Put your hand on your heart and answer these:

1. How often do you read your newspaper’s editorials, the unsigned 500-word slabs of gyan, usually in the first two columns of the editorial page? Don’t feel bad if you don’t. You are among a very vast majority.

2. If you are among the distinguished few who read these, do you get a clear sense of where your paper stands? Or do you feel caught in the on-the-one-hand/on-the-other-hand trap?

3. How often does one of these editorials leave you exhilarated in agreement or furious in disagreement?

4. Do you feel that you do deserve more respect for your time?

What if we gave you an editorial in just 50 words? Or, if it is easier to measure these days, within 280 characters?

If 50 words (usually less) can provoke you to reflect on a key issue, why should fine editorialists take 10 times your time?

At ThePrint, we respect your intellect, the right to an opinion, and time.

We have a stellar team. They will give you our view on the most important issues, instantly and through the day. No waiting until the next morning, when the news cycle has moved on.

In no more than 50 words.

Because we are old-fashioned, these will be unsigned just like the old-style long ones. ThePrint, as you know, promises the substance of print, and speed of digital.

And we put clarity over clutter.

Hence the 50-word edit.

Please do let us know if you like this innovation. You can help us improve as we go ahead.

Shekhar Gupta
Chairman & Editor-in-Chief, ThePrint

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36 COMMENTS

  1. It is difficult for me to contemplate myself without serious stuff like Karl Marx Bicentennial (Amartya Sen) in Indian Express; the Minority Series (Indian Express) and yours’ last one in The Print Barely told stories of Indian and Pakistani Spies… (26 May); another beautiful piece that you have written on Rajeev Gandhi’s death anniversary. Apart from information and subtle persuasion with their theoretical interpretations, the authors also welcomed differing views. Sincere journalism, including editorials, is the very reason behind longevity of print media, indeed any media. We may have become cynical about facts the way they are being represented but cynicism about facts is symptomatic not only of a cognitive crisis but of a wider moral malaise. Facts matter more even in post-truth age (Rajeev Bhargava (The Hindu). We can’t afford to fight the baby with the bath water.
    It is the media which retains the duty to restore its credibility. I do not see it exercising in 50 words editorials. I crave for Boxing Day Tests every morning. It is not worth. No.

  2. Great idea Mr Gupta. I have been reading your views for last so many years thro Indian Express and now thro Print. You have maintained the high intellectual standards while keeping the prose simple. The narrative as always is excellent

  3. Try to be FAIR over anything else and think your legacy to the country long after i have gone..else sabhi aate hai n sabhi jate hai

  4. Your pitch for the 50-word edit would have been so much more persuasive if you had limited yourself to 50 words, instead of 269. Remember the journalism adage, show don’t tell?

    • Second the view! Who was it who said ‘brevity is the soul of wit’.

      I do take exception to the use of a word I cannot find the meaning of in an English dictionary.

  5. An excellent initiative , Mr Gupta. I ejoyed this preface esp your comments on the editorials of newspapers. Your old paper I Express should ask these questions u hv posed

  6. Love the format. Crisp. Concise. Though the choice of issues that make it to the Print editorial do not appear to be as sharp.

  7. Do it but do not join the Modi wave /MYTH the Media has created ! Why I say this ? 31% vote share is no wave just a ripple !

  8. Dear Mr. Shekhar Gupta,
    What an idea.! Is it your baby ? 40 or 45 years ago, Indian Express encouraged reporters and sub editors to write relatively interesting political news items and socially effective stories with facts and figures in small paragraphs . A welcome step at that time. The legacy continues .
    All the best. Love to read the ’50 word editorial’ .
    May God bless you and your team.
    Sincerely
    Jayakumar.

  9. Dear Mr Gupta

    All we need as common public is for Media to be unbiased and present us the facts findings. The opinionated news is not what people want to read. Indians in general have good intellect to understand the fine line between news and propaganda served as journalism.

    All the Best !

  10. OK. But to analyze an issue 50 words may not be sufficient. However you may start on a trial basis and get feedback after some time.

  11. 50 words is definitely sufficient. If you can’t tell an idea, any idea, in 50 words you can’t tell it even in 500 words.
    But, more than that, what you tell is more important. Don’t tell us or support something which you like. Tell or support
    an idea which is good for the country.

  12. That is indeed some innovative idea to make ” PRINT” more readable and be acceptable. I am one of those who diligently read newspapers editorials and reflexively respond , whether I approve the contents or disapprove. A 50 word editorial will be more acceptable as long these present unbiased opinion and comments.

  13. One word is sufficient to express a sin /fact/truth and to set on fire the brain for a thought.50 word edit is fair idea,remember cartoons of many famous cartoonist ,a picture frame expresses more than a story.further you need more words for explaing lies and lesser for truth.an individual very well understand the meaning of words,if it’s in tune with day to day life and reality,and capable of deducting facts from it.
    All the best shekhar ji.

  14. What in heavens is Gyan? Something that the cow dropped for saffron clad devotees? Shame! Fifty word editorials are good for a quick read. Ensure that there are hyperlinks to elaborate, for those that seek clarity as to why you say what you do. Use words found in a dictionary.

  15. Prof PK Sharma,Freelance Journalist, Barnala(Punjab)
    Quite innovative and experimental idea indeed !
    This thought reminds me instantly of two master craftsmen and practitioners of precision and brevity.
    Francis Bacon and Ernest Hemingway strong votaries of precision, brevity and lucidity !
    Very interesting tale about Ernest Hemingway’s test about brevity, He had to go in for a bet on being challenged to narrate a story in
    just six words. He accepted the challenge and won the bet writing a six-word story,
    ” For sale:baby shoes,never worn.”
    What an example of flash fiction !
    Please go ahead with this new idea of 50 word editorial ! Pleasant break from the past to think afresh in fewest possible words !
    Prof PK Sharma,Freelance Journalist
    Pom Anm Nest,Barnala(Punjab)

  16. I feel it is a great idea. But I have doubts if different issues can be dealt with in this rigid frame. What will be your priority- the issue or your self imposed restriction on the size? But all the best.

  17. A 50 word story or edit is good but behind each is a longer one. The longer juicer one too should be made available alongside if one wishes to know more about it.

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