AskDefine | Define editorial

Dictionary Definition

editorial adj
1 of or relating to an article stating opinions or giving perspectives; "editorial column"
2 relating to or characteristic of an editor; "editorial duties" n : an article giving opinions or perspectives [syn: column, newspaper column]

User Contributed Dictionary




  1. Of, or relating to an editor, editing or an editorial.


  1. An article in a publication giving the opinion of its editors on a given topic or current event.
  2. A similar commentary on radio or television.


article giving the opinion of editors
  • Finnish: pääkirjoitus
similar commentary on radio or TV

Extensive Definition

An editorial, leader (UK), or leading article (UK) is an article in a newspaper or magazine that expresses the opinion of the editor, editorial board, or publisher.
An op-ed, abbreviated from opposite editorial due to the tradition of newspapers placing such materials on the page opposite the editorial page, is similar in form and content to an editorial, but represents the opinion of an individual writer, who is sometimes but not always affiliated with the publication. Though these two terms are sometimes confused, they are quite distinct.

Op Ed page

While standard editorial pages have been printed by newspapers for many centuries, the first modern op-ed page was created in 1921 by Herbert Bayard Swope of The New York Evening World. When he took over as editor in 1920, he realized that the page opposite the editorials, was "a catchall for book reviews, society boilerplate, and obituaries." He is quoted as writing: "It occurred to me that nothing is more interesting than opinion when opinion is interesting, so I devised a method of cleaning off the page opposite the editorial, which became the most important in America... and thereon I decided to print opinions, ignoring facts."

Editorial boards

The editorial board is a group of editors, usually at a print publication, who dictate the tone and direction that the publication's editorials will take. In much of the English-speaking world, editorials are typically not written by the regular reporters of the news organization, but are instead collectively authored by a group of individuals and published without bylines. In fact, most major newspapers have a strict policy of keeping "editorial" and "news" staffs separate. The editorial board of a newspaper will regularly convene to discuss and assign editorial tasks. If editorials are written by the board, then they generally represent the newspaper's official positions on the issues. Often however, there exist also one or more regular opinion columnists who present their own point of view. Most newspapers also utilize nationally syndicated columnists to supplement the content of their own opinion pages.

Editorial guidelines

Editorials are generally printed either on their own page of a newspaper or in a clearly marked-off column, and are always labeled as editorials (to avoid confusion with news coverage). They often address current events or public controversies. Generally, editorials fall into four broad types: news, policy, social, and special. When covering controversial topics such as election issues, some opinion page editors will run "dueling" editorials, with each staking out a respective side of the issue. + expressed. Many magazines also feature editorials, mainly by the editor or publisher of the publication. Additionally, most print publications feature an editorial, or letter from the editor, followed by a Letters to the Editor section. The American Society of Magazine Editors has developed a list of editorial guidelines, to which a majority of magazine editors commonly adhere.. Most editorial pieces take the form of an essay or thesis, using arguments to promote a point of view.


The editorial page contains editorials written by a member of the news organization and the opinion page contains opinion columns and sometimes editorial cartoons:
  • Editorials are (usually short) opinion pieces, written by members of the editorial board of the paper. They reflect the stance of the paper and, in English-language papers, usually do not have bylines.
  • The opinions expressed on op-ed opposite editorial pages reflect those of the individual authors, not the paper. The articles have bylines and are written by individual free-lance writers, guest opinion writers, syndicated columnists, or a regular columnist of the paper.

Structure of editorials

The editorial page of a newspaper is not about news. It is about personal views. Articles appearing on a newspaper's editorial pages represent the views of the newspaper's editor and/or it's editorial board.
Many print publications feature an editorial or 'letter from the editor' which is followed by 'letters to the editor' section where members of the public write in with comments on the editorials or articles in that publication. People write in from all over the world and a letter written by a person residing in Mumbai, for example, will go to the publication in Mumbai to which he’s written.
General opinion holds that the content of editorials needs to carry a message strong enough to eliminate the need for photos associated with the opinion expressed. Most editorial pieces take the form of an essay or thesis, using arguments to promote a point of view. Newspapers often publish editorial pieces that are in line with their publication's editorial slants. However, dissenting opinions are often given space specifically to promote balance and discussion.
Requirements for article length varies according to each publication's guidelines, as do a number of other factors including style and topic. An average editorial is 750 words or less.

Leading editorial pages

United States

Perhaps the most prominent liberal editorial page in the nation is that of the New York Times, which features liberal columnists Paul Krugman, Thomas Friedman, Frank Rich, Bob Herbert, Gail Collins,and Nicholas D. Kristof. For many years, former Richard Nixon speechwriter William Safire was the lone conservative columnist on the page. Following Safire's retirement, David Brooks was hired from the Weekly Standard to fill the "conservative seat." But in 2007, the Times surprised (and angered) many of its politically liberal readers by adding a second conservative, William Kristol, also of the Weekly Standard, as a columnist. The Wall Street Journal has long been the country's most influential conservative editorial page. Under the longtime leadership of Robert L. Bartley from 1971 to 2001, the page won a number of Pulitzer Prizes. Its columnists include Deputy Editorial Page Editor Daniel Henninger, who writes the "Wonder Land" column on national issues, Kimberly Strassel, who writes the "Potomac Watch" column from Washington, DC, and Mary Anastasia O'Grady on Latin American issues. It is edited by Paul Gigot and also publishes the online site, Opinion Journal. It is also the only major editorial board in the nation with its own television program, Journal Editorial Report, which formerly appeared on Public Broadcasting System stations, but now runs on the Fox News Channel.
The Washington Post editorial page is liberal, though more middle-of-the-road than that of the New York Times. Its opinion page features opinion columnists Charles Krauthammer, David Ignatius, and E. J. Dionne among others.


Prominent regional editorial pages include:

Leading magazine editorial pages

Prominent magazine editorial pages include: The New Yorker, The Economist, Playboy, National Review, The Weekly Standard, The Nation, Newsweek, The New Republic, and U.S. News.


editorial in Danish: Leder (journalistik)
editorial in German: Editorial
editorial in Spanish: Editorial periodístico
editorial in Galician: Conductor
editorial in Interlingua (International Auxiliary Language Association): Editorial
editorial in Italian: Editoriale
editorial in Hebrew: מאמר המערכת
editorial in Japanese: 社説
editorial in Uzbek: Op-ed
editorial in Portuguese: Editorial
editorial in Swedish: Ledarsida
editorial in Chinese: 社论

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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