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Advertisement (or Ad) – Printed notice of something for sale paid for by the advertiser.

Angle– The approach or perspective from which a news fact or event is viewed, or the emphasis chosen for a story.

Art – Any photo, map graph or illustration.

Assignment – A story a reporter is given to cover.

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


Banner – A headline stretching across the top of a page.

Beat – A reporter’s regular assignment, for covering news like sports or music.

Bleed– An illustration filling one or more margins and running off the edge of the page or border; used frequently in magazines and advertisements.

Body Copy – The main part of a story.

Body Type– Type used in stories, not in headlines; generally under 12-point size; opposite of display type.

Box – Refers to type that is framed in a border to give it prominence.

Break – Initial news coverage of an event.

Budget – The lineup of news stories scheduled for the next day’s newspaper.

Bumped Heads– Similar headlines running side by side that create monotony and the tendency to read across.

Byline – The author’s name, which is printed at the beginning of an article.


Camera-ready– Refers to anything that is in its finished form – no further changes are needed before it is published in the paper.

Caption– Headline or text accompanying a picture or illustration; also called a cutline.

Circulation– The total number of copies of a publication distributed to subscribers and vendors in one day.

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

Column– The arrangement of horizontal lines of type, usually 10 to 14 picas wide, in a news story; also, an article appearing regularly written by a particular writer or “columnist.”

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

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

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

Copyediting – Correcting, improving and marking copy to be printed.

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

Credit Line – See Photo Credit.


Dateline– The line at the beginning of a story giving the place and date of the articles origination.

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

Deck – A “bank” or section of a headline.

Dummy– A preliminary layout of a newspaper page, showing the placement of stories, headlines, pictures and advertisements.


Ears– Space at the top of the front page on each side of the newspaper’s name where ads, weather news, index to pages or announcement of special features appears.

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.

Em– Unit of measuring column widths. An em (for the letter M) is a square of any given size of type, and is most frequently used as the unit in measuring “pica” (the width of an em in 12-point type).

En – Half of an em.

Exclusive – A story printed by only one paper; a scoop.


Face – The style of type.

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

Filler– Short informational stories or advertisements, usually timeless, used to fill small spaces where needed.

Flag– The printed title (i.e., name and logo) of a newspaper at the top of the front page.

Folio– Newspaper name, date and page number that appear at the top of each page.


General Assignment – A reporter who covers a variety of stories rather than a single “beat.”

Gutter – The space between columns or margins between facing pages


Hard News – Factual news stories without opinion.

Headline – The title of an article.

Human Interest– Emotional appeal in the news. A “human interest” story, as compared with a “straight news” story, bases its appeal more on the unusual than on consequence.


Inserts– An advertisement or magazine that is printed separately and inserted into the folded newspaper.

Inverted Pyramid– The standard news story structure in which facts are arranged in descending order of importance.

Issue – All the copies which a newspaper publishes in one day.


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

Jumplines– The continuation instructions of a story that is jumped to another page (Continued on page 5; Continued from page 1).


Kicker– Small headline, often in italics and usually underlined, above and slightly to the left of the main head.

Kill – To eliminate all or part of a story.


Layout– (1) A sketch or drawing that indicates the arrangement of pictures and copy on a printed page. Used synonymously with “dummy.” (2) A combination of stories, pictures, etc., about a single subject.

Lead (pronounced “led”)– The space between lines of type. This space is often altered so that stories form perfect boxes.

Lead (pronounced “lead”)– (1) The first few sentences or the first paragraph of a story. (2) A tip that may lead to a story.


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.

Masthead– Details of the publisher, place of publication, editorial staff and information about the newspaper, generally placed on the editorial page.

Morgue – Where old newspapers, clippings, cuts and pictures are stored.


Newsprint– A grade of paper made from recycled paper and wood pulp, used for printing newspapers.


Off The Record– Information not for publication, or at least not attributed to the source if used as background.

Op-ed– Page opposite the editorial page used for letters to the editor, articles by columnists, etc.


Pad – To make a story longer by using more words than are necessary.

Photo Credit– A photographer’s byline. The name of the person or organization responsible for making or distributing a photograph, usually appearing small type under the reproduced picture. Also called credit line.

Pica– (1) 12-point type; (2) Unit of linear measurement equal to 1/6 of an inch (i.e., six picas = one inch.).

Plagiarism – Passing off as one’s own the ideas and words of another.

Plate– A plate contains the image of several pages, in multiples of 4, and is installed onto the press.

Pre-date – An edition issued before its announced date of publication.

Press – Machine that prints the newspaper.

Press Run – Total number of copies printed.

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.

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


Q and A– Copy in question and answer form, as in verbatim reports of court proceeding.

Quotes– (1) Quotation marks; (2) A quote is a portion of a story that consists of direct quotations.


Railroad – To rush copy through to the paper without careful editing.

Register – Correct placement of plates to ensure ink is properly aligned.

Rough – A preliminary layout not in finished form.


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

Series – A group of related stories generally run on successive days or weeks.

Sidebar – A secondary news story that supports or amplifies a major story.

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.

Straight News – A plain account of news facts written in standard style and structure.

Subhead– Small, one-line headline inserted in the body of a story to break up the monotony of a solid column of small type.


Tabloid– A newspaper of small page size, usually 11 inches wide and 17 inches deep.

Thumbnail – A half-column picture.

Typographical Error (or Typo) – A mechanical error in typing a story.




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

Widow– A single word or short line of type at the end of a paragraph, particularly at the top or bottom of a column or page.


Yellow Journalism – Sensational journalism.