4    The world of ideas

Editors want ideas, not subjects. Racism, and Racism in London are subjects: if you propose either to an editor you will be asked what your idea is. Or your viewpoint, or angle, or slant. The synonyms and near-synonyms for ‘idea’ in journalism are many.

The idea is extracted from a subject. The Ignorance that is Racism is an idea. The angle or viewpoint is clear. But it sounds more like the title of a book than of an article. It might make an essay type of column for an intellectual weekly but it is too large an idea for most publications.

Narrow it down geographically (The Ignorance that is Racism in Bradford’s Schools) and you may have a likely idea for a local paper in the Bradford area if it hasn’t been aired there ...

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