Glossary

ABC

Audit Bureau of Circulation - source of circulation figures

advertorial

advertisement presented as editorial

agony aunt

advice giver on personal problems sent in by readers

artwork

illustrations accompanying copy

ascender

portion of lower-case letter that sticks out above the x-height attribution identifying source of information or quote

back bench (the)

senior newspaper journalists who make key production decisions

backgrounder

explanatory feature to accompany news story banner (headline) one in large type across front page

bill

poster promoting newspaper, usually highlighting main news story

bleed

(of an image) go beyond the type area to the edge of the page

blob par

paragraph introduced by blob/bullet point

blurb

another name for standfirst or similar displayed copy

body type

the main typeface in which a story is set

bold

thick black type use for emphasis

breaker

typographical device, such as crosshead, to break up text on the page

broadsheet

large-format newspaper such as the Times

bust (to) (of a headline)

be too long for the space available

byline

name of journalist who has written the story

calls

routine phone calls by reporters to organisations such as police and fire brigade

caps

capital letters

cast off (to)

estimate length of copy

catchline

single word identifying story typed top right on every page

centre (to)

set (headline) with equal space on either side

centre spread

middle opening of tabloid or magazine

chapel

office branch of media union

character

unit of measurement for type including letters, figures, punctuation marks and spaces

chequebook journalism

paying large sums for stories

chief sub

senior journalist in charge of sub-editors

city desk

financial section of British newspaper (US: home news desk)

clippings/clips

press cuttings

colour piece

news story written as feature with emphasis on journalist's reactions

contacts book

a journalist's list of contacts with their phone numbers

copy

text of story

crop (to)

cut (image) to size

crosshead

occasional line(s) of type usually bigger and bolder than body type, inserted between paragraphs to liven up page

cut-out

illustration with background masked or cut to make it stand out on the page

cuts

press cuttings

dateline

place from which copy is filed, usually abroad

deadline

time by which a journalist must complete story

deck

one of series of headlines stacked on top of each other

delayed drop

device in news story of delaying important facts for effect

descender

portion of lower-case letter that sticks out below the x-height

deskman

American term for male sub-editor

diary (the)

list of news events to be covered; hence an off-diary story is one originated by the reporter

diary column

gossip column

direct input

transmission of copy direct from the journalist's keyboard to the computer for typesetting (as opposed to the old system in which printers retyped copy)

display type

type for headlines, etc.

doorstepping

reporters lying in wait for (usually) celebrities outside their homes

double spread

two facing pages

downtable (subs)

those other than the chief sub and deputies

dummy

1 photocopied or printed (but not distributed) version of new publication used for practice and discussion; 2 blank version of established publication, for example, to show weight of paper; 3 complete set of page proofs

edition

version of newspaper printed for particular circulation area or time

editorial

1 leading article expressing publication's opinion; 2 matter that is not advertising

em, en

units of measurement for type - the width of the two letters m and n

embargo

time before which an organisation supplying material, e.g. by press release, does not want it published

exclusive

claim by newspaper or magazine that it has a story nobody else has

face

type design

feature

article that goes beyond reporting of facts to explain and/or entertain

file (to)

transmit copy

fireman

reporter sent to trouble spot when story breaks

flatplan

page-by-page plan of magazine issue

flush left or right

(of type) have one consistent margin with the other ragged

fount (pronounced 'font' and sometimes spelt that way)

typeface

free

free newspaper

freebie

something useful or pleasant, often a trip, supplied free to journalists

freelance

self-employed journalist who sells material to various media

freelancer

American term for freelance

full out

(of type) not indented

galley proof

typeset proof not yet made up into a page

gutter

space between pages in centre spread

hack/hackette

jocular terms for journalist

hanging indent

set copy with first line of each paragraph full out and subsequent lines indented

heavy

broadsheet newspaper

house style

see Chapter 7

imprint

name and address of publisher and printer

indent

set copy several characters in from left-hand margin

in-house

inside a media organisation

input (to)

type copy into computer

insert

extra copy to be included in existing story

intro

first paragraph of story

italics

italic (sloping) type

journo

jocular term for journalist

justified

type set with consistent margins

kill (to)

to drop a story; hence 'kill fee' for freelance whose commissioned story is not used

knocking copy

story written with negative angle

layout

arrangement of body type, headlines and illustrations on the page

leader

leading article expressing publication's opinion

leading (pronounced 'ledding')

space between lines (originally made by inserting blank slugs of lead between lines of type)

leg

column of typeset copy

legal (to)

check for legal problems such as libel

lensman

American term for male photographer

lift (to)

steal a story from another media outlet and reproduce it with few changes

linage (this spelling preferred to lineage)

payment to freelances by the line

listings

lists of entertainment and other events with basic details

literal

typographical error

lobby (the)

specialist group of political reporters covering the House of Commons

lower case

ordinary letters (not caps)

make-up

assembly of type and illustrations on the page ready for printing

masthead

newspaper's front-page title

must

copy that must appear, e.g. apology or correction

newsman

American term for male reporter

nib

news in brief - short news item

night lawyer

barrister who reads proofs for legal problems

obit

obituary

off-diary

see diary (the)

off-the-record

statements made to a journalist on the understanding that they will not be reported directly or attributed

on spec

uncommissioned (material submitted by freelance)

on-the-record

statements made to a journalist that can be reported and attributed

op-ed

feature page facing page with leading articles

page proof

proof of a made-up page

par/para

paragraph

paparazzo/i

photographer(s) specialising in pursuing celebrities

paste-up

page layout pasted into position

pay-off

final twist or flourish in the last paragraph of a story

pic/pix

press photograph(s)

pica

unit of type measurement

pick-up (of photographs)

those that already exist, which can therefore be picked up by journalists covering a story

piece

article

point

1 full stop; 2 standard unit of type size

proofread (to)

check proofs

pull-out quotes

short extracts from feature set in larger type as part of page layout

pyramid (usually inverted)

conventional structure for news story with most important facts in intro

query

question mark

quote

verbatim quotation

quotes

quotation marks

range left or right

(of type) have one consistent margin with the other ragged

reverse out

reversal of black and white areas of printed image

roman

plain upright type

RSI

repetitive strain injury attributed to over-use and misuse of computer keyboard, mouse, etc.

run on

(of type) continue from one line, column or page to the next

running story

one that is constantly developing, over a newspaper's different editions or a number of days

sanserif

plain type

scoop

jocular word for exclusive

screamer

exclamation mark

sell

another name for standfirst, often used in women's magazines

serif

decorative addition to type

setting

copy set in type

shy

(of headline) too short for the space available

side-head

subsidiary heading

sketch

light-hearted account of events, especially parliamentary

slip

newspaper edition for particular area or event

snap

early summary by news agency of important story to come

snapper

jocular term for press photographer

snaps

press photographs

spike

where rejected copy goes

splash

tabloid's main front-page story

splash sub

sub responsible for tabloid's front page

spoiler

attempt by newspaper to reduce impact of rival's exclusive by publishing similar story

standfirst

introductory matter, particularly used with features

stet

ignore deletion (Latin for 'let it stand')

stone sub

sub-editor who makes final corrections and cuts on page proofs

story

article, especially news report

strap(line)

introductory words above main headline

Street (the)

Fleet Street, where many newspapers once had their offices

stringer

freelance on contract to a news organisation

sub

sub-editor - journalist who checks, corrects, rewrites copy, writes headlines, captions, etc., and checks proofs; on newspapers, but not on most magazines, subs are also responsible for layout

tabloid

popular small-format newspaper such as the Sun

taster

production journalist who checks and selects copy

think piece

feature written to show and provoke thought

tip

information supplied, and usually paid for, whether by freelance or member of the public

tot

triumph over tragedy, feature formula particularly popular in women's magazines

typo

American term for typographical error

underscore

underline

upper case

capital letters

vox pop

series of street interviews (Latin: 'vox populi' - voice of the people)

widow

line of type consisting of a single word or syllable

wob

white on black - type reversed out

x-height

height of the lower-case letters of a typeface (excluding ascenders and descenders)

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