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How to write a good editorial!
By Hafeez Khan in August 1998
Last Friday, the 23rd of July 1998, Shameel approached me, and in his inimitable soft-spoken style requested, or rather told me that I should write an editorial for the next issue of the Desert Times.
The word editorial is not uncommon, but still when it comes to performing it, one is at a loss for where to begin.I approached the subject with utmost caution, and in a scientific and logical manner.So the first step was to find out what exactly is an editorial.According to the dictionary, the definition of editorial is: “a newspaper or magazine article that gives the opinions of the editors or publishers”, which translates as “anything goes”, as long as you remain within the realm of acceptable journalism.
I lived in Riyadh for a quite some time. During my stay in Riyadh we formed a group called “Desert Friends”.Later I started publishing a small newsletter for private circulation amongst the desert friends.It was quite popular till the time I left Riyadh.
I am reproducing some of the best articles from the newsletter which actually published between 1997 and 1998.I have already put here an article by Shahida Sarwat about her first visit to Mecca (click here to read My First Visit to Mecca).
Today I am bringing you a lovely article on to write an editorial.The article is written by Hafeez Khan in August 1998.
Hafeez Khan, with his wife Reem Khan and two kids worked in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Now they are living in Canada.
The simplest and most efficient way to write an editorial is to reproduce it from one that you may have read somewhere, make a few cosmetic changes, and you have brand new editorial.But the only problem is your friends are bound to find out, why, because they know you and your capabilities.As for me, I think the right approach is to just let your thoughts flow.Once you have an opening you’ll be surprised how fast the ideas pour out, in fact sometimes they are so fast it’s difficult keeping up, and then there is the problem of converting thoughts to words, which is more like analog to digital.The thoughts that form in head are in analog, and when we convert them to words they are digitized, and in this process of conversion, we sometimes lose or rather dilute the beauty and charm of the thought.One of the main reasons for this I feel is limitation of the vocabulary, for if there is no word for a particular thought or feeling how in the world are we suppose to express it verbally.May be that’s the reason why people use the expression “at loss for words” or “I cannot express myself”.Limitations of the vocabulary could be either language-bound or individual-bound.It’s probably for these reasons that young people are encouraged to read, for it is reading that will increase your knowledge of words, and not the endless hours in front of the TV.
Sometimes in the future, once the art of Mental telepathy or Mind reading is perfected and available to all, maybe then we will not be at a loss for words, and writing editorials will not be such a tast.In fact, it will be a whole lot easier, just plug your mind to MS Word 2100 (this article made in MS Word 97) and think the thoughts you want to think.