Difference Between Editorial and Letter to the Editor

Editorial vs Letter to the Editor

To share one’s ideas and opinions and read about what others think is a trait that is often observed in human beings. The editorial and the letter to the editor are both professional means of doing so, thus providing a public outlet for various discussions and arguments. Although the purpose of editorial and the letter to the editor is somewhat similar, editorial and letter to the editor are two different things which feature unique characteristics of their own.

 What is Editorial?

An editorial is an opinion piece published in a written document such as a newspaper or an article that often reflects the opinion of the periodical. It is written by the publisher or the senior editorial staff of the publication and can appear in the form of either an article or editorial cartoon, emphasising upon their view on matters they consider being important for the benefit of their readership. Such matters are evaluated by the editorial board of a publication prior to publishing. The editorial is published on a dedicated page referred to as the editorial page while major United States and Australian newspapers publish the editorial under the heading “opinions.” The opposite page to the editorial page is referred to as the op-ed page and contains various pieces of writers not directly related to the newspaper. Some papers in countries such as France, Italy and Spain opt to have their editorial on the front page whereas in the normal English language press this is rarely done except on topics that are considered to be extra important.

 What is Letter to the Editor?

Often abbreviated as LTTE or LTE, letter to the editor is a letter received from the readership of a publication that addresses concerns and issues deemed as important. They are intended for publication and are sent through either e-mail or by the conventional mail. While letter to the editor is mostly a term used when discussing newspapers and newsmagazines, one also finds them in technical and entertainment magazines, TV, radio etc. On TV and radio, such letters are read out aloud, allowing them to be heard by the public. However, in academic publishing, letters to the editor come in the form of post publication reviews to which the author is free to reply with a letter of his or her own.

A letter to the editor may support, oppose or comment upon a view taken by the editorial of the publication or another writer’s letter to the editor while one may also correct errors or misinterpretations. A feature of American newspapers, the letter to the editor, is now prominent in electronic media as well as news websites, thereby reaching a larger audience.

 What is the difference between Editorial and Letter to the Editor?

The editorial and the letter to the editor are both published on the editorial page which may or may not be the front page of a newspaper. However, several distinctions exist between editorial and the letter to the editor which sets them apart as two very different features.

 • The editorial is written by the editorial staff of a publication. Letter to the Editor is written by the readership.

• Letter to the Editor is often written in response to the editorial.

• The editorial represents the opinion of the periodical with regards to important issues. Letter to the editor serves no such purpose and seeks to support, oppose, comment on or to correct certain information published in the editorial page.

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