Glossary of Newspaper Terms

Ad, Advertisment — Printed notice of something for sale paid for by the advertiser.

AP — Abbreviation for Associated Press, a wire service.

Art — Any photo, map graph or illustration.

Assignment — A story a reporter is detailed to cover.

Associated Press Stylebook — The standard reference source for reporters and editors on word usage, libel, numbers, titles, capitalization and commonly used words and phrases.

Balloon — A drawing, usually in a comic strip, which makes the words of a person in the picture appear to be coming directly from his mouth.

Banner — A headline in large letters running across the entire width of the first page.

Beat — A reporter's regular routine for covering news sources.

Body Copy — The main part of a story.

Bold Face — A heavy or dark type.

Box — Border around a story or photo.

Break — Initial news coverage of an event.

Broadsheet — A "standard" or large-sized newspaper. The measurements of broadsheet newspapers vary.

Budget — The lineup of news stories scheduled for the next day's newspaper.

Bullet — A large black dot used at the left edge of a column to mark each item in a series.

Byline — The name of the writer printed at the top of a story.

Caps — abbreviation for capital letters.

Caption — A title or explanatory phrase accompanying a picture. The larger type over a cutline.

Carrier — A person who delivers the newspaper to subscribers.

Circulation — The total number of copies of the newspaper distributed in one day.

City Desk — The area of the newsroom where local news events are covered.

Clip Art — A variety of art provided to newspapers on a subscription basis, for use in ads.

Clips — articles that have been cut out of the newspaper, short for clippings.

Classified Advertising — Advertising space usually purchased in small amounts by the public and published, by categories, in its own section of the newspaper.

Cold Type — Type that is produced photographically

Color — To add color to an ad to command attention and influences buying decisions.

Color Key — The negatives for the full color photo are made positive and put together to check to see if the colors match the original photo.

Column — The arrangement of horizontal lines of type in a news story; also, an article appearing regularly written by a particular writer or "columnist."

Column Inch — Space measurement - one column wide by one inch deep.

Columnist — A person who writes a regular column giving a personal opinion.

Compose — To set type or design pages.

Copy — All material for publication, whether written stories or pictures.

Copy Desk — Area of the newsroom where editing is done.

Copy Editor — The person who corrects or edits copy written by a reporter and writes headlines.

Copyright — An author's exclusive right of property for his works.

Correspondent — an out of town reporter.

Cover — To gather information and get facts for a story.

Credit Line — A line giving the source of a picture or art.

Crop — To eliminate portions of copy or photos by reducing the size.

Cut — To shorten newspaper copy; also means a newspaper photograph.

Cutline — The information below a picture or art, which describes it; also called a caption.

Dateline — The line at the beginning of a story giving the place and date of the reported incident.

Deadline — A time at which all copy for an edition must be submitted.

Dingbat — Any typographical devise used for ornamentation.

Display Advertising — Large, frequently illustrated advertisements usually purchased by retail stores, manufacturers, service companies; advertising other than classified ads.

Dummy — A diagram or layout of a newspaper page, showing the placement of stories, headlines, pictures and advertisements.

Ear — Either corner at the top of the front page (sometimes used for weather news or to call attention to a special feature).

Edition — The issue for one press run: home edition, state edition, final home edition, extra.

Editor — A person who directs the editorial policies; or a person who decides what news will go in the paper and where it will appear

Editorial — An article expressing the opinion of the newspaper regarding a certain subject.

Extra — A special edition of the newspaper, printed between regular editions, containing news too important to hold for the next regular edition.

Feature — A story in which the interest lies in some factor other than the news value, usually to entertain.

Filler — Short news or information items used to fill small spaces in the news columns.

Five W's — Who, what, when, where, why (sometimes "H" for how); the major questions answered in the lead of a well-written news story.

Flag — The newspaper's name on page one.

Folio — The number (s) of the page.

Follow-up — A story that adds more information to a story already printed.

Font — A complete assortment of type of one size and face.

Four-color — When a color photo is needed a slide is separated into the basic colors of red, yellow, blue and black.

Fourth Estate — A traditional name for the press, referring to it as the "fourth branch" of government; the term indicates the role and the importance of the free press in a democratic society.

Gutter — The margin between facing pages where the fold lies.

Hard News — Factual news stories without opinion.

Headline — An explanatory title over a newspaper article summarizing the main point for the reader.

Hot Type — old-style type made from molten lead.

Inserts — An advertisement that is printed apart from the regular press run, usually an independent printer, then "inserted" among the regular newspaper sections.

Inverted pyramid — A method of writing by placing parts of the story in descending order of importance.

Jump — To continue a story from one page to another.

Justify — To space out a line of type so that each line fits flush to the margin.

Kill — To strike out copy or take out type not to be printed.

Layout (also known as Makeup) — To position editorial, pictorial and advertising elements on a page to prepare it for the camera and printing.

Lead — The first few sentences or the first paragraph of a news story, containing the summary or the introduction to the story

Leading — The amount of space between lines.

Libel — Publication of material unjustly injurious to someone's reputation.

Logotype (logo) — A design bearing the name or trademark of a company or business.

Linotype — Old style machine used to produce hot type, one line at a time (no longer in use).

Make-up — To position editorial, pictorial and advertising elements on a page to prepare it for the camera and printing.

Managing Editor — The editor who directs the daily gathering, writing and editing of news and the placement of news in the paper; working for him or her are the city editor, the copy editor, etc.

Market — people the newspaper wants to attract with its news and advertising.

Masthead — The matter printed in every issue of a newspaper or journal, stating the title, ownership, management, subscription and other non-news features.

Morgue — An area in the building where back issues of the newspaper are kept.

National Advertising — Ads placed by agencies for clients that feature national or regional information.

Negative — A photographic image in which the values of the original copy are reversed, so that the dark areas appear light and vice versa.

Newsprint — The uncoated, machine-finished paper on which newspapers are printed.

Newsstand — A single copy account that sells the papers over the counter.

NIE, Newspapers in Education — Program that provides newspapers, curriculum and other services for the classroom.

Obituary (Obit) — A biography of a deceased person printed in the newspaper shortly after the death is announced.

Offset — A printing method in which the plate transfers the image to be printed onto an intermediate surface called a "Blanket", which then comes in direct contact with the paper.

Op-ed — A page opposite the editorial page, where opinions by guest writers are presented.

Pagination — The computerized process by which a newspaper is laid out, or paged.

Plagiarism — Passing off as one's own the ideas and words of another.

Plate — An aluminum sheet that the negative is transferred to so that it can be run on the press.Play — Emphasis given a story or page.

Press — Machine that prints the newspaper.

Press Run — Total number of copies printed.

Process Colors — Process of red, yellow and blue inks used separately or mixed.

Proof — A page on which newly set copy is reproduced to make possible the correction of errors.

Proofreader — One who reads proof pages and marks errors for corrections.

Publisher — The chief executive and often the owner of a newspaper.

Put the Paper to Bed — When the paper heads to press and newsroom has signed off all pages.

Quarterfold — Taking the standard size of the newspaper and folding into quarters, usually stitched and trimmed. Example: TV Guide

Rack — A metal stand that we sell papers from. These are placed in front of businesses, on street corners, etc.

Reels — Where the rolls of paper are mounted while running on the press.

Register — Marks Cross-hairs generally used to register one negative to the other for color registering.

Release — Advance information about a story given to the newspaper by the source of the news.

Reporter — A person who finds out facts about a story and then writes the story for the newspaper.

Review — An account of an artistic event, which offers a critical evaluation, the opinion of the writer.

Rewrite — (1) write a story again to improve it; (2) alter a story that appeared somewhere else; (3) or write a story from facts called in by a reporter.

Roll-end — What is left of a roll of paper when the press has completed its run. These are available for free to the public.

R.O.P. (Run-of-Paper) — Denotes advertising that appears within the newspaper itself.

Scoop — A story obtained before other newspapers or other media receive the information.

Single Copy — Sales of newspapers from a newsstand or rack; Papers sold one at a time.

Source — The supplier of information, such as a person, book, survey, etc.

Stringer — A part-time reporter or correspondent.

Syndicate — Association which buys and sells stories, features, columns, editorials, and other materials for newspaper use.

Syndicated Features: Material such as comics, advice columns, etc., supplied nationally to newspapers by news syndicates.

Tabloid — Taking the standard size of the newspaper and folding into half, usually stitched or stapled and trimmed.

Tube — A plastic receptacle with an open end for a carrier to deliver the paper.

Typo — Short for "typographical error," a mistake made during the production of a story.

UPI — Abbreviation for United Press International, a wire service.

VDT — Abbreviation for video display terminal.

Web Press — Machine used to print the newspaper. Paper is woven through the press to facilitate printing.

Wire Services — Newsgathering agencies such as AP and UPI that gather and distribute news to subscribing newspapers.