
In certain countries (Italy, France), editorials are
published on the front page
NATURE OF THE EDITORIAL
Editorial writing belongs to the print media genre.
While other opinion pieces like articles, columns and
essays are credited to individuals or joint writers, the
editorial belongs to newspaper as an institution – a
social institution (Ukonu 2005).
By nature, an editorial carries an institutional
flavour. That is why in writing an editorial, terms like
“we” or the name of the newspaper is often mentioned
rather than “I” or the name of the writer.
It is an organizational affair and therefore all the
credits or blames accruing from it must go to the
institution or organization and not an individual.
QUALITIES OF A GOOD EDITORIAL
Must carry an institutional flavour
Language must be plain, unambiguous & easy to
understand by the target readership
There is no room for verbosity and
circumlocution. Words & phrases must be exact
Persuasive techniques must be used
Must be well-researched
Must be based on facts and not speculations
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