News and Editorial

What is news?

News is defined by information that was not previously known to the person, or audience, that is being told of it. News is commonly spread through multimedia platforms, such as radio, television and print articles. News is a crucial form of communication that keeps the public in the loop of the current affairs, issues, and people everywhere.

What is Editorial?

Editorial is defined by a newspaper or magazine that contains opinions, either by the editor or the writer. Editorial media content usually consists of columns, rhetoric appeal to the reader in their content and reviews. The reader will trust the writer more if they clearly state their work being editorial (e.g. “opinion” being included in the headline).

In the past, the way news would reach the general public would be through a newspaper being stocked in stores. Up until the early 2000’s, this was a readers only option. The process of waiting for a physical news paper to be stocked in stores is tedious – and more expensive for a company. Physical newspapers would have to go through a manufacturing process, such as printing, publishing and delivery. It didn’t matter what time of the day a news story occurred, because regardless it would not appear in the media until the next day.

Digital journalism has seen a massive increase on laptops, PC’s and smartphones. Apps dedicated to fast access news – e.g. RTE News – mean that the latest story is only a click away, and many stories are reported moments after occurrence. They are often accompanied with photo and video footage that a journalist – citizen or professional – has snapped on their phone.

The impact of fast journalism means that people can access content in the media, such as news and editorial pieces, much faster in comparison to waiting on a newspaper to be published. For a reader, this is beneficial as it means they are more in the loop of what is occurring in the world as it’s happening. However, for a journalist, this is a major increase in competition to get your story out there before anyone else. Professional journalist’s knowledge is now often construed due to citizen journalism flooding social media and blogs. This can be in the form of people taking pictures on their phones, or even writing short pieces on events.

Reader and journalist alike, it is important to be able to distinguish between a news piece and an editorial piece.

The first difference between the pair is how each one is presented to the reader differently.

On most news sites, news is presented as the “priority” to a reader. It is regarded as the most important piece of information, so it will come up first when you click onto the website. This will be either as a headline, or a sub headline around the page. This is often surrounding current affairs, or any major world events happening at present that are fully factual and are for informative purposes mainly.

However, an editorial is one you have to look for, particularly in more distinguished news outlets such as The Daily Mail. It will usually either appear in a box on it’s own, in small writing in the corner of the screen – or page if using traditional print media, or have it’s own separate section all together. In The Daily Mail, editorial’s are titled under “columnists”. As these include a lot of opinion and feelings of the writer, they are not front and center on news websites due to people wanting the “important” content first.

Another major difference is the use of “I” in editorials – “I think”, “I feel” and “I believe” are normally included. This is due to the writer having their own bias thoughts on what they are speaking on. In a news piece, this differs. The journalist should keep themselves out of a news piece as much as possible, and avoid including themselves in their work to keep it unbiased. This is so a reader can feel they are reading a true story and not believe swayed to back up one side or another.

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