Newspapers and other media outlets draw a strong dividing line between news writing - which is generally covered by the bulk of their staff - and editorial. An editorial writer is a writer who outwardly expresses opinions of current events in a wide range of areas, and they are generally expected to write opinionated but factually-based essays. Most successful editorial writers attempt to be provocative and write strongly; the essays they write are not only meant to persuade public opinion, but also to draw interest and attention.
One of the most important criteria for an editorial writer is the ability to write a strong and persuasive argument in essay-form. These writers are allowed to use pejorative terms and loaded language and descriptions which are typically off-limits for news writers at newspapers. They typically have word-limits, as well.
It is important for editorial writers to write about current events and trends. Many write about local, regional, or national issues, and politics are often a potent source of ideas. Because the editorial page of a newspaper - or the editorial content of a news media website - is a unique aspect of the outlet, many publishers believe that good editorial writers help gain valuable readership. Thus, most publishers expect editorial writers to be deliberately provocative at times by arguing positions in creative and unique voices.
Most editorial writers begin their careers in news writing. As such, many have college education in journalism, communications, or another writing-related discipline. Some high-profile editorial writers may come directly from non-news media, such as those with specialized knowledge in politics. Most editorial writers work in office environments, though their working hours may vary greatly.
Editorial Writer Tasks
Write comments on topics of interest to stimulate or influence public opinion, following the views and policies of the publication.
Work with publication editors to edit and refine editorial copy.
Prepare articles on the editorial position of the publication.