Which is the Editorial Section in a Newspaper?
Are you reading the editorial section in the newspaper? It is considered the most special spot in a daily publication because it is a compilation of the paper’s own editor or a senior journalist’s personal opinion on a given current situation. Editorials are mostly neutral, but they may also feature the writer’s personal views on the topic.
Why Should UPSC Aspirants Read Newspaper Editorials?
- Both Prelims and Mains contain important questions from editorials.
- It gives them an in-depth perspective of the situation.
- It helps them understand how public opinion influences decision-making.
- Editorials help derive analytical points from ongoing situations.
Above all, the UPSC exam tests your ability to read between the lines and formulate your own opinions. Besides, most IAS academy experts say that editorials take centre-stage for UPSC preparations in General Studies Paper because they cover a wide range of issues related to:
- International events
- Internal security
- Rights-based issues
- International relationships
- Government and politics
- Science and technology
- Environment and biodiversity
- Economic Policies
- Government schemes for the public
- Miscellaneous topics
Reading editorials every day will strengthen your essay-writing abilities, which is a huge advantage for your UPSC exams. It gives you the confidence to understand the different dimensions of an issue and weave a story around it.
However, before embarking on your editorial reading, you have to:
- Be knowledgeable about important current issues.
- Focus only on the issue and not on the news about it.
- Create your own notes about the issues.
- Spend an hour reading the newspaper every day.
- Read editorials from different papers to understand various perspectives.
- Jot down points that are in favour of and against the topic.
It is also important to understand the UPSC syllabus and the question paper patterns. Skimming over editorials will not serve the purpose. You really need to “read between the lines” and comprehend the analysis. Moreover, to make editorial reading easy, you can categorise them into the topics mentioned above.
So, how can you make the most of the newspaper editorials for your UPSC preparation? What should you retain and omit from these columns? The below guidelines will help you optimise your newspaper editorial reading and derive maximum benefit.
6 Ways To Use Newspaper Editorials For UPSC Exams
1. Watch out for Supreme Court and High Court Judgements
UPSC aspirants shouldn’t miss landmark judgements made by the Supreme Court and High Courts. Besides, most cases taken by the apex court and other courts have ramifications that impact the nation. Hence there is no way you can miss out on them. Apart from keeping an eye on these cases and related judgements, you should also understand the importance of the syllabus concerning the judgement.
- Make a note of these judgements and the case.
- Find its relation with Polity, Economics, Geography, History, etc.
2. Pay attention to social issues
Social issues mushroom over the length and breadth of our country almost every day. Some issues become top headlines overnight and become major topics of discussion. It is important to:
- Identify crucial issues and challenges faced by society.
- Make notes of the pros and cons related to the incident.
- Quote these collected points in your essay to corroborate your opinion.
- Specifically, note the public issues under discussion in the Government ministries.
3. Take note of Government policies
There are dozens of policies initiated by the Central and State governments. You cannot afford to miss out on them, especially for your Prelims preparation. You can make notes on:
- Policy-related constitutional provisions
- Objectives of the policy
- Ministry or department related to it
- Policy features
- Members involved with the policy
If you are preparing for the Mains, you need to understand the issues related to the policy. Noting the policy’s pros and cons will also be helpful.
4. Read the “Letters to the Editor.”
The “Letters to the Editor” section is where you can find glimpses of the public opinion regarding the current issues. Citizens’ opinions about the things going on around them provide valuable insight into public opinion about current events.
5. Note down public welfare opinions
A number of other topics relating to society will also be discussed in the editorial section of the magazine, such as:
- Condition of roads and pavements
- Sewage maintenance
- Crime-related incidents
Indeed, these things aren’t a problem for the government in general because public services deal with all of these departments and handle administration as well. However, it is essential to note these topics as well.
6. Don’t miss out on global news
Your UPSC preparation is incomplete and useless if it doesn’t include global news. Editorials will discuss international events happening in allied and non-allied countries. Let’s not forget that some of these events may impact our lives at home.
To stay informed about changes and decisions of the public service commission, staying on top of global politics is a good idea.
Amongst the plethora of international topics under discussion, take care not to miss:
- Law reforms
- Implementation of new rule or law
- Land and water disputes between countries
- Impact of natural calamities, disasters, pandemics
- Elections and stands of political parties
- Issues such as unemployment, economic downfall
- Environmental issues
- Science and Technology developments
There’s no doubt that editorial reading will give you that extra edge in your UPCS preparations. However, there are a few topics that you can avoid.
Newspaper Editorials: What Not to Focus On
- Political propaganda
Let’s not forget that every paper has its own political inclination, no matter how neutral they sound. Do not get carried away by the “wind of the pen.” Understand and note only the core of the issue and avoid any politically-written propaganda. Moreover, the UPSC does not entertain or ask questions related to politically inclined questions. Hence, dwelling on the same is only a waste of time.
- Sports news
Unless you have mentioned your involvement in sports in your UPSC form, it is best to ignore sport-related news. Besides, editorials rarely discuss sports, and the UPSC also does not include many sport-related questions in the exam.
Reading editorials may seem challenging in the beginning. However, once you make it a habit, it is really worth the effort. You may also refer to non-print media journalism pages for more clarity on certain topics.
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