Journalistic Glossary

  • Caption. A short passage written to accompany an image or a photograph, which comments on the picture. A caption often includes the photo credits.
  • Citation. A direct quote of what the interviewee has said. Good journalistic practice dictates that what is said by the journalist and what has been said by someone else are clearly separated in the article or news item. For this reason, citations are often marked in a clearly discernible way, such as with citation marks.
  • Commentary. A narration technique often used in documentaries and sportscasts, where a commentator outside the shot describes or provides background information to the viewer on the events happening on screen.
  • Dead air. Silence on the radio or television, which can happen when the presenter fails to link the contents to each other producing a gap in the transmission stream or, for example, does not realise that they are on air, so fails to start presenting.
  • Fact box. A summary is placed next to the article in the layout. It gives the basic information of the article, such as names and key figures, in an easily readable format.
  • Headline. The title of the article that summarises the essential information from the article and grabs the reader’s attention. In an article, there can be multiple sub-headlines. Writing headlines is often done by the sub-editor.
  • Introduction. The lead or core of the article, whose aim is to make the reader read the article to the end. The lead is usually the first one or two sentences of the text.
  • Jingle. A short song melody used in radio and television advertisements, and also in the self-advertising of the radio and TV channels and programmes.
  • News insert. A part shot or a shot recorded beforehand, which is featured in a television or radio programme.
  • Podcast. A form of digital media, usually an audio file that is created in the form of a radio show, monologue or interview.
  • Pull quote. A quoted passage from the text, which is enlarged and highlighted in the layout phase. Pull quotes make the body text lighter and more visually appealing. They can also be used to highlight the most interesting parts of the text.
  • Pundits or “talking heads” refer to the way TV production commonly visualises a topic by illustrating it with a close-up or a medium shot of the person speaking. Pundits can be, for example, experts, politicians, political analysts, spokespersons or journalists.
  • Scoop. A significant piece of news, which includes new information about an important topic. A journalist or news organisation gets a scoop when it publishes an important piece of news before others.
  • Sidebar article. A short article, which is a part of the handling of a larger topic. It is shorter than the main article, and provides some further information or a new perspective on the topic of the article.
  • Voice-over. A production technique that superimposes a narrating voice over visual narration. Voice-overs are commonly used in news and film production.

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This article was updated on January 8th 2020