51 Media Terms You Should Know…

  1. Angle: Approach the reporter takes in writing the story
  2. Area of Dominant Influence (ADI): Geographic area reached by radio stations
  3. Attribution: Information for attribution can be referenced to the speaker
  4. Audiovisuals (AV): Graphic presentations that use sight and sound to enhance the understanding of a topic
  5. Backgrounder: Gives vital facts and history of organization or issue – written as a feature story.
  6. Biographer: Gives vital facts and history of a person
  7. Byline: Name of the reporter placed at the top or bottom of the article
  8. Caption: Information describing the activity and people in a photo.
  9. Collateral Advertising: Product or promotional publications meant to be used with a particular product or service
  10. Consumer Publication: Printed matter intended for the general reader
  11. Copy: Written text
  12. Dateline: Place and date of an article’s origin; appears at the beginning of the first paragraph
  13. Deadline: When a reporter must finish the story in order to make publication
  14. Daybook: Daily schedules of upcoming news events, published by the Associated Press
  15. Designated Market Area (DMA): Area reached by television stations
  16. Editorial: Expression of opinion, as opposed to the news article, which presents facts without opinion; appear on the editorial page, separate from news stories
  17. Embargo: Any restriction placed on when specific information may be used, often stating the desired date and time of release
  18. Feature: Current article, but not hard news, not necessarily writing with the most important fact first
  19. Ghostwriting: Writing generated without published credit to its author and often credited to another
  20. Graf: Paragraph
  21. Hard News: Present facts of an event objectively and descending order of importance
  22. Inverted Pyramid: Style of writing in which the most comprehensive information is put in the lead, followed by less and less important information; constructed so an editor can cut after any paragraph and have a complete story that meets his or her space limitations
  23. Lead: Beginning of a news story, generally contains who, what, when, where, and why
  24. Lead Story: Most important article on page one; may have headline extending across entire top of page
  25. Media Alert: Also referred to as News Advisory or tip sheet; a brief summary of the basic facts surrounding an event, often used when time is too short, or the occasion does not warrant a printed invitation
  26. Media Kit: Organized package of information that includes background information on general topic or special events
  27. Narrowcasting: Broadcasting journalism that targets audiences with specific interests
  28. News Conference: Arranged gathering of media representatives to announce and explain a significant and newsworthy subject or event
  29. News Hook (or “Peg”): Immediate event providing an occasion for printing a feature or situationer
  30. News Release: Also referred to as a Press Release; most common written form of public relations, used to announce a client’s news and information
  31. Official Statement: Also referred to as a position paper; a written comment prepared for the purpose of responding consistently to any question from the media regarding a particular controversial issue
  32. “Off the Record”: When stated to a reporter, means that what follows cannot be for attribution – however the speaker must have confidence in the reporter’s integrity
  33. Op-ed: Opinion and column page opposite the editorial page
  34. Photo Opportunity Alert: Advisory or invitation that stresses the possibilities for photo coverage
  35. Pitch Letter: Letter to journalist or editor introducing story ideas or other salient information
  36. POP: “Point of purchase” advertising materials, such as a counter display in a retail store
  37. Press Junket: Special tour for news media representatives in which transportation and accommodations are provided by the organization desiring publicity
  38. Publicity Tour: Scheduled publicity appearances in a series of cities or locations
  39. Shirttail: Short, related news item under another dateline at the bottom of an article
  40. Sidebar: Feature appearing in conjunction with news article, giving human interest or historical aspects of a story
  41. Slug: Brief heading, usually one word, designating an article or assignment
  42. Spokesperson: Person designated to speak on behalf of the company for the record
  43. Spot News: Current news, reported immediately
  44. Stylebook: An organization’s printed guide to matters of grammar style
  45. Target Audience: Selected group of people who share similar needs or conditions, such as income, age, sex, or education; and who best represent the most likely potential receivers of an organization’s message
  46. Tease: Enticing lead to a story that tells just enough about the story to urge the reader or listener to continue
  47. Trade Publication: Publication that focuses on a specific profession or industry
  48. Video News Release (VNR): Broadcast version of a press release; usually includes packaged news story between one minute and 90 seconds that is ready for on-the-air use and b-roll to allow producers to edit and create their own stories
  49. Wire Copy: Stories supplied to newspapers by news services
  50. Wire Service – Pay-to-Play: Service that runs public relations announcements for a fee. Two major ones are BusinessWire and PRNewswire.
  51. Wire Services – Media: Companies that supply news to various media on a subscription basis, such as Associated Press, Dow Jones Newswire, Bloomberg News, UPI

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