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Newspaper Terminology

Advertisement or (ad): A message printed in the newspaper in space paid for by a

company, organisation or individual.
Banner/ Streamer: A headline in large type running across the entire width of the
Broadsheet: A newspaper printed on a large sheet of paper (approx.400 X 560 mm
for The Sydney Morning Herald ). Broadsheets are often considered to have a
greater depth of reporting.
By-line: The name of the writer of a news story or article. The name of Herald
journalists appear at the beginning of the story (sometimes in the standout). The
name of freelance journalists appears at the end of the news item.
Caption: Information accompanying a picture or illustration, usually underneath the
visual text.
Classified advertising: Advertising space usually purchased in small amounts by
the public and placed under a special classification.
Column: The division of space on a newspaper page. Single column, one column
wide; double column, two columns wide and so on.
Credit line: The acknowledgment of the source of a picture or story.
Cross heading: A sub-heading in type smaller than that in the main heading of a
news story, inserted to draw attention to a point of interest or to break up the text.
Dateline: Words (often in capital letters) at the beginning of a story giving the place
of the reported event (e.g. London, Paris).
Deadline: Time at which all copy of an edition must be in.
Dinkus: A small graphic symbol used to illustrate a regular column or a series of
articles on the same issue (e.g. Column 8)
Dummy: A scaled down version of the next issue of a paper with all display ads
pencilled in and an estimate of the classified advertisement volume. Editorial staff
cannot move or drop the ads, except for legal or other very pressing reasons.
Edition: One version of the newspaper for the day. Some papers may have three
editions with certain updates and changes from the previous ones. So there may be
several editions of one issue of a paper.
Editorial: The leading article or leader - a special column stating the opinion of the
editor usually on a key issue of the day. It is usually in a different type face, in a
special identifiable location. In larger papers editors have a say in the editorial but
several people are assigned to write the leader on various days.
Editorial cartoon: Cartoon which expresses opinions; appears on the same page as
the editorial.

Feature: A story which concentrates on issues other than those with straight news
value. Features are usually longer and written in a different style from news stories.
They elaborate, amplify or provide background to news reports. They may also deal
with subjects as varied as travel, personal finance, fashion and computers.
Filler: Copy used to fill space.
Graphic: An illustration, usually computer-generated, which shows details of a story
in visual form.
Hard news: Stories which contain facts only and not opinion.
Headline; Display type placed over a story intended to catch the reader's attention
and signal what the story is about.
Imprint: The matter printed in every issue of a newspaper or journal stating the title,
ownership, management, etc.
Index: Table of contents of each paper, usually placed on page one.
Journalism: Process of collecting, writing and editing news.
Layout: The plan or sketch of how the stories, the headlines, photos and illustrations
will appear on the page.
Lead: The first few sentences or opening paragraphs of a news story containing the
answers to who, what, where, when, why and how. Also known as the intro.
Lead story: The main story on a page.
Logo: A trademark or symbol used to identify a company.
Mass media: Any of the various organisations transmitting news to a large number
of people ( e.g. radio, television, newspapers )
Masthead: The written name of the publication in a distinctive style, design and
lettering that appears on the front page and in reduced size on the editorial page.
Newsprint: grade of paper made of wood pulp used for printing newspapers.
Obit: An obituary - a biographical sketch of a person who has recently died.
Op-ed page: The page opposite the editorial page. It usually contains columns and
opinion pieces.
Par: Newspaper abbreviation for paragraph. It may itself be a short news item.
Proof: A page on which newly set type, pictures or illustrations are reproduced to
make possible the early corrections of errors.
Pointer: A line of type at the end of a story indicating related stories inside the paper.
Puff box: An item or 'house ad', often found at the top of page one, indicating an
article or articles inside that particular issue, or future issues.

Review: An account of an artistic event such as a concert or a play which offers

critical evaluation.
Round: A reporter's 'beat'. Usually a regular assignment covering agencies such as
politics, police, local government, public utilities, commerce, etc.
Scoop: A story published ahead of all competing newspapers.
Soft news: Stories that offer an unusual twist or angle to a hard-news story. These
stories contain opinion.
Spill: The continuation of an article on another page.
Spill line: The words indicating that a story is continued on another page, e.g.
continued on page 10.
Stet: A direction by a sub-editor on a proof to say that some cancelled matter should
be kept.
Sub-editor: A journalist who edits and corrects reporter's stories.
Syndicate: A business organisation that buys special kinds of material from writers
or artists and distributes it to subscribing newspapers or magazines.
Tabloid: A newspaper size roughly equivalent to a folded broadsheet, the size of
The Sun-Herald.
Typo: Short for typographical error.
Tip: A suggestion as to where a news story can be obtained.

News Agencies
Audit Bureau of Circulation (ABC) is a forum of the world's leading magazine and
newspaper publishers, advertisers and advertising agencies. The organization
provides credible, verified information essential to the media buying and selling
Australian Associated Press (AAP) is Australia's national news agency. The
organisation was established in 1935. AAP's main focus is on breaking news, but it
also distributes 'soft' news, colour stories, feature stories, opinion, filler material and
News agency is an organization of journalists established to distribute news reports
to organizations in the news trade including newspapers, magazines, and radio and
television broadcasters. These are known as wire services or news services.
Reuter is an international newsagency covering breaking news in business, politics,
entertainment, technology, and more. They also supply wire service news.
United Press International (UPI) is a global provider of critical information to media
outlets, businesses, governments and researchers worldwide. headquartered in
Washington, DC, UPI licenses content directly to print outlets, online media and
institutions of all types