There have been a few questions raised about editorials in this newspaper so we thought we’d try our best to explain the difference between an editorial and a personal column.


There have been a few questions raised about editorials in this newspaper so we thought we’d try our best to explain the difference between an editorial and a personal column.

Here’s the dictionary definition of an editorial: “an article in a newspaper or other periodical presenting the opinion of the publisher, editor or editors.”

What that basically means is that it is the opinion of the newspaper. As a collective the newspaper management, led by the news department, makes a determination about forming an opinion about issues in the community.

Many have asked why these are not signed by the author. Because it is the collective opinion, signing would make no sense. It’s “our” opinion. In an editorial, you will not find the word “I.” You will find the word “we,” meaning it is the opinion of the staff.

A personal column is a completely different animal.

These are columns generally written by staff members of the newspaper. It is their personal opinion about issues.

In these, you will find the word “I” because it is the opinion of the author.

As you will find on the pages of this newspaper, the columns almost always come with a photo of the author and that person’s contact information at the end of the column.

Another major difference with a personal column can be, but isn’t always, the subject matter.

For instance, somebody might write about their personal lives like the difficulties of raising children or the frustration of having a flat tire while going to an appointment. You generally won't find anything like that in an editorial.

We also publish columns from religious figures, from our correspondents in communities around the county, from the library, the hospital and others. These are all personal columns of the author with a focused subject matter.

Hopefully, this clears up any confusion about the differences between a newspaper editorial and a personal column.