July 6, 2019 Research

Editorial Philosophy


An editorial philosophy is a media product’s focus. A media product can be paper based (magazines, newspapers, etc.) or digital (web pages, mobile applications, video, etc.). Just as we develop our own personal philosophies, which differentiate us from our friends and serve as the basis for our personalities, a media product has a driving philosophy that, if strongly defined, gives the product its identity and personality. An editorial philosophy explains what the media product is intended to do, what areas of interest it covers, how it will approach those interests, and the voice it will use to express itself. It is highly specific.

The statement of philosophy serves as the guide in developing a new media product and keeps an existing product on track. It defines the purpose of the product, the type of content that will serve that purpose, and the voice the product will use. Essential to the philosophy is an understanding of the product’s target audience. All this is built on a title that embodies the product’s image and identity.



This handout teaches you about editorial philosophies and their value in creating a media design product.

View the Editorial Philosophy Handout


This is the graphic approach to the editorial philosophy, the process we go through to determine our strategy for the design.

View the Design Process Handout


View the Editorial Philosophy Example


Type a five-page editorial philosophy and formula for the publication prototype you plan to create for your final project. It should include at least a discussion of the following information: 

1. dreams, intentions and influences;
2. publication title and slogan;
3. mission statement or purpose;
4. target audience;
5. content and editorial voice;
6. design scheme;
7. organization and distribution of content;
8. advertising/editorial ratio;
9. circulation goals; and
10. biographical sketch of ideal reader or subscriber.