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Daily Freeman Life Editor Ivan Lajara talks about journalism, living in the Hudson Valley, language, the Web, cats and even politics. But he shouldn't.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

News jargon, explained

The following is a (rather incomplete) list of  news terms, loosely based on the Newspaper Journalism Glossary, but horribly and/or better explained by yours truly because why not. So without further introduction, here's a bunch of words.

* Agate: A type size that cannot be read by humans.

* All Caps: Website comments' default setting.

* Advertorial: Or Native Advertising online, a form of writing that usually tells people about the awesomeness of Scientology.

* AP: A wire service that moves a story after everyone else is done tweeting about it.

* Background: What a reporter copy-pastes into a new story from his/her previous story.

* Beat: Covering a story enough times that your sources feel very comfortable screaming obscenities at you.

* Bias: A story that's not slanted the way you wanted.

* Blogger: A derogatory term used to insult other journalists.

* Brief: Re-purposed news release.

* Budget: Story ideas. It's not like news organizations have any money.

* Byline: The name of the writer of the story that no reader has noticed.

* Caption: The space under a photo where editors put typos.

* Circulation: An arrow going down.

* Column:  In print, Old people writing things they don't understand; Online: bloggers insulting the olds.

* Conflict of Interest: White House Correspondents Dinner.

* Copy Desk: Fictitious place in a newsroom.

* Cover Story:  The one story that had art.

* Credibility: What journalists are accused of not having.

* Dateline: The location a journalist puts at the beginning of the story even though he/she was not really there.

* Deadline: A specific time where stories are not filed.

* Direct Quote: Misquote.

* Draft: Hieroglyphics.

* Editor: Angry White Man.

* Embargo: Bulls***

* Flash: A link you clicked on that has nothing but what the headline already told you.

* Follow-up:  What should have been done.

* Freelancer: Reporter without health insurance.

* Headline: The main spot to put typos. Usually starts with, 'Your Not Going To Believe What ..'

* Inverted Pyramid: A type of story structure now replaced by listicles.

* Investigative Journalism: HAHAHAHAHAHA you're funny.

* Journalist: Blogger.

* Jump: The part of the story where everyone stops reading.

* Kerning: What editors use to fit 100 words in two lines in a column.

* Kicker: A word or words that usually goes on top of a headline that editors consider utterly unnecessary but it's there by design, so whatchagonnado?

* Kill Fee: What's going to happen to that story you worked so hard on.

* Layout: Something done not in your newsroom anymore.

* Lead or Lede: It's too long. Make it shorter.

* Masthead: The space on the front page where there's a sticker ad.

* Mug: The worst possible photo of a person that will become the only photo that is used for that person.

* Nut Graf: A hastily written sentence that mischaracterizes the story that follows.

* Objectivity: See 'Bias.'

* Off the Record: Everything that's true that's the complete opposite of what they just told you on the record.

* On the Record: "No comment."

* Paraphrase: What a reporter writes when she/he can't decipher his/her own notes.

* Pica pole: Device used by copy-editors to threaten others.

* Pitch: A story idea that will be rejected.

* Proof: Doesn't happen.

* Reefer or Refer: A column by Maureen Dowd.

* Revision: Stories that were corrected but there's no mention of the correction and the editor hopes nobody notices it but people already screen-grabbed it.

* Scoop: Likely inconsequential, if true.

* Sidebar: Information reporters didn't know how to fit in a story, so they wrote another one.

* Skybox: A promo that will look horribly insensitive juxtaposed to the ad next to it.

* Slug: A word used to describe the story that the reporter didn't actually used when filing the story and now nobody can find it in the CMS.

* Source:  Person saying things.

* Subhead: Smaller typos.

* Tip:  Deleted emails.

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