Editorials, Columns, &
An editorial is the voice of the paper. It is the
newspaper’s opinion on a certain subject.
Functions of editorials
Explain (give clarification and support or lack of for an
Persuade (give reasons or guidelines to persuade
audience to a certain side of a topic)
Answer (answer criticism, either as defense or apology)
Warn (warn about issues that are about to occur)
Criticize (constructive criticism on an issue or action;
should offer solutions)
Entertain (use humor, keep it light, on a topic)
Praise (praise or congratulations to a person or group)
Lead (act in a role of leadership to get things
Briefly comment (potpourri; comment briefly on a number
How do you choose an editorial topic?
Choose stories important to your readers. If you choose
controversial topics, make sure allow opposition to reply
(letters to editor) and that you can withstand the criticism
What aspects does an editorial need?
Introduction: give brief statement of background about
Reaction: explain position for editorial
Details: provide support for position you are taking
Conclusion: comment on solutions, alternatives, and
restate paper’s position
How do you make your point clear?
When done writing, ask yourself whether you can
summarize the entire point of editorial in one or two
sentences. If not, you missed the point and need to start
What goes on the editorial page?
Letters to the editor
Games or other fun features
A review guides the reader on
performances, does not criticize, complain,
or rave about it.
How to write a review
Make comparisons: compare between one or
Evaluate fulfillment of intended purpose:
evaluation should be based on characteristics
that have meaning to reader.
Itemize strengths and weaknesses: talk about
good and not-so-good, giving reasons for
How to review performances: a review of a
film, TV production, or play needs to tell
what the story is about without giving the
whole plot away. Evaluate the following
Acting: were they believable with true
Sets: were they appropriate? Realistic?
Dialogue: Realistic? Stilted?
Lighting: Establish a mood?
Sound: Could you hear clearly? Music add or
detract from production?
Direction: Did all parts of production work well
together? Consistent tone?
Letters to the Editor
A place where readers can react to
Should be responsible, based on fact, and
signed by the writer, although it is okay to
not print the name.
It is the paper’s responsibility to make sure
the person signing the letter is actually the
one who wrote it.
If it is libelous or in bad taste, don’t print it.
If receive many letters on same topic, print
one to save space.
Simple in design, centered on one topic,
well drawn, and timely. Should relate to a
subject readers are familiar with in
The basic kinds of editorial cartoons.
As a symbol: uses an image to represent an
As a metaphor: likens one thing to another
(snake as evil)
As a joke on current events: targets a specific
event in the media
A column is NOT an editorial (which is the
newspaper’s opinion), but is one person’s
opinion. They can be funny or serious.
What does a column need to have?
Topic needs to lend itself well to a column
Needs to have a specific tone, such as light,
humorous, serious, etc…and be appropriate to
Need specific examples when appropriate
Needs accurate facts like names and dates
Types of Columns
Profile: focus on an outstanding individual, sort
of like a Feature Teacher
Satirical: using sarcasm. Be careful with these,
still needs to make a point.
Fashion and fad: occasionally is refreshing
In-the-clubs: write briefly on each club, what
they are doing each month.
Names-in-the-news: should not be gossipy or
discussing latest parties, but instead talk about
officers, groups, people outside of school
Question-and-answer: like Dear Abby (or Dr.
Others: hobby, sports, humorous, historical,
guest columns, etc.
Additional Opinion Pieces
Random-opinion feature: This is like a
Roving Reporter…getting opinions from
many people not on staff. Or can do a poll.
Use equal representation of both sides.
Point-counterpoint article: pick a topic and
provide both viewpoints on it. Similar to
Battle of the Sexes, but does all kinds of
topics, not just relationship