Most of the definitions provided in this section were compiled from the press association, Reporters’ Companion, Mencher (2010), online searches and media related dictionaries.

Add: Additional news matter to a story already written or is about to be written.

Assignment: An order to a reporter to cover an event. Assignment is the day’s job given to a reporter to cover by his or her News Editor or direct boss.

Attribution: The identification of the person being quoted in the reporter’s story. You only attribute a story to a source if he or she gives such information on record.

Actuality: This is an on-the-scene report in broadcasting.

Air time: The time at which a programme is broadcast.

Audio: Sound

Background: Information that may be used by a writer entirely on his own responsibility and cannot be attributed even to a “reliable source”. The reporter can only use information given on background on his or her own risk.

Banner: Headlines written across or near the top of most Newspaper page. It is also called a Streamer or Streaming headline.

Beat: Area assigned to a reporter for regular coverage. A beat could be a place or a subject. Example: State House Correspondent has the State House as his/her beat while Energy Correspondent has issues related to

energy as his or her beat. In the US, beat could also be regarded as an exclusive story.

Break: This is when a news development becomes known and available.

Beeper: A telephone conversation or interview recorded for later playback on air.

Body type: The type in which most of the newspaper is set, usually 8- or 9-point type.

Bulletin: News of the day as presented in each of the media organizations.

By line: The author of a story or the name of the reporter who wrote a particular story.

Bulldog: Early edition, usually the first of a newspaper’s edition for the day.

Caption: Synonymous with cut line. It is the explanatory lines above or below a newspaper photograph, illustration or diagram.

Column: The vertical division of the news page which is usually divided into about five or more columns. It could also be regarded as a signed article of opinion or strong personal expression by an expert.

Copy: News story or report.

Copy Flow: This refers to the flow of a news story from the reporter to the news desk and to the editor who makes the final decision as to use the story or not.

CAR: Computer Assisted Reporting- the use of online databases and other related resources for the of a news story. Some refer to it as Database Journalism and others call it Precision Journalism.

Crony Journalism: This is a kind of reporting and coverage that ignores or treats lightly negative news of about friends and acquaintances.

Cue: A signal to an announcer, a newscaster or production personnel to participate in a broadcast.

Cutaway: The transition shot from them to another. It is used to avoid Jamb cut.

Deadline: Time by which a reporter, editor or desk must have completed scheduled work for the day.

Dateline: The name of the city or town and date, which are placed at the beginning of stories not of local origin.

Credit line: The line that designates, if necessary, the source of a story or cut “By NAN–News Agency of Nigeria”.

Dry: A period lacking in news. This is called a lull period.

Dub: The transfer of one videotape to another

Exclusive: A story that is printed solely by one newspaper or an individual. This could also be called a “scoop”

Edition: One version of a newspaper per day.

Editorial material: This means all materials in the newspaper that is advertising related.

Enterprise copy: This is a story often covered by a reporter. It is like a news story but digs deeper than the usual news story.

Establishing shot: This is a wide shot used to give the viewer a sense of the scene of action.

Fade: Either physical or mechanical lowering of a voice or music to smooth a transition between sounds

File: To send a story to office usually by wire or telephone or to put news services on the wire.

Filler: Minor news materials used to fill up spaces in the newspaper. It is also called column closers and shorts.

Flag: This is the printed title of a newspaper on page 1. It is also called logotype or nameplate.

Folo: A story that follows up a particular theme in a news story format.

Freelance: An unattached writer, reporter, photojournalist or columnist who writes for a media organization for a fee.

Handout: Term for written publicity or special interest news sent to a newspaper firm.

HFR: Abbreviation for “hold for release” material that cannot be used until it is released by the source or at a designated time. It is also used to tag a story as “embargoed”.

Jump: This means continuation of a story from page one to another page.

Kill: To eliminate a news story or refuse to use it because it is not news worthy. This also means to spike a story.

Log: Schedule of broadcasting.

Masthead: The heading on the editorial page that gives information about the newspaper. This is sometimes confused with Flag or Nameplate.

Morgue: The newspaper library, where published stories photographs and resource materials are stored for reference purposes.

Mix: Combining two or more sound elements into one.

Montage: A series of brief shots of various subjects to give a single impression or communicate one idea.

News hole: Space in a newspaper allotted to news, illustrations and other non-advertising material.

O/C: On camera. A reporter delivering copy directly to the camera, without covering pictures.

Outtakes: Scenes that discarded for the final story.

Op-ed page: Abbreviation for the page opposite the editorial page.

Precede: A story written prior to an event. It could also be referred to as the section of a story preceding the lead.

Put to bed: Closing the forms of an edition.

Rewrite: To write a story a second time to make it better or to condense it.

Sacred cow: Slang for a subject or story in which the publishers or editors are interested and which must be printed.

Slug: The word or words placed on a copy to designate the story. This is usually placed in the top left hand corner of the page.

Stringer: A correspondent, not a regular staff member of the media organization, who is usually paid per story. Could be regarded as a freelancer.

Stet: Let it stand, restore

SOF: Sound on Film recorded simultaneously with the picture.

SOT: Sound on Tape. Recorded simultaneously with picture on tape

Split page: Front page of an inside section. Also known as the break page, second front page.

Text: Verbatim report of a speech or public statement.

Tip: Information passed to a reporter, often in confidence.

Trim: To reduce a news story carefully.

Update: This is a story that brings the reader up-to-date on a situation already in the news.

V/O: Reporter’s voice over pictures. Also called Voice-Over.

VTR: Videotape recording.

Wire services: This is a synonym for press agencies or news agencies. Media organizations usually subscribe to these agencies for news stories etc.

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