active voice: In active voice the subject (the subject of the verb) performs the action. Active voice puts the person or thing (the subject) doing the action first in the sentence, then the verb.
Active: Jane baked the cookies. (Jane, as the person doing the action, is first in the sentence.)
Passive: The cookies were baked by Jane.
advertisement (ad): A message printed in the newspaper in space paid for by the advertiser.
anecdote: A short story about an incident or situation that shows rather than tells. It may be as simple as an explanation or example or as involved as the retelling of an incident complete with a sense of plot and dialogue.
attribution: The act of providing a reference to a source; citing the source.
banner: A headline in large type running across the entire width of the page.
beat: Daily route covered by reporter (by foot, car or telephone) to keep in touch with sources.
box: A small article or headline enclosed by lines to give it visual emphasis.
broadsheet: full-size newspaper, averaging six columns to a page
byline: Line located under headline which tells the name of the writer.
caption: Lines under a photograph which explain what the picture is about
(also called "cutline").
column: the vertical divisions of a page or opinion or comment expressed by a regular writer
columnist: Writer who gathers facts and writes opinions.
comic strip: Three- or four-panel drawings that tell a story, usually humorous.
confrontation interviewing: Firing questions in an accusatory manner that will likely make the interviewee (the person being interviewed) uncomfortable and less likely to respond.
copy: Typewritten or printed material.
copy editing: A reading of the copy, or article, to eliminate all errors after the reporter has finished the story.
credit line: Acknowledging the source of a picture.
cutline: Information below a picture which describes it.
dateline: The first words in lead of a story which give name of city from which the story was sent.
desk: Particular area of news coverage for which each editor is responsible
("City Desk" for example)
direct quotation: The exact words that a news source uses in giving information. Quotations marks are always used to set off a direct quotation.
deadline: the assigned time for stories to be submitted in order to make the issue going to press
delayed identification: Delayed identification means not indentifying individuals by name in the lead paragraph, but rather in the second or third paragraph. Those who are well known in the community (or state, nation, etc.) are more likely to be identified by name in the lead because they have name recognition.
ears: Space at the top of the front page on each side of the newspaper's nameplate. Usually boxed in with weather news, index to pages or an announcement of special features.
edition: One of several issues of a newspaper for a single day.
editor: Person who decides what news goes into the paper, reviews and corrects reporters' work and writes the headlines.
editorial cartoon: Drawing on editorial page employing exaggeration, satire, and symbolism.
elements of the news: Qualities, such as timeliness, proximity, conflict, progress, consequence, prominence, human interest, variety, and humor, that create interest in a news event.
feature story: A story that goes further than straight news coverage, and usually focuses on the human interest elements of a situation or event. The feature story may be written to inform or entertain, and it can be on a multitude of topics from the trivial (students favorite singing groups) to the serious (teenage depression).
feature the feature: Place the most important information at the beginning of the lead paragraph. In other words, place the most important of the 5Ws & H at the beginning of the opening paragraph.
filler: A copy with little news value; used to fill space.
follow-up question: An on-the-spot question that is based on an answer to a previous question. It often asks for elaboration or explanation.
font: style and size of type
hard news: up-to-the-minute news and events that are reported immediately
headline: extra large font across top of front page, placed above or below the masthead
index: Table of contents of each paper, usually placed on page one.
indirect quotation: Information that is close to the way the news source said it, but not exactly. Quotation marks are not used.
inverted pyramid: Style of news reporting in which the most important information is gives first.
journalism: Process of collecting, writing, editing, and publishing news.
journalistic interview: A focused conversation between two or more persons to gather information on behalf of an unseen audience.
journalistic style: Set of rules covering newspaper writing style, including rules pertaining to capitalization, spelling, abbreviations, titles, grammar and punctuation.
jump: To continue a story from one page to another.
justified: Lines of type that are even on the right as well as the left side.
kicker: A short, catchy word or phrase over a major headline.
lead: First paragraph of a story, usually telling the 5 Ws (who, what, when, where and why) and H (how).
layout: the position of stories, advertisements, photos and graphics on a page (also Dummy)
libel: Written defamation
logo or flag: Type on front page which gives name of newspaper.
mass media: Any of various methods of transmitting news to a large number of people (e.g. radio, TV, newspaper).
masthead: information about the newspaper, such as the name of the publishing company, names of the officers of the company, location of editorial offices, editorship and distribution facts, all usually found at the top of the editorial page
morgue: the newspaper's collection of clippings, photos, reference materials and microfilm
nameplate (flag or logo): A stylized signature of a newspaper which appears at the top of page one.
news hole: Space in a newspaper allocated to news.
newsprint: A grad of paper made of wood pulp used for printing newspapers.
news services: News gathering agencies such as Associated Press (AP), United Press International (UPI), and Canadian Press (CP). They gather and distribute news to subscribing newspapers.
news story: An objective article written about an event or situation.
obit: An obituary; a story of a person's death.
op-ed page: Opposite editorial page: to give readers'/columnists' opinions different from those of the newspaper
paparazzi: international press corps who compete for stories, usually of a sensational nature
paralanguage: The semi-verbal responses we make during a conversation, such as "um" and "uh-huh."
paraphrase: Information that rephrases, but accurately summarizes, what the news source said. Quotation marks are not used.
passive voice: In passive voice the subject receives the action with the use of a passive verb. A passive verb is a form of to beand a past participle: is believed, was believed, had been believed, will be believed.
Passive: The chess game was played by senior John Jones.
Active: Senior John Jones played the chess game.
press conference: Place where reporters from different newspapers are briefed.
press release: A hand-out giving information about a public event
probe: To investigate thoroughly during an interview; to ask follow-up questions that encourage the respondent to explain or elaborate on something already said.
publisher: Administrative head of a newspaper.
reefer: Reference line, also called "refer" line.
reporter: a person hired to rush to the scene and phone back information as soon as possible or to key the report into a word processing terminal at the newspaper office
review: An account of an artistic event such as a concert or a play which offers critical evaluation; opinion of the writer.
sidebar: A shorter, related article that focuses on one aspect of a main article. A sidebar is a secondary story accompanying a major story.
slander: Oral defamation
soft news: background information or human interest stories
source: Supplier of information.
spot news: News obtained first-hand. Fresh news.
stringer: A writer who works for a newspaper but does not report to the office every day.
syndicate: Company which sells and distributes cartoons, columns, comics, puzzles, etc. to newspapers.
tabloid: a smaller format 1/2 broadsheet folded, often preferred by publishers of local papers or commuter papers and the sensationalist press (National Enquirer)
typo: Short for typographical error.
wire service: a news agency or organization that gathers news and transmits it to individual subscribing newspaper (AP, CP, Reuters)
yellow journalism: Refers to sensational stories and "scare" headlines.
affiliate: a local station owned by the parent company, or an independent station, both subscribing to some network programming and producing their own local content
Radio and Television Vocabulary
anchor: the person who provides the studio focus for the news but calls upon others for weather, sports, local and on-the-scene reports
cable: much like a telephone company, cables link customers to programming rather than using the airwaves
call sign: the letters assigned to identify the radio or television station (CHUM, CKY, CBC, CFPX)
clip/footage: a segment produced outside the studio or a satellite
correspondent: a news writer/reporter, based in another area or country, who gives regular reports on a developing story
frequency: the numbers on the dial identify the length of energy wave transmitting the program signal
insert: transmission tape inserted into the studio broadcast to add immediacy and scope to the news presentation
network: a chain of many stations owned and operated by a parent company (CTV) or government agency (CBC)
ratings: information solicited by survey companies indicating to the advertisers the size of the audience for a particular program, including news broadcasts
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