anchor: the member of a news team who coordinates the reports

assignment editor: staff member of a television or radio news team responsible for judging appropriateness of story ideas assigned to reporter for coverage

audience: the people you want to reach

boilerplate: a brief paragraph stating who you are, what you do, and how you do it, usually used as the first paragraph in a biography or last paragraph in a news release

booker: the staffperson at a TV, radio, or cable station who responds to pitch letters when an appearance needs to be arranged or "booked"

broadcast: to transmit electronically by radio or television

byline: the name printed below the title of a newspaper or magazine article, crediting the author

cable TV: a television system by which a single, with antenna or satellite dish receives signals from distant stations and transmits those signals by direct cable to the persons subscribing to the system

circulation: the distribution of newspapers, magazines, and other print publications

"client pays" wire service: client pays to have his or her own news or feature stories transmitted through print and broadcast media newsrooms at no cost to the media

clip or clipping: a story cut from a publication or a segment cut from a video or audiotape

concept story: feature story designed to pique the interest of a certain demographic audience

contributing reporter or writer: often used to describe a freelance writer

copy editor: last professional to see and approve written material before it is delivered to an audience by a media outlet. Responsible for its accuracy, grammar, and length

corporate fact sheet: one-page document that describes a company's principles, services, philosophy, fees. Includes address, telephone, fax and e-mail, and map to allow prospective clients or reporters to easily find a business

dub: copy of TV or radio appearance on video or audiotape

editing: the act of rewriting, viewing, listening, and cutting print publications, video, or audio in order to perfect the story

editor: the person who edits stories for reporters

editorial: a statement of opinion from an editor or publisher about you and your business. Media coverage generated by news staff

editorial calendar: the listing of specific times a publication will focus on special sections or special news reporting

exclusive: news item or feature article that only one newspaper, magazine, or television station may carry

freelancer: writer who sells writing services and is not under regular contract to any one publication

frequency: the number of times a publication comes out in a given period of time, such as daily, weekly, quarterly, etc.

ghostwriter: person writing articles or speeches for another person who claims authorship

lead time: period of time that reporters and producers need to prepare stories and information for publication or broadcast

Letters to the Editor: your opportunity to congratulate, discuss, or criticize an article you have read

marketing: the process of packaging, advertising, selling, and distributing your products or services and the public relations used to support this process

masthead: list of editors, publishers, and senior reporters in each publication's issue. It includes an address and telephone number

media: reporters, editors, and producers, or print publications, broadcast programs, and online magazines

media outlet: a publication or broadcast program that transmits news and feature stories to the public through any distribution channel

network: chain of broadcast or radio stations controlled and operated as a unit, often using the same editorial material

news: breaking news -- immediate media coverage as the events occur

news feature: special story or article in a print publication or broadcast program that goes in detail about concepts and ideas of specific market interest

Op-Ed: article written by an expert that is positioned on the page opposite the editorial page. Not to be confused with Letters to the Editor

periodical: publication circulated at regular intervals, such as a weekly or monthly

pitch letter: letter written to introduce a source and story idea to a member of the media

producer: person in charge of the coordination of all details pertaining to a television or radio program

publication: newspaper, magazine, or newsletter with information, news, and feature stories, usually produced to be sold or as a service to members of associations or organizations

public relations: a variety of skills and tactics developed to create favorable opinion for a person, event, or product that ultimately supports the firm's bottom line. You turn to a public relations firm to help you achieve media coverage.

reach: geographic area of the audience and the number of readers, listeners, or viewers who can access the media in any region

reporter: professional who gathers information and writes reports for newspapers, magazines, newsletters, or television and radio broadcasts

reprint: copy of an article that mentions you or your company

round-up story: story geared to look back at what has happened over a specific period of time, such as the previous year or quarter. A story in which a reporter wants five or ten opinions on a subject

sidebar: legal term that the media adopted to describe a portion of a story that is relevant but not necessary to the body of the story, such as data, a glossary, or a deeper explanation of a concept mentioned in the story. Usually it is set apart from the body of the article by a box or screen to make it stand out

spin: jargon for the point of view or bias you create in a story

stand-up shot: the source is filmed standing in front of a wall, while a TV reporter asks questions. This kind of shot adds an authoritative source to a television story.

specialized publication: industry-specific trade or professional publication (manufacturing, insurance, telecommunications, etc.)

syndicated: report that appears in more than one media outlet simultaneously

syndicated columnist: person hired by publications or broadcast organizations to produce written or spoken commentary about specific feature subjects. A syndicated print column is usually published in a wide variety of newspapers, magazines, or on many local networks.

talking head: television shot that shows only the upper shoulders, neck, and face of the person being interviewed. Usually accompanied by a computer-generated sign that appears midchest identifying the person and his or her company

wire service: news stories, features, etc., sent by direct line to subscribing or member newspapers and radio and television stations

View the entire Get Media Smart! resource guide.

Copyright © Ink&Air 1998