Editorial or Column? Which one am I really writing?

Some people find hard to distinguish between the format of how an editorial and an opinion column is written and I am one of those people. There are several ways to tell between the two, told by Joni James the deputy editor of editorial of the St. Pete Times.
Columns are like the anchors of that page, it challenges perceptions, try to get people who has a certain opinion to broaden their minds if not change it. It is important to not contradict the paper, and if you know that the paper or your organization changed its opinion you have to state clear the previous opinion and why the organization is making that change. Maintaining this dialogue with the readers, your paper continues to have credibility and accountability. Also, when it is your job to have an opinion it is important to remain neutral to accept all sides of news. Keep dialogue open.
Joni James gave a little secret that I found very helpful. She gave what she calls the formula for a good editorial.
Formula to write editorial:
Paragraph one: You state the problem and you propose a solution to the problem.
Paragraph two: The ‘Bone’ or structure of the problem. This graph hold the editorial together, it is where you write about the topic, state as much facts as possible.
Paragraph three: This is where the dissecting of the topic goes. It is the why or why not your chosen topic is even worthy to be the topic of the editorial in your paper.
Paragraph four: Recap of what needs to happen.
By reading this blog, I hope that you can now tell the difference between what is a column and an editorial. Below are a few links to a few editorials and blogs.
http://www.tampabay.com/opinion/editorials/article1149616.ece
http://www.tampabay.com/opinion/columns/race-to-the-top-begins-with-childs-bottom/1149698

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Steps to write a good editorial

Learning what goes on behind the news scene of USF is a great experience. Gaining knowledge from the News Manager herself, Vickie Chanchere about the day-to-day experience in the life of a news writer and editor was explosive on important facts and helpful tips to write a great piece of writing.
Step one: Do rigorous research and work hard to find relevant facts and hints for your topic of interest.
Step two: Meet with editorial board and discuss the topic of the editorial.
An editorial is an unsigned reflection on the company’s opinions.
Step three: To start an editorial, think of a thesis that you and the company want to prove and the editorial board agree on and then challenge it.
Step four: Do more research to report more logical answer to the thesis/ hypothesis. (It can be changed based on your reporting.)
An important differentiation that a writer should know is the difference between a documentary and an interview editorial.
A documentary “follows the paper trail,” Chanchere opened my eyes to a law that I wasn’t aware of, this is Florida’s Public Law. This law gives any member of the public access to any public records. Also, you’ve got to talk to more people to find out more information; do not rely on just those documented records. You will learn a lot more from chatting with people who knows about what is going on in the system, or even from those who works in the business.
You have got to develop networks and know who’s who in the industry in order to have a successful and worthy editorial that the entire company will appreciate.
For interviews, you should approach interviewees in a professional manner; they’re not your friends and they should not be confused with the matter.

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