How do magazines and newspapers decide what editorial content to include?

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Short answer:

Editorials are a way to connect to and build the audience by writing about the topics of their interest. The following style of editorials are published in newspapers and magazines to capture the interest of the readers in unique ways:

  • Interpretive content to spark discussions on current critical affairs
  • Informational editorials to counter misinformation or inform readers
  • Editorials expressing gratitude, appreciation, and homage to public personalities
  • Critical editorial to force readers to think critically and consider all the sides of a situation
  • Advertorials are income-generating editorials for publications by informing them of new products or services they might be interested in
  • Target audience is the crucial factor in deciding the editorial content

Editorials are an integral part of every newspaper and magazine. This content is primarily a short essay in which the author presents an opinion with intent. They are the star of the show for all publications to exhibit their ability to penetrate the reader's mind.

Newspaper editorials are made the same way as other types of editorials. But since many different kinds of people read newspapers, their target audience is broader. Their primary editorial strategy is to analyze events and provide different viewpoints to the reader.

Many different types of editorial content are found in both newspapers and magazines. Editorials seek to evaluate and capitalize on the latest news, current affairs, and new products or services.

The topics are picked considering the popularity of the subject matter, the priority of the subject, the target audience, etc. to connect with existing readers and attract new readers.

The target audience is the most important factor in deciding the editorial content[edit]

The target audience is the most crucial part of deciding the editorial content.

The most important intent of editorials is to spark the public imagination, inspire, force critical thinking, and remember those who made a difference. This could only be achieved by picking topics fresh in the audience's memory or something important to them.

Good editorials seek to build a loyal audience and expand their readers base. If the audience is interested in what they know, it's much easier to gain their trust.[1]

Based on the interests, the editorial topics, their content, the direction, the intent is decided by the publications.

Interpretive editorials intend to highlight current affairs and provide arguments from all sides[edit]

A piece of interpretive content or an editorial of interpretation explains why something in the news is essential.

In this type of editorial content, the people who made it don't say what they think or what they don't like. Instead, they tell the story from both sides and make the reader think.

These editorials are chosen to debate the topics that have a high significance, are polarizing the public, etc.[2]

Good interpretive editorials are a hallmark of a prominent newspapers and magazines. These editorials attract intellectual readers.

LIFE Magazine July 12, 1954 (3) - Interpretive Editorial 'Agonizing reappraisal'
LIFE Magazine July 12, 1954 (3) - Interpretive Editorial 'Agonizing reappraisal'. Manhhai CC BY via Flickr

Informational editorial focuses on the latest news stories to provide chronology and facts[edit]

An informational editorial is a piece of educational writing that gives facts about news stories or other ideas.

These editorials are published to straighten the facts and counter misinformation going around.[3]

An editorial expressing gratitude, appreciation, or homage to the recipient ponders on the life of a known public personality[edit]

This kind of editorial says nice things about someone or something that has done well in their respective domain or benefitted the general public. They may have worked on meaningful projects, won awards, or given a lot of money to charity.

Usually, such editorials intend to memorialize their birthday or death anniversaries by picking certain aspects of their lives. These editorials seek to inspire the readers.[4]

Golf Georgia Editorial
Golf Georgia Magazine Editorial. Joshua Thomas CC BY via Flickr

Critical editorials seek to challenge the narratives that only focus on one aspect out of many[edit]

An editorial of criticism looks at current events, policies, and actions of public personalities and tries to change how people feel about them.

After explaining the problem, writers of critical editorials usually suggest a way to fix it. They may also explain how things may have been done differently.

These editorials intend to challenge the narratives created by influential people and significant events to present the other side of the story and raise questions to inspire readers' critical thinking.[5]

Editorials with advertising intent seek to raise awareness of new products or services or to persuade readers to make a purchase[edit]

Advertorials are commercial content. It makes the reader feel like they can trust the author, which makes them more likely to buy the product.

The tone of the advertorials is business-like and not a sales pitch.

This editorial content aims to help readers make a purchase decision and the process of doing so. It's the subtle persuasive content that tries to sell through educational or how-to information.

The intent for such editorials remains commercial. They are a part of the income-generating activities of publications.[6]

Example of an image CC BY: Abee5,


  1. "Paper Code& Name – 203 Editorial Writing" (PDF). Maulana Mazharul Haque Arabic and Persian University.
  2. "Interpretive Journalism". obo. Retrieved 2022-11-08.
  3. "Informative editorial Free Essays | Studymode". Retrieved 2022-11-08.
  4. "The Virginian-Pilot - We are currently unavailable in your region". Retrieved 2022-11-08.
  5. Hjort, Anne Mette (1986-06-01). "The interests of critical editorial practice". Poetics. 15 (3): 259–277. doi:10.1016/0304-422X(86)90021-5. ISSN 0304-422X.
  6. "Term: Advertorial - Your Content Provider". Retrieved 2022-11-08.